Friday, February 01, 2008

TWC Getting Systems Together?

It hasn't been publicized anywhere else that we know of, but an OMW reader tipped us off to what could be pretty big news in the Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio universe.

According to this required legal notice on TWC's local website, it would appear that the cable operator is finally going about starting the business of standardizing lineups among the three different parts of the TWCNEO universe...the original "legacy" systems in Akron/Canton, the former Adelphia systems and the former Comcast systems.

The change would seem to apply to mostly, if not nearly exclusively, to the digital and HDTV channel lineups. We don't see anything about massive analog channel number changes.

The change is listed to take place "on or around" March 4th. According to the legal notice, "the channel positions for Digital programming currently carried on channels 100 and above will change."

The listings of actual changed "status" are mostly for moves of channels around in various digital tiers, and some back and forth between digital tiers and expanded basic (analog).

One move happens outside digital service - SportsTime Ohio will camp out on expanded basic channel 76, a move from 17 on the former Adelphia systems. It's the same channel STO has occupied on the TWC "legacy" systems since a few months ago.

(We wonder if the former Adelphia SD digital feed of STO will stay on 179, and we see nothing changing the "HD Bonus" channel placement for STO HD and FSN Ohio HD on 798.)

After this is all done next month, and even after an analog realignment would be done (if it ever is), we'll assume there will still be minor differences in mostly the analog lineups between the three branches of local TWC operations.

Even today, for example, the Akron systems carry Media-Com Television's WAOH-LP/29 on cable channel 14, some other Akron area TWC systems carry it elsewhere, and the Canton TWC system does not carry the Akron-based channel at all. Canton's TWC subscribers are offered their own local LPTV outlet - WIVM-LP 52 - on digital cable 585.

One change that might cause some controversy...the "urban oriented" Village TV network, which currently resides on cable channel 20 on the former Adelphia systems, is apparently being moved up into digital basic - along with CMT (Country Music Television).

Exiting the lineup entirely on all the systems: a number of secondary-offshoot channels like VH1 Country and MTV Hits, a couple of Spanish-language channels (more are being added to the system's Spanish Language Tier), and some other time zone movie channels.

And finally, some good news for HDTV enthusiasts, as TWC wil apparently add: A&E HD, Food Network HD, HGTV HD and History HD...all in the basic (free) HD tier.

We'll run this item by our contacts at Time Warner Cable, and see if there's any clarification that needs to be made...


Dan said...

Looks like MTV2, Science Channel, TV One, and VH-1 Classic will be moving from the digital to the analog lineup as well.

nick said...

Why would they add MORE channels to analog? Especially since analog channels waste bandwidth and most cable companies are moving towards digital. Looks like Time Warner is taking a step forward by adding more HD and taking a few steps back by adding more analog. I like MTV2 And the Science Channel. Now I'm going to have to watch them in analog> UGH!

vanillacokehead said...

bear in mind that the FCC has ruled that cable systems have to support their analog customers until at least 2012. Until then, analog cable will still be around.

Looking at the changes, my five- and two-year olds will be happy that PBS Kids Sprout is coming next month; I'm a little bummed that IFC is going to a pay tier and that the Pacific time zone feed of Disney Channel is being removed...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody who is from the Youngstown area reading this have any idea why WYFX (FOX 17/62) on DIRECTV is showing WKBN/CBS programming on there instead? I thought that maybe it was a problem with the station thanks to the 27/33 merger, but I turned a TV not hooked up to the satellite to 17/62 and don't have the same issue. I'm having a small Super Bowl party tomorrow and it would suck if we have to watch it on a 13-inch TV with so-so reception.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, this change on March 4 will also mean TWC will finally be carrying ALL the local HD broadcast channels? AT&T's new cable service is still the only one to carry all the local HD channels including The CW (WBNX). With The CW's 12 primetime shows in full HD and TBS's 0 shows in full HD (except for a few previous baseball games) TWC really has no excuse. TBS just stretches/reformats the non HD shows, but they aren't actually filmed in HD like Smallville is, as well as the other CW HD shows.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the analog channel lineup will be a mess!!

will take you directly to where the changed lineup is supposed to be located