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 far...to some degree...