What is the Explorer Station TV Schedule custom component?

The Explorer Station TV Schedule custom component is station-specific and presents users with a TV programming grid and optional TV schedule listings including:

  • Preview What's On - Previews that are selected based upon your station's programming grid. Highlights programs that are current and of interest.
  • Local programs - Programs generated from COVE, based upon your station call letters. This list is auto-generated, however, you can manually populate it with selected COVE objects.
  • Most viewed - A list of programs automatically generated from Google Analytics metrics.
  • Programs airing this week - A list of programs automatically generated by COVE based upon a particular period of time.

Each section can contain a maximum of 16 items that are viewable by clicking the Show more link at the bottom of each section. Click Hide to display only the first four items.

Do not place this component on the same page as the Explorer Station What's On component. They must be placed on separate pages.


The example below contains all of the sections available for display on your website.  Display some or all of the listings or display just the main TV schedule grid.  


How to implement Explorer Station TV Schedule

  • From the main Bento Administration dashboard, click Pages (Figure 1).
Figure 1

  • Under the actions column, click the green plus sign () to the right of Home page title (Figure 2).
Figure 2
  • In the Title textbox, type a title for your TV Schedules page (Figure 3.1). 
  • The slug auto-populates and the language is set to English by default. Be sure that Inherit template of the nearest ancestor is the chosen template (Figure 3.2).
  • Click Save and continue editing to add the TV Schedules custom component (Figure 3.3).
Figure 3
  • In the Title textbox, type a title for your TV Schedules page (Figure 4.1). This is the title that shows up on your website menu and is the link users click to get to the schedule page.
  • The slug auto-populates and the language is set to English by default (Figure 4.2).
  • Be sure that a one-column template is being used so the page can accommodate the grid (Figure 4.3).
  • Click Save and continue editing (Figure 4.4).
Figure 4
  • Click Is Published to make this page viewable in a browser or click In Navigation if you want this page included as a menu item in the top navigation (Figure 5).

Figure 5

  • In the Page Content section, click the Available Components dropdown menu and click Custom Component (Figure 6.1).
  • Click Add Component (Figure 6.2).

Figure 6

  • Click the component dropdown menu and click Explorer TV Schedule (Figure 7).
Figure 7
  • Add your variables (see tables and images below for guidance) (Figure 8).

Create grid

The TV Schedule grid is a dynamic listing of programs based on a station's call letters and/or provider. The table below displays a complete list of available options you can choose from when programming your TV Schedule grid.

Field Definition ExampleNotesAppearance 

Station Call Letters 

Your flagship station call lettersWETA, KOCEThis field is not case sensitive so you can type koce or KOCE.Does not surface 
8.2 Station Video Portal URL URL of your PBS video portal http://watch.weta.org, http://video.wyomingpbs.org/, http://video.klru.tv/ If you do not have a video portal, leave this blank. Does not surface 
8.3 Station Primetime Your station's primetime 8:00 pm You can choose either 7pm and 8pm. These times reflect your own timezone. Users access this by clicking the Primetime button above the schedule. 
8.4Available Channels All available channels associated with your station call letters 





Displays all available channels associated with your station call letters. Click the patterned left edge of each channel to drag and reorder. The order in which the channels appear in the custom component is exactly the order in which they will display on your website.  
8.5100 x 100 LogoA graphical representation of a channel. Replaces channel text. If you want a channel represented by a logo instead of plain type, click the magnifying glass icon next to each subchannel in the Logo column to add the corresponding image from your filer folder. If you do not wish to assign an image you may skip this and the name of the channel will display next to the digital or analog number. If you do have an image you wish to use, place the image in your filer folders so you can retrieve it in Bento.  
8.6External URLLink your channel text to an external linkhttp://www.weta.org If you have a page that gives the user information about a particular channel, type the full URL to the page in the External URL textbox. If you do not have a page you wish to link to, skip this step.  (warning) This link opens in a new window and will take users away from the TV schedule. 
8.7Display ChannelsControls which channels are displayed in your grid.



In the Show in grid? column, be sure ON appears for each channel you want to display in your grid. Click the button again to display OFF for any channel you do not want displayed in the Broadcast-Over-the-Air grid (the default display when the page initially loads). The channel will still appear when a user selects a provider that carries that particular channel.   


Figure 8
 See what these grid settings look like in a browser


Display lists

The TV Schedule component allows you to include various lists to your page. Lists are groups of programs created by PBS or auto-generated by analytics and COVE. Some lists can be manually populated with unique Merlin objects. Each list can be easily added to your website simply by clicking the ON/OFF slider. The ON/OFF slider tells Bento whether or not to display the list. 


  • All available lists appear below the grid (Figure 9.1).
  • Next to each list you want to include, click Show to expand and view your options (Figure 9.2). The ON /OFF button determines if the list will display on your site. When ON is showing, the entire list will display on your site, OFF hides the entire list from your site. Click anywhere on the button to switch the mode.
  • To display each corresponding channel number next to the channel name in the grid, click the ON button in the Advanced Options section (Figure 9.3).  Where are the channel numbers located? (after viewing image, click the back button your browser to return to this page)
  • When finished, click Save (Figure 9.4).

