MoviesOnCable.com Help Facility
Below is information related to the section of MoviesOnCable.com that you clicked the help button for. If you'd like additional information on other topics, please select from the list to the left.
What is MoviesOnCable.com?
MoviesOnCable.com is almost certainly the best online video library management and sharing application in the world. Let me show you why!
MoviesOnCable.com helps you find out what movies are coming on and then get them recorder so you can watch them when you want.
With MoviesOnCable.com your can:
- Find movies that are only coming on once or twice
- Eliminate movies you don’t care about from your listings
- Organize your movie collection so you can find a movie when you want one
- Share your collection with your friends and family
- Keep track of where your movies are
... and much, much more!
Basically, MoviesOnCable.com can help you see more movies you’ll like, stop driving to the rental store, and keep a selection of movies on hand so there will always be something you’re in the mood to watch! And the whole thing is free!
Click here to sign-up and get started!
MoviesOnCable.com Quick Start Guide
MoviesOnCable.com is not a simple web page. It functions more like a program you would install on your PC than your average web page. Just as any program you’d buy to install on your PC has instructions to help you through, MoviesOnCable.com has a number of “How-To” pages to help you get the most out of the site. This Quick Start Guide is intended to get you started on the right foot. As with anything else the more you use it the more you’ll get out of it, but you have to start somewhere.
- The Help system
- Screen customization
- Rating the Movies
The MoviesOnCable.com Help System
Part of the challenge of building a website that thinks it’s a program on your PC is helping you, the user, figure out what exactly you’re looking at. This is where the help system comes into play. Every page has a button in the upper right hand corner that says “Help”. This button will take you to a section-by-section break down of whatever page you’re currently looking at. Further, each section of the screen has a little question mark icon (like this ) in its upper right corner. These will take you to the exact place in the help system to explain that section.
Once you’re looking at a help screen you’ll see the Table of Contents on the left hand side of the screen. You can click on any topic for instant access to its help screen.
Once you create a logon your first stop should be the Preferences screen. Here you can assign numbers to your channels, change your user details, and provide information about your web-enabled PVR (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. Think Tivo with a web page). Configuring these elements allows MoviesOnCable.com to tailor the information specifically for you.
If you’ve got friends that already use MoviesOnCable.com, this would also be a good time to set them up as “Friends”. Simply put their MoviesOnCable.com user and their first name in the “Add a Friend” section on the left side of the screen and they will be able to see certain movies you’re looking for and any movies in your library you’re willing to share (see How Friends Work for more details).
As a MoviesOnCable.com subscriber, there are two types of screen customization: Skins and Content.
MoviesOnCable.com has a number of “Skins” for you to choose from. These are simply alternate color schemes that you can select to make the site look how you like. To change skins just go to the Preferences screen and select a new one, then hit the Save Changes button and viola!
Customizing the content displayed on the main screen is the other way you can alter the site to suit your needs. Most of the sections on the screen have a small “plus” () or “minus” () icon in the upper right hand corner next to the help icon. Clicking on a “minus” will cause the section to be minimized into a single bar on the screen. Clicking on the “plus” icon will restore a minimized section to it’s regular size. In the future you will be able to add, remove, and organize the sections how ever you want, but for now it’s just plus and minus.
Rating the Movies
One of the things that sets us apart from other “TV listing” sites is that MoviesOnCable.com will remember how you feel about every single movie. Whether you’ve seen it, can’t wait to, or never want to let us know because once we know what you’ve seen we can help you find what you haven’t.
In the Playing in the Next 24 Hours section of the main screen and in the Your Take section of the Movie Details screen, there are multi-colored ratings indicators (
). These are what you use to tell us if you liked a movie or not and if you want to see a movie or not. Refer to the Your Take help section for details on how they work.
Any random person that stops by can filter movies by rating, decade, series, and length, but as a subscriber, once you get enough movies rated and tagged you can filter them out. This is when you’ll start to notice titles that you never would’ve seen before. Getting those extra movies out of your listings makes a HUGE difference and once we get enough opinions we can start recommending movies based on your tastes compared with those of other users.
So that’s the nickel tour! It’s by no means a complete guide to the site, but it should be enough to get you started. Check the top section in the Table of Contents for other practical guides to using MoviesOnCable.com. And by all means, if there’s anything you think should be added or if you have any questions at all, please drop me a line.
