Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time Warner: what now?

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the TV Guide Network (channel 7) had been abruptly replaced with a screen directing customers to use the interactive program guide (great, if you have a converter box) or look elsewhere to find out what's on. The screen also directed people to Time Warner's website (where there is nothing about this change presently) or to call Time Warner for more information.

So, I did call Time Warner. I spoke to a representative who told me multiple times that TV Guide Network was a broadcast network (, it's not), and that Time Warner had no control over its removal. And then she wanted to get me to shell out more money for said converter box, and when I politely declined that, she wanted to sell me on Road Runner and/or digital phone. No thanks.

For those keeping score at home, basic cable in Austin now consists of the following:
  • all full-power broadcast stations, and (I believe) one low-power broadcast station as well
  • several Spanish-language channels (some of which are broadcast over the air)
  • News 8 Austin
  • C-Span
  • WGN
  • two home shopping channels
  • ME TV, which, I understand, is in "financial dire straits"
  • a bunch of community access and/or boring local government stuff we're almost never going to watch
And what does the Snowed family watch at home?
  • all English-language broadcast stations
  • News 8 (occasionally)
  • C-Span
  • WGN
  • the home shopping channels (very occasionally)
And for this we're paying $20 a month.

Mrs. Snowed's guess is that the next to disappear from basic cable is going to be WGN.


M1EK said...

Grande has not yet pulled anything this odious (we're on expanded basic with no box) - they did move G4 up to digital, which was disappointing, but we still get about 75 channels with no box on analog.

Paul Young said...

We went to AT&T Uverse. I'm not a fan of AT&T but the service is great and the price is better than TWC.

M1EK said...

Paul, I've not yet been able to construct a real case for AT&T's prices being lower than Grande for anything I'm interested in (you HAVE to use a converter box with them, for one thing, and it costs money for all but the first TV).