Friday, December 05, 2008

The latest from our friends at Time Warner

A quick rundown of what's going on with Time Warner Cable:

Time Warner continues to alienate their analog customers. If you don't believe me, go check out Diane Holloway's 30-Oct blog entry on the KLRU2 debacle, where people are still complaining as recently as this week. Time Warner has put up the lame defense that most subscribers aren't affected. (And the rest of us apparently have no standing.) Also, I had forgotten (since I only have basic and didn't have these channels to begin with) that Time Warner has also bumped the weather radar (channel 44) and the National Geographic Channel (channel 51) to their digital tiers as well. Some people haven't, though, as the comments at Ms. Holloway's blog entry reflect.

Also per those comments, apparently some Time Warner representatives are telling people who call to complain about the KLRU2 move that KLRU itself requested this change. Ms. Holloway states flatly that they did not request the change, which is also what KLRU told me.

(Of course, to hear this misstatement, you have to get to a phone rep, and Time Warner has no "push 0 for an operator" or "for all other requests" options on their automated menu. I almost feel as if they don't want to talk to me when I call them.)

In the meantime, I promised an update on the free converter box statement still available at this page. Per a phone rep at Time Warner (which means the reader may want to take everything following this with a grain of salt, or five), yes, basic/standard (analog) customers can get a free converter box (with no $7 per-month charge, either). However, they must request the box by telephone and hook it up themselves, as having a TWC service call to install a box is about $42.

And once they get this wonderful converter box, analog customers can get the soon-to-go-digital-only channel 19 (the ACC channel, which I watch often for about 0.3 seconds at a time, when I'm flipping between C-Span and WGN) back. So, that means analog customers will also get KLRU2 back, right? Wrong. The converter box allows analog customers to get one more channel than they would with a cable running right from the wall to the TV. Big deal.

Reminder: the last paragraph-and-a-half (with the exception of "big deal") were all courtesy a Time Warner telephone rep, so the veracity thereof may be in question, depending on what you think of Time Warner phone reps.

Off-topic reminder: Please donate to my online Salvation Army kettle!

6 comments:

M1EK said...

I think it's abundantly clear by now that they care precisely zero about the non-HD customers. Not that I blame them; I bet those HD fanboys are a lot louder than you (or I) could possibly be on the analog side.

Grande is still doing OK on this front. UVerse is a TW-like joke in this regard - their rep tried to convince me that when the digital transition happens in February, that I'll need a converter box to keep using Grande on analog.

Unfortunately, I see signs Grande isn't going to survive - will probably have to switch to the least bad of the other two within a year, I bet.

Snowed In said...

Grande never made it to our area, so we can only get TW or satellite. (No U-Verse either.)

And I don't think it's that the HD subscribers are louder; I think they're just 10x more profitable.

Aaron said...

Trust me, it's not about HD vs non HD, it's about box vs no box. The box makes them money, ad money and revenue from On Demand, etc. They can also keep track of your viewing habits and other info. I am a medium paying HD customer with no cable box and constantly get grief and have problems and their answer to me is to just get a cable box. Blech. TW stinks.

d said...

I may be mistaken but I think in 2009 cable companies are supposed to make cards available to you if you buy your own box or your own TIVO.

I switched to DISH HD from TW HD 2 weeks ago. It's been great so far; the picture quality and the service are much improved, and the DISH DVR is immeasurably better. Grande or ATT aren't in my area either.

Rob said...

This is about analog vs. digital. That ACC analog channel takes up 6 MHz of bandwidth, equivalent to roughly 54 Mb/Sec of digital data. A standard def. digital channel uses 6 Mb/Sec. HD is about 18 Mb/sec. By removing an ACC channel that nobody watches it frees up space for 9 standard digital channels or 5 HD channels, or faster internet connections.

You analog people are hogging valuable bandwidth. I say TWC should just kill analog completely. They have an unfair burden placed on them that ATT and the satellite companies don't face because of you people who feel some sort of entitlement to analog cable. Stop wasting my bandwidth!

Snowed In said...

Rob,

Feel free to pay for me to upgrade two televisions to standard digital for a year if you have that much of a problem with it.