Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TWC Updates - Everyone

We've been getting scattered reports from our readers about the Time Warner Cable HDTV situation in Northeast Ohio.

Since we reported earlier that the company's latest wave of HD channels has been rolling out in some, but not all, of the Northeast Ohio footprint due to the implementation of SDV - "Switched Digital Video" - TWC has basically acknowledged that in its latest "Programming Notice" online, updated Tuesday afternoon.

Quoting some of the important parts, first, in reference to the April 29th promised group of HD channels that is available to some areas, but not others:

The launch of these HD services in some areas has been postponed. No new date is available.

Standard HD: Bravo, CNBC, The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, ABC Family, Lifetime Movie Network, Travel, AMC, Golf, FX, Fox News, CNN.

Digital Basic Tier HD: ESPN News, MLB, National Geographic and Science Channel, Versus, Speed, ESPNU.

That's similar to previous wording. But as an example, let's list the next planned group of channels:

On or after May 26th, the following services will be added to Standard HD on a community by community basis in the greater Cleveland area: Golf, FX, Fox News, CNN.

On or after May 26th, the following services will be added to HD for customers with the digital basic tier on a community by community basis in the greater Cleveland area: Science Channel, National Geographic.

That "community by community basis" wording is also applied to additions planned in June, as well as retroactively to the April group of channels that subscribers with SDV (including here at OMW Headquarters) already have, and others do not.

From our impromptu survey of readers, it appears that the biggest artifact still left for some with the new channels is no video on the HD feed of CNBC. (No, it's not meant to be "CNBC Radio".) At least one OMW reader in Akron says he's seen no video on other new HD channels.

This letter, from a reader in the town of Shelby (north of Mansfield), is typical of what we've been hearing:

We had been having problems since the end of April during the planned expansion of the new HD channels.

The cable box would keep re-booting itself every 10 minutes it seemed like. Calls to Time Warner revealed that there was a problem but of course FAILED to tell their paying customers anything. Last weekend was especially bad, we finally just unhooked the cable box and just hooked up the regular cable line to the tv. Last Monday seemed to improve but was still re-booting itself.

Our area received the new HD channels on Saturday but with problems. Many of the new channels had sound but no picture. As of last night, it had improved to a degree but you still get a 5 second delay before the picture and sound come on. CNBC HD has yet to work, only get sound.

Readers in the "not yet for SDV/new HD" column include those from Bainbridge, Mayfield Heights, Mentor and Macedonia. The first three areas are former Adelphia regions, and we believe Mentor is a former Comcast territory.

We're still curious how it's coming. If you do write us, please tell us where you live, and which cable company served your area prior to the Time Warner/Adelphia/Comcast merger locally.

We're still waiting for an update from our sources at the cable company, but we suspect the above pretty much nails down the answers so some degree...


g said...

Nothing new in the Amherst, OH area, formerly Comcast. TW is a real mess when it comes to HD!

fanofgrendel said...

In the Wadsworth area, all the new announced channels are available and seem to be working well. CNBC was the last to come on board. Wadsworth has been served by Time Warner since the early days of cable.

YEKIMI said...

And the reason Wadsworth gets special attention and all the bells and whistles right away from Time Warner is because they have competition from Wadsworth City's cable system which Wadsworth started in response to Time Warner's shoddy service. So any place that doesn't have competition with TW, their response is "Well get to it.....eventually. You don't like it, find another cable company" followed by an evil hearty laugh.

Anonymous said...

GSN was removed from the standard expanded basic cable service in the Elyria area... formerly Comcast. Moved to the digital side according to a slide now on channel 63.

Held Captive by TWC said...

I recently started following your TWC blog as it’s the only source of information on TWC HD expansion I have found.

Mentor is now all TWC. It was originally Adelphia(Mentor on the lake) and Comcast(City of Mentor). Neither system has received the latest bunch of HD channels scheduled for end of April.

Also, interestingly there are a lot of utility crews digging and burying something along the sidewalks all through Mentor. Do you have any ideas? Verizon FIOS? TWC upgrades? ATT U-Verse expansion?

Also, ATT U-Verse is only available through portions of Mentor. I happen to live in the area where it is not available so I am held captive by TWC. Hence my interest in your TWC blog.

PolarBear said...

Existing TWC in Akron:

Since Sunday and Monday, all of my HD channels were working, even CNBC HD. Today I notice that CNBCHD, BRAVOHD, ABCFAMILYHD and ESPNNEWS HD are all missing picture, just audio. They're regressing. Stuff that worked is now broken again. Also, this week is the first time I haven't had any trouble with the original channels added on 3/31.

I think TWC owes EVERY subscriber with a HD box in the NE Ohio area at least a $20 credit on their May and June bills(depending on how long these problems last).

A.M44057 said...

As of right now out here in Madison, we have no additional channels to the ones that we received back in April. Adelphia was the former provider for our area.

Dave said...

Time Warner continues to sucker in people with relentless, inane ad campaigns that constantly promise the world and deliver nothing. This is another opportunity to ditch cable for satellite or IPTV. As for FiOS, it will likely NEVER arrive in NE Ohio, as Verizon doesn't provide much (if any) local phone service around here.

PolarBear said...

Well, CNBC finally works here in existing TWC Akron. But Bravo, Animal, ABC Family still don't work. And now MLBHD has been turned into a "radio" channel.

Brad said...

I live in Twinsburg Township, and just saw the new HD channels show up yesterday (5/22) for the first time, thankfully without issues.