Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time Warner Cable HD Express Unscheduled Stop

In a well-planned and deliberate effort to add 30 new HDTV channels for its Northeast Ohio customers, Time Warner Cable's HDTV Express has to make an unscheduled stop.

The next group of seven new HD channels to be offered in the TWC NEO footprint did not meet an intended April 29th launch on Wednesday, and we don't have any indication when that group of channels will launch.

But OMW hears that the company is still working on the second wave of new HD channels, and will let us know when the new launch date will be.

We also hear that they expect the other groups of new HDTV channels to be added on schedule.

No, we don't know why there's a delay.

Some of our readers are suggesting problems with the "Switched Digital Video" system that allows the cable operator to make room for large numbers of new channels - a system that has been implemented in at least some limited areas of the TWC Northeast Ohio footprint.

Basically, "SDV" moves groups of channels out of the main bandwidth, and those channels are only transmitted directly to a home when a cable box (or other SDV-compatible device like a TiVo HD/S3's tuning adapter) requests the channel. This "quasi-on-demand" system means there is room for a lot more channels than without it.

But we don't know if that technology is responsible for the current "pause" in the HDTV channel additions.

As it turns out, some of the information we're relaying here is already showing up on TWC NEO's official "programming notices" page on its website, which has just been updated.

About the current "waiting" channels, it says:


The launch of the following HD channels in all areas is postponed with no new date available: Bravo, CNBC, The Learning Channel, Animal Plant, ABC Family, ESPNews and MLB.


But the notices are still listed with "on or after" dates for upcoming, planned channels:


On or after May 26, 2009, the following services will be added to standard HD in some areas: Golf Channel, CNN, FX, Fox News Network, Science Channel

On or after May 26, 2009, the following services will be added to HD in some areas for customers with the Digital Basic Tier: National Geographic.

On or after May 27, 2009 the following services will be added to HD Tier in some areas: Smithsonian & Mav TV.

On or after June 15, 2009, the following services will be added to standard HD in some areas: Lifetime Moves, Travel, AMC.

On or after June 15, 2009, the following services will be added to HD for customers with the Digital Basic Tier in some areas: Versus, Speed and ESPNU.

On or after June 15, 2009, the following services will be added to HD for customers with MLB Extra Innings Package in some areas: Game HD.


(For that matter, we have no idea what "Mav TV" is.)

The programming notices page also reveals that the recently launched WUAB subchannel "This TV" (WUAB-DT 43.2 over air) will come to Time Warner Cable's "digital access" tier "on or after" May 15th.

Also listed are minor channel moves for stations like WIVM-LP/52 Canton and its simulcaster, WIVN-LP/29 Newcomerstown, the addition of WVIZ'/25's "Create" subchannel to areas without it (and a similiar addition of WGTE/30 Toledo's version of "Create" in its part of the TWC NEO service area), and other changes we've already mentioned here...


Anonymous said...

Here is an answer to you regarding MavTV, courtesy of our friends at Wikipedia.

Mav TV is a digital cable channel, focused towards men in the 18-54 age group. It features original programming that appeal to men, such as sports, comedies, gadgets, gaming, and women.

It launched on October 1, 2004 and distribution is limited to select cable companies. It can be found in the US on Verizon FiOS, Cablevision (iO), Charter Communications, GCI in Alaska, select cable systems within the Caribbean Co-op, Virtual Digital Cable and C-Band Satellite. MavTV is also carried on Vodafone's mobile platform in Australia and recently on the UK eSport Gaming Channel on BSkyB, XLEAGUE.TV, (now called Pulse TV on Channel 208).

The network is privately held and was founded by four former executives from Showtime Networks -- Steve Severn, CEO; Steve Smith, President & COO; Doug Jost, EVP of Sales and Marketing; and Rob Stevens, SVP of Programming.

The network has recently announced a move into a full HD feed that will be available for carriage in the 3rd quarter of 2008 to complement the standard 24/7 lineup; the 480i SDTV network is optimized for widescreen television sets in full mode to provide a full widescreen experience. MavTV also webcasts many of its programs.

Original series on MavTV include: American Tailgater, AMA Motorcycle Racing, Whole World Theatre, Mini Cooper Auto Racing, Regional Wrestling Events, Ultimate Combat Experience, Bikini AllStars and Best of the Best. In addition, MavTV presents documentaries slanted only towards men, entitled Manumentaries.

The channel does not have any connections to Mark Cuban, owner of the similarly-named Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team. However, Cuban started 2 television channels HDNet and HDNet Movies, neither of which air any Dallas Mavericks programming.Roller Derby

MavTV contracted with the WFTDA to broadcast two of the three roller derby finals tournaments in 2007, Heartland Havoc[1], which was the Eastern finals and the Texas Shootout, which was the national tournament.


MavTV has contracted with the auto racing sanctioning body, ARCA, to air at least 6 races in 2008, including both 100 mile dirt races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, and the Southern Illinois State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin.
Most people are under the assumption that this channel was owned by Mark Cuban.

Hopefully this answers your inquiry.

Jeffrey said...

I noticed on that TWC programming notice that the "carriage deal" with FSN Pittsburgh may be expiring soon (they don't make it available to anyone, do they?). Is it possible that this might mean that Pittsburgh Penguins games won't be blacked out when carried on Versus?

As a hockey fan, it's immensely frustrating to not be able to watch the Penguins in the playoffs. I called Time Warner, who said they have "no choice" in the matter, and Versus, who said I should talk to the cable company to see if they can fix it.

And as a hockey fan, it would have been nice if Time Warner could get Versus in HD before the playoffs, or even the finals, but I'm just happy it's happening at all.

Tim Lones said...

I went over this in the past with TWC, the Penguins, the Blue Jackets and the NHL..Like talking to a brick wall..Till this year the Blue Jackets were blacked out in Canton because the Penguins clained the area, yet TWC didnt carry FSN Pittsburgh..

However on Dish Network, I got the
Penguins on Sports Pack and the Jackets on FSN Ohio..Two different sets of rules for Cable and Satellite..

mflo77 said...

its so frustrating that i cant watch the pitt penguins on versus even when i pay for the nhl package. i have emailed everybody (twc, versus, and nhl) and i have not received a response from anybody.

any suggestions?