You have hundreds of channels on the TV to choose from but can you find anything to watch? Do you miss the new series of your favourite programme because it's buried under so many repeats from older series? Would you like to catch the film premiers? Would you like to have a little more information than is provided on the normal EPG feed? Then this is for you.
The UK TV Guide and Search add-on takes data from radiotimes.com
that includes 14 days of programme information for over 400 channels. You select the channels you are interested in, the add-on grabs the data (it will fetch any selected channel one time per day to keep it up to date), and puts it into a database on your local drive. You can then view a traditional Guide, or Search the data by channels, dates, genres, a few special attributes, and a search word - this will quickly return a list of all the programmes that meet your search.
The data includes a good description, a number of programme attributes (including, for example, whether the programme is a film, a premier, or a new series), and a full cast list. Also useful, the data has Series and Episode numbers so you can actually understand which part of the series is being broadcast.
On first use your initial task is to simply pick some channels from the channel list on the left. As you pick each one it will fetch the data for that channel. As you do this the Guide view will be updated.
Once you have a few channels selected you can navigate the Guide and play with the Search.
On the Guide tab the Now button will navigate to the current date and time whereas the Refresh button will navigate to whatever date and time you enter. You can assign colours to the different genres from the Colours drop-down, and highlight the current search using the Highlight Search check-box.
On the Search tab there are 5 filters: Channels, Dates, Genres, Attributes, and Title. Assigning something to one or more of these will create a filter that is applied when the Search button is clicked. If a filter is not assigned it will not apply any filter for that category.
Be careful with the 'Omit' options on the drop-downs: they are cunning. If, for example, you tick 'Omit Channels' then any channels that you tick that follow will be Omitted, if you untick 'Omit Channels' then any channels you tick that follow will be Included. In this way you can use your ticks to either include or omit items - whichever means less clicking. There are tool-tips on all of the 'Omit' options to remind you how they work.
There is a 'context menu' - one of those right-click menus - on the channel list that allows a number of operations. You can Alias the channel names, for example you might like to see simply 'ITV1' in the list instead of 'ITV1 Thames Valley North'. You can also Add, Rename, and Delete channel groups so, for example, you might like to create separate groups for Freeview channels and Sky channels.
Also, look out for the context menus on the Guide, Search, and Favourites panes. Wherever you can see a programme there are options to add and delete your Favourites ♥.
Otherwise, just click stuff. That's what I do. And look out for the tomatoes.
[Disclaimer: Use of this add-on does not guarantee that you will find anything worth watching on TV.]