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The rise of streaming services has created a whole new segment of fan buzz where an entire community just wants to engage in dialogue regarding a piece of content. There are forums and websites dedicated to specific shows and movies where people converse with each other and become a part of a broader community. TV.com, on the other hand, is a platform where you’ll find an entire community that discusses not just one but a number of titles from various networks.
Since TV.com is owned by CBS, you get full episodes from partnered networks such as HBO, Eye Network, NBC and CW in HD quality. Apart from that, you get additional content such as behind-the-scenes news, message boards, featured videos and recaps. I tested the video playback on the website and I have to say that I’m quite impressed with the stream speed.
What is TV.com?
TV.com is where television lives online. It’s an ultimate platform to find the best tv shows, read about episodes and learn about breaking news. Join the community and engage in conversation with other fans. TV.com claims to be the most comprehensive TV site which is based around its community.
TV.com is not a streaming platform, it’s more like an aggregator that has clips, news, and highlights of different content materials offered on CBS and partnered networks. For actual streaming, you’ll be redirected to streaming services such as Hulu, Vudu, Comcast, Amazon Prime, iTunes to name a few.
So, what can you find on TV.com? Well, there are descriptions of shows, cast and crew listings, discussion forums, detailed episode guides and clip length videos.
You can enjoy while watching a stream. Each of the episode guides has different textual information which is user-generated. You’ll find recaps, synopsis, credits, trivia, quotes, notes and supporting images. For all the people who participate, they get a certain number of points and they eventually become an editor for the guide for which they can moderate the incoming submissions. This allows the platform to be user-focused where constructive communication can take place.
CNET was the one that actually acquired domains such as news.com, radio.com to host company’s technology-related TV shows. One of these shows was called TV.com – herein, they provided the best of the internet for new and casual computer users. In the mid-2000s, CNET acquired TV Tome – a television database run by a fan and launched its own website in 2005. Though they acquired and started their own website, they didn’t change much from the original TV Tome site.
In 2008, CBS purchased CNET Networks and the company renamed itself to CBS Interactive. TV.com over the years kept innovating the television viewing experience thanks to features such as watchlist – which was new at that time. Other elements that made the service stand out were personalized listing based on user feedback, social media integration, and comprehensive content coverage.
Why should you stream on TV.com?
I like TV.com primarily because it is not predominantly run by the in-house editors. Normal users like you and me can start a conversation and have our voices heard. There are dedicated forums which allow us to share, express our concern, praise or complain about a piece of content. Keeping it User-based has allowed CBS to understand a user’s sentiment which it can use to improve its services.
Signing up on the website is hassle-free. You would be able to access the platform within a couple of minutes. Most of these membership sites give users a hard time when signing up but that’s not the case with TV.com.
You can submit your own entries, yes you heard that right. You can gain points by sharing trivia, quotes, images, information about a particular show. It’s an open book that anybody can access and edit so to ensure that accurate and in-depth details are available regarding each show. All the commitment and contribution doesn’t go waste as TV.com can make you an editor if you reach a certain level.
Center-stage for content information
Most of the users dislike the process of heading to the actual website to get information about a particular TV show. Especially, with streaming sites that have their own originals would hardly have any criticism or ratings for their content. TV.com, on the other hand, helps you gauge the audience’s opinion thereby helping you understand if a particular TV show is worth watching or not.
It’s not just about the information, it’s also about the way people interact with each other and how it helps shape perspective. I love being a member of TV.com because I get access to all the information, scoops and coverage regarding my favorite TV shows. From Breaking Bad to Real Housewives, you’ll find discussions about all the popular shows.
When it comes to describing the design approach, I have mixed feelings about the website. I mean I like certain aspects but then I dislike many of them too. For instance, the color tone is not constant throughout the website. The center-aligned section looks outdated and the text and the news section hasn’t been updated since the last one year.
Let’s start with something that’s good and that has to be the header section. There’s a huge search bar towards the left. You can use it to access information about your favorite shows directly. Apart from that, there are six other options in the header section – Shows, News, Community, People followed by Login and Join.
Here comes the disappointing section. I certainly do not like websites that have banner ads right above the hero section. It really rubs users the wrong way. It looks “clickbait-ish” and doesn’t help the user journey in any shape or form. There are two major sections – left is for content and the right is for ads. The content section has a small replay window on the left and some recap thumbnails.
The body section is dominated by the news which hasn’t been updated since the last one year. So that renders the website’s up-to-date claim useless. If you scroll further, you’ll find sections such as ‘What to Watch Online’, ‘Featured Community Posts’, ‘Trending Shows’, ‘Most Popular Shows’. Won’t deny, few of these sections are really helpful. However, there are dozens of ads across these sections. The right column is filled with native ads from Taboola, there are sponsored content at the bottom along with 3-4 GDN banners.
The footer of TV.com is cluttered and looks as if the designer didn’t have much time. There are social media icons at the top followed by numerous options such as Shows, Movies, Web, People, News, Mobile, Community, Closed Captioning, Rating Guidelines, About Us, Jobs, and so on.
The inner pages on the website look cool and well-placed. There’s A-Z filter category with TV Shows, Movies and Web Series at the top. There’s a list of the trending TV shows and the option to follow those shows. You’ll find the name of the program, the broadcaster, and synopsis followed by EP Guide, Videos and Community.
TV.com has no shortage of content as it covers the most trending shows from around the world. The list of shows you can find on the network includes Modern Family, According to Jim, Frontline, Survivor, Fixer Upper, American Ninja Warrior, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Law & Order: Special Victims and many others.
Classification on the basis of genre
On the left side, you’ll find about 25 genres. Upon clicking any of the genres, you’ll be able to find shows which fall in that category. Some of the popular genres are Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Business, Arts, Drama, Music, News, Reality, Science, Sports, Suspense, Talk Shows & Gaming.
I first browsed TV.com on my laptop and later through my Google Pixel 3a and the website seemed responsive. Apart from the intrusive ads, I didn’t face any hurdle while navigating across the website. Heck, I even found an advertisement from AliExpress between the rating and rankings section.
There were a couple of things that I liked on the website. First, it allows you to find information and proceed to watch the show. And second, you can actually choose the background of the website – Blue, Grey or Black.
Plans & Pricing
Registering on TV.com is free but streaming is not free. You’ll be redirected to the partnered networks for streaming.
Suggestions I have for TV.com
I don’t know what has gone wrong with TV.com but they really need to up their game. From website design to keep the news section active, there’s a lot that needs to improve. Right now, the project looks like some passive income niche site whose owner hasn’t looked at it in the last one year.
TV.com has all the potential to become a great platform. With the financial backing it has, I don’t know why the developers aren’t working towards developing an independent social media platform just based around the TV. You can try visiting TV.com to learn about TV shows and updates. But why would you? When it’s readily available as a search query in the search engine results? This goes to show that TV.com as a platform has been underutilized.