Managing a rotating tape library
Recording movies off of cable is the best way to ensure always having a movie on hand that you want to see. But there are some common pitfalls associated with recording. In this section I’ll tell you about my rotating tape library, both how and why I manage it the way I do.
-Rotating tapes vs Permanent tape
-The tape shelf
-Setting up the tapes
-Recording a movie
Rotating tapes vs Permanent tape
There are some movies I want to keep a copy of forever… but most movies I just want to see once. For these movies I’ve set aside a pile of tapes specifically to be reused over and over again. I watch 3 or 4 movies a week and have a rotating pool of about 100 tapes. At any given time 10 of them are loaned out and another 10 to 15 are waiting to be used. While one tape is capable of holding several movies I’ve found that this generally makes it harder to find the movie I want to watch and if I loan it out it NEVER comes back. So, I recommend one tape - one movie.
The tape shelf
After a fair amount of trial and error I’ve determined that the best way to store tapes is bookshelf style only instead of standing up I lay them on their “spines”. With a sheet of cardboard in between I can stack two courses on top of each other without adding another “real” shelf. This way you can get twice as many tapes into the same amount of space without having to stack them more than one tape deep. With all of the movies logged on MoviesOnCable.com you don’t even have to be able to flip through them to see what you have. So, this “end-wise” method of stacking works out well.
Setting up the tapes
When a new tape is put into circulation after removing it from it’s packaging there are 3 steps to follow:
1 - Throw away all labels, stickers, etc.
2 - Write a unique tape number on the bottom edge of the tape box
3 - Write the same number on the “top” window of the tape (use a Sharpee). This is important because, for some reason, keeping a tape and a box together is almost impossible!
Once new tapes are set up or when existing tapes are ready to be “recorded over” put them somewhere near your VCR. The plan is to have a ready supply of usable tapes on hand to record at a moment’s notice. I keep mine in a cupboard right under the TV.
Recording a movie
A movie’s coming on, you grab a scratch tape throw it into the VCR and hit record!
I keep a Sharpee marker by each VCR so that as soon as I hit record I can write the name of the movie right on the tape box. Once the movie’s done I put the tape in it’s box and stack it next to my computer. When I get around to it, I look up the movie on MoviesOnCable.com, give it a “Library Number” (the number written on the tape and box), click “Add to Library” (see Library Tools on the Movie Details screen), and put the tape on the shelf in numeric order.
MoviesOnCable.com allows you to print covers for the tapes in your library. I don’t generally put covers on mine, however, unless the movie is going to be loaned out. This is because I don’t look at my own tapes. Instead, when I want to watch a movie I go to my library page on MoviesOnCable.com. There I can see what I have on tape without having to flip through all the tapes and try to remember which movie is which.
But, like I said, if a tape is leaving my house, I make sure there’s a cover on it. I’ve found that covered movies come back quicker and more reliably than movies with no covers. It’s well worth the effort!
MoviesOnCable.com allows you to share your collection with friends. You know how it works though, once a movie is loaned out remembering who’s got it can be impossible. So, if you’re loaning one out make sure that in addition to putting a cover on it you log it out of your library and put your friend’s name in the “loaned to” field. This way when you look at your Library Page on the site you can filter out the movies that are currently loaned out.
Once I’ve watched a movie and I’m ready to get rid of it I logon to MoviesOnCable.com and look it up. Either from the library screen or using the search box. In the left hand column, just under the Outside Links any friends I have that want to see the movie will be listed. At this point you have to decide whether or not to save it for them. If you don’t, click on the “Remove from Library” button, cross out the movie title on the box (I keep another Sharpee by the computer), and put the tape back with the scratch tapes.
How friends work
An overview of MoviesOnCable.com friends coming soon.
Disk wrapper origami
Folding instructions for disk wrappers coming soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why don't you have filtering by genre?
In order to filter by genre, actor, director, or anything else that data has to be present within MoviesOnCable.com. Adding that data would require additional time that is beyond the resources of a single person (me).
Why aren't there more channels?
More are on the way, but they will always be limited to channels that show mostly movies.
Why doesn't your site look good on Firefox?
I had to choose a platform to start out targeting... most people use Internet Explorer. No, that doesn't mean I think it's the best one. It's just the most available. I'm working on being w3c complient.