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Using the PlayStation Vue Guide
The channel guide has been an essential TV viewing feature for decades. If you’re old enough, you may remember buying the TV Guide pamphlet or browsing TV listings in the newspaper. Later on, cable companies provided a scrolling TV guide channel. When digital cable came along, viewers were treated to an interactive channel guide. PlayStation Vue offers a similar feature, but it’s nothing to get excited about. The feature is limited and buggy, but hopefully it will be improved in time.
You can access the guide by pressing the Menu button and scrolling up on the screen until the top menu is in focus. A blue line appears under a menu item when the top menu bar is in focus. Move the line horizontally using the Touch surface and click on Guide. The channel guide appears. The red line indicates the current time. Navigate the channel guide using the Touch surface and click on a show to either watch it or see details. Shows in gray rectangles are currently live.
The guide feature leaves much to be desired. It’s a bit buggy on Apple TV. When scrolling horizontally, one tends to veer off course, navigating later in the timeline. I also had it crash on me, repeatedly. The guide is also limited to displaying the current day of programming. You can’t browse tomorrow or next week’s schedule using the guide. If you just want to see what’s on now, I highly recommend skipping the guide and using the Live TV category on the Home screen. It presents a clean grid of icons with shows you can actually watch.
Another disappointment with PlayStation Vue is that so many shows and channels are blocked. I don’t get Comedy Central at all. Other viewers can’t get CBS. Beyond blocked channels, some shows on supported channels are unavailable. Upon launching the channel, you will just see a message that PlayStation Vue does not have permission to stream the program. This is one huge difference between cable and these Internet-based channel bundles. PlayStation Vue’s guide makes this more difficult, as it will show a blocked show as “live”. These shows are omitted from the Live TV category on the Home screen. Skip the guide and use the Live TV feature.
Search PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue offers the typical Apple TV search interface, with the addition of a history feature. This makes it easier to re-use search terms. Let’s face it, the on-screen keyboard is weak and Siri dictation is limited and buggy. The search history list makes these deficiencies more tolerable.
The search feature can find TV shows, movies, sporting events and channels. It’s a great way to power through the user interface when you know exactly what to watch. You can interact with search results directly on the search screen. Simply click on one of the results to get information, add it to My Shows or watch it directly if it’s live. (continue…)