Lists include:

  • Preview What's On - Previews that are selected based upon your station's programming grid. Highlights programs that are current and of interest. This list can be displayed above or below the main programming grid.
  • Local Programs - Generated from COVE and based upon your station call letters. You can manually override the list by clicking the Manually program this video list link. This brings up several Merlin fields that populate in much the same way as populating a carousel.
  • Most Viewed - Auto-generated using Google Analytics metrics. Programs that are proven to be viewed most by users are listed here.
  • Airing This Week -  Auto-generated from COVE for a particular period of time.

If a video list contains videos with no preview, the list will not appear on your TV schedule.

Figure 9


Manually add local programs

If you want to manually program your local scheduling, follow the steps below: 

  • From the bottom of the Explorer Station TV Schedule component, click Show to expand the Local Programs Section section (Figure 1).

Figure 1


  • Click Manually program this video list (Figure 2).

Figure 2


  • Populate your local programs in the same manner as when you are populating an Exporer Carousel or Explorer Custom Promo custom component. Click the blue hat icon to open up all available COVE objects and select the ones you want to include (Figure 3.1).
  • Click Clear merlin fields to clear each individual COVE object (Figure 3.2).
  • To clear all COVE fields in your Local programs grid, click Clear all (Figure 3.3).
  • When finished, click Save (Figure 3.4).
  • Click Cancel to cancel everything you've done and start over or back out of the section (Figure 3.5).

Figure 3


  • Your local programming appears just below the schedule grid (Figure 4).

Figure 4

User options

Once the component is on your website, your users have several ways of interacting with your TV schedule including printing, searching, and date and provider selection. This section demonstrates how users can take full advantage of the options available on the Explorer Station TV Schedule component. 


  • The Explorer Station TV Schedule can be printed out with two weeks of information at a time by clicking Print TV Schedule in the upper right side of the page just above the grid (Figure 1).

Weekly schedules display seven (7) days at a time. So if a user is viewing your schedule on a Wednesday and clicks Print TV Schedule, Wednesday-Tuesday displays.

Figure 1
  • The results surface in a printer-friendly format. The user can print the page and, when finished, click Back to TV Schedule located in the top left side of their screen to return to the main TV schedule screen (Figure 2). 
Figure 2

Jump to date

A user can click the date at the top of the TV Schedule to go directly to a particular date and view the programs showing on just that day. Once a new date has been selected, the grid refreshes and the programs for the new date display. A user can view five days in the past and up to two weeks in the future.
Click image to view demonstration

Now and Primetime

Users can click Now or Primetime at the top of the TV schedule to display specific windows of programming. Now displays programming beginning with the current hour (i.e.: if it is 9am and the user clicks Now, the schedule displays programming from 9am on). Primetime displays programming beginning at 8pm of the current day (i.e.: if it is 9am and the user clicks Primetime, the schedule jumps to 8pm and shows programming from that point on).

Change provider

By clicking the Change provider link at the top of the page, a user can quickly access shows that are being aired by a particular provider in their selected area. 

  • The current provider displays in the upper left side of the screen (Figure 1.1).
  • The user can click Change Provider to bring up a list of available providers (Figure 1.2).

Figure 1

  • A list of available providers appears. The user should click desired provider (Figure 2.1).
  • Click Save (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2

  • The new provider displays (Figure 3). The user can change providers as many times as they like.

Figure 3

The user can search for any program, episode, or movie on a particular station by using the search functionality.

  • Click Search TV Schedule in the upper right side of the page (Figure 1). 

Figure 1

  • Type search criteria in the search textbox provided and click the magnifying glass icon or tap Enter on your keyboard (Figure 2.1).
  • Results display with the following information (Figure 2.2):
    • Representative program image 
    • Program title and episode
    • Channel
    • Date and time
    • Link to other shows by same program (i.e.: Masterpiece or Sesame Street)
  • Click Show Details to reveal (Figure 2.3): 
    • Program short description
    • Program length

Figure 2



The sorting feature appears only when a user has conducted a search using the Search TV Schedule functionality. This feature drills down into search results and helps the user find what they are looking for faster and easier. 

Search results can be sorted by:

  • Relevance - results that most closely match your search criteria.
  • Newest to oldest - shows airing immediately appear first followed by shows airing at later dates.
  • Oldest to newest - shows airing at later dates appear first followed by shows airing immediately.
  • Episodes A-Z - sorted by program title in alphabetical order.
  • Episodes Z-A - sorted by program title in reverse alphabetical order.

To use the sorting option, the user must:

  • Click Search TV Schedule (Figure 1.1).
  • Type search criteria in the search textbox provided and click the magnifying glass icon or tap Enter on the keyboard (Figure 1.2).
  • When search results surface, click the Sort by dropdown menu and click the option by which you want to sort the results (Figure 1.3).

Figure 1