Time Warner adds HDNet, HD pay tier - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Time Warner Cable HDNet
Keith Cocozza Mark Cuban
keith.cocozza@twcable.com mark@hd.net
203-351-2039

TIME WARNER CABLE ADDS HDNET AND HDNET MOVIES TO HIGH-DEF LINEUP

Bolsters Robust High Definition Offering and Helps to Create New HD
Destination Tier for Time Warner Cable Customers

STAMFORD, CT, December 16, 2003 -- Time Warner Cable today announced a
carriage agreement with HDNet and HDNet Movies for inclusion in its high
definition programming line up. The two channels will accompany iN
DEMAND's two INHD channels on a high definition destination tier,
available to Time Warner Cable HD customers at an incremental retail
cost.

Time Warner Cable will continue to deliver its robust HD basic lineup at
no additional charge, which includes high definition programming from
ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, WB, UPN, HBO, Showtime, Discovery HD Theater
and select Fox Sports regional sports networks.

"HDNet's collection of live, original and licensed high definition
programming is a perfect addition to our burgeoning HD offering," said
Chuck Ellis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for
Time Warner Cable. "Creating a premium HDTV tier is the next logical
step as we continue to deliver on our promise to provide customers with
the best in choice, value and control available for high definition
programming."

Launched in September of 2001, HDNet became the world's first national
television network broadcasting all of its programming in spectacular
1080i high definition. HDNet produces and televises more original high
definition than any other domestic network. Original HDNet series
include "HDNet World Report," "Across America," "HDNet Concert Series,"
"True Music," the "NHL on HDNet," the "MLS on HDNet," and "Higher
Definition."

"With more original programming shot in HD than any other network, and
with more
movies premiering in HD (and in their Original Aspect Ratio) than any
other network, we're excited to be partnering with Time Warner Cable,
to bring HDNet and
HDNet Movies to their HD customers," said Mark Cuban, president and
co-founder of HDNet.

Time Warner Cable is growing its high-definition programming line-up by
expanding the number of value-added HD channels that have standard
definition counterparts already being offered, and by adding new premium
high-definition services. Time Warner Cable is not charging additional
fees for its value-added HD programming. It will offer premium HD
services in a destination tier at an incremental retail cost.
Currently, Time Warner Cable carries more high definition programming
than any other cable operator.

Time Warner Cable currently makes high-definition television capable
set-top boxes available to 98 percent of its customer base. Time Warner
Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 10.9 million subscribers in
27 states, which include some of the most technologically advanced,
best-clustered cable systems in the country with more than 75% of the
Company's customers in systems of 300,000 subscribers or more.
Utilizing a fully upgraded advanced cable network and a steadfast
commitment to providing consumers with choice, value and world-class
customer service, Time Warner Cable is an industry leader in delivering
advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition
television, high-speed data, wireless home networking and digital video
recorders. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

HDNet, (www.hd.net), the leader in high definition broadcasting,
produces and televises more hours of original HDTV sports, entertainment
and news programming each week than any other network. Original HDNet
series include the groundbreaking HDNet World Report, Across America,
True Music, HDNet Concert Series, Bikini Destinations, Get Out, and
Higher Definition - Celebrity Interviews. Licensed programming includes
series from Paramount, Warner Brothers and Sony. HDNet Movies broadcasts
24/7 full-length feature films from Warner Bros, New Line, Paramount,
MGM, Buena Vista, Lions Gate, Artisan and Sony Pictures Television.
HDNet Movies also features movies produced and finished in true 1080i
high-definition. Live HDNet sports productions include National Hockey
League games, Major League Soccer games, The HDNet Horse Racing
Challenge, CART auto racing, Boxing Explosion, and college football and
basketball games. Co-founded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas
Mavericks, and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are
also available on Charter Communications, Insight Communications,
DIRECTV, DISH Network, and several NCTC cable affiliate companies.

###
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post #2 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 08:59 AM
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I have Comcast at home and was so excited that they now offer high definition services. However, I am dissapointed I can't get Discovery HD Theater. I saw some previews of the shows this channel offers when I was at Best Buy and I was planning on getting this channel. Does anyone know what the deal with Comcast is? Do I have to get DIRECTV instead?
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post #3 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 09:23 AM
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That is good news.
How long does is typically take for the channels to become available upon agreements? I assume it depends on the city/carrier etc ... I guess I get to find out in Houston.

CFC

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post #4 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 09:48 AM
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I assume these channels will be added to TW Systems within DAYS. But it does take a couple days for testing. But I say within the next couple weeks most if not all HD Capable TW Systems should have these channels.
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post #5 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 11:11 AM
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This should put some additional pressure on Comcast to pick up HDNet. HDNet Movies would be a bonus but HDNet has the mix of sports, movies and other programming which is key. (Some of the movies on HDNet Movies look like ones I'd watch, but many seem to be B grade or otherwise uninteresting to me.)

With TWC, D*, E* and other cable providers (Charter, