Comcast TV Planner = Poor Planning
September 7, 2006 7:15 PM
Comcast introduced a new online program guide yesterday on Comcast.net. I’m a Comcast customer and I love my video-on-demand service, so I go to Comcast.net to check out the new tool. The portal features a well-marked link for “TV Planner.”
The planner asks for my zip code and then takes me to what looks like the Comcast TV grid transposed online. I was hoping for something different than what’s on TV. Still, I enter a search for NBC’s “The Office.” The grid displays several upcoming repeats for the show. I am not sure what to do next. I look for a category for “list shows I want to see” or something like that. I see nothing. So I hit the back button and it bounces me all the way back to Comcast.net. OK, let’s enter the TV Planner again.
Comcast boasts that viewers can customize searches by title, category and genre and also search across VOD. I enter “10-minute fitness videos” since those are a staple of the “Sports and Fitness” category on VOD. I see a list of fitness videos from QVC, Logo and ExpoTV, a VOD service. But the grid does not produce the dozen or so 10-minute fitness videos that the VOD service regularly features in its lineup.
Maybe a more precise title will help. I enter “Bob the Builder” in the search bar since I have watched that show on VOD with my son. The grid displays several “Bob the Builder” titles from PBS Kids Sprout, but none on VOD. I then spot an “On Demand” button on the grid and click on that. But rather than display “Bob the Builder” titles available on VOD, it shows all VOD categories, such as movies, kids and premium channels. I click on the “kids” category but the listings don’t match up to what’s actually on VOD on the TV. I know because I watched “The Berenstain Bears” on VOD this morning with my son.