Clueless TV Channels

Swedish television channels are amazingly clueless about how their viewers tune in. For years their attitude towards schedules has been disgraceful. If a program is supposed to start at a certain time, unless it is the news you can be sure it will start at some random time later. (This is a bit like a math concept discussed in a Douglas Adams book, a number defined as anything but itself, in that case being the times people show up for a restaurant reservation.)

The fact that the news always starts on time to the second means they could keep schedules if they wanted to. They just don’t care.

This was mildly irritating in the VHS age, since you usually got a lot of garbage before the program you wanted to see. But the channels have obviously no idea how people use modern digital video recorders. If you want to see a series, you locate it in the electronic program guide, mark to record it, and indicate it is weekly. Ought to be a snap…only Swedish channels will then happily change the time of broadcast for later programs, which ruins the recordings. A really good DVR/EPG system would note the time shift and record accordingly, but that doesn’t happen. What happens is that people check their DVRs later and discover the last half of their programs are missing.

The channels probably think they are hip because they offer PC players for a handful of their programs. Not only do these not include the popular American shows, who watches TV on a PC? What is relevant are iPad apps, and new devices to put Internet content on TV sets. As more Swedes discover they can access shows on tablets and boxes like Apple TV and all the others sold in America but not here yet, it will be bye bye dinosaur channels.

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