Newest Review: ... if there is a one-off show then there will be a 'little article' about it. This is good, because it informs you about a show which you ... more
I choose TV choice to help me choose my TV choices!
Member Name: Chelle1969
Advantages: Clearly laid out, easy to use, good price
Disadvantages: May not cover enough satellite stations for some people
I don't buy a daily newspaper because I feel that they're mostly full of rubbish, but I do like to be able to plan my TV watching and so I buy the weekly TV listing magazine TV Choice.
TV Choice is a 76-page, A4 sized magazine published weekly and appears in most newsagents on a Tuesday for the week ahead from the forthcoming Saturday.
The main cover image usually shows characters from one of the major soaps, and in recent weeks this has been exclusively Eastenders for some reason. Also on the cover are little teasers of some of the major story lines in the soaps (usually spoilers!) the price, the date of the issue and the regions covered (there are regional variations published up and down the country).
Inside, the first section is devoted to several pages of small features on programmes coming up in the week. These could be previews of new programmes, or hot stories in established ones. They usually give you a brief programme synopsis, it's genre (comedy drama, documentary etc) an accompanying picture and when and where it's on in the week.
The next few pages are devoted to the soaps with a section on each of the major ones. Each week I vow not to read about my two favourite soaps (Emmerdale and Corrie) because quite often they will reveal forthcoming stories that can spoil it for the viewer. So far, each week I fail miserably and eagerly read the gossip and so I always tend to know what's going to happen before it does!
A seven-day film guide covers the next pages, with a small feature on the weeks 'Big' film and on a digital premiere. The guide is in colour-coded columns, one for each day of the week and lists each film title, channel, time, year of release, certificate, country of origin, director and a brief synopsis along with their own star rating and whether it is suitable for family viewing. There's also a small digital movie guide, but to be honest this magazine concentrates mainly on the five terrestrial channels (more about that later)
The main purpose of the magazine is a TV listings guide, and that naturally makes up the bulk of the publication. Each day of the week, starting with Saturday has it's own colour coded edge to the pages so you can easily go to a particular day of the week. Each day has six pages of information devoted to it, starting with a double spread listing the five terrestrial channels in separate columns. Each of these columns is a different pastel colour giving a clear distinction between each. Listings all include the video plus+ programming number and any relevant information such as if the show is a repeat, subtitled, signed, new or part of a series. Most films are listed in boxes making them stand out nicely. The next four pages for each day concentrates on some of the digital channels and is separated into the following categories; Entertainment, Factual/Lifestyle, Children, Sport and Movies - again colour coded. Because there are just so many digital channels, I doubt that all of them are featured in the magazine, but most of the major ones are there. However, digital channel listings are not very detailed with nothing more than programme names and times in most cases. They do however clearly mark which channels can be found on Free View, Sky and Virgin with their respective channel numbers
Finally, the last few pages of the magazine are filled with a prize crossword, competitions, horoscopes and readers letters.
TV Choice is just 40p which I consider to be very good value, especially if you consider that's less than 6p per days listings. I've actually been buying this magazine since it first appeared on the newsstands, so I'm pretty used to its layout and have found it to be the user-friendliest magazine of its type around. On occasion I have been forced to buy another publication and have found that others are often far 'busier' and not as easy to navigate. TV Choice's colour-coded pages and clearly labelled titles make it easy to get to a particular section or listing.
If you are heavily into satellite and digital channels you may find TV Choice a little lacking in its coverage. Although it does cover digital channels, they are almost mentioned as an afterthought and certainly not featured as heavily as the five terrestrial channels. Personally I only use the Free View channels, and the coverage of these is adequate. It's worth mentioning that no radio stations are listed, which you may think is obvious, but some other magazines do feature radio as well as TV.
Throughout the magazine are, as usual, a few pages of advertising but a quick look at some of the products being sold will give you a clue to the age group targeted; Damart ladies elastic waist trousers, funeral plans, consumer guide books for mobility scooters and stair lifts, men's polyester shirts and ladies soft leather ultra-wide sandals. Yes, there are other adverts too for mobile phones etc. but you get the idea - the target audience for the magazine seems to be the older generation. Of course, I'm not doing myself any favours now by admitting to reading this magazine, but unfortunately it probably won't be too much longer before I start looking a little closer at some of those products!!
Also at: www.tvchoicemagazine.co.uk
Summary: A great choice for TV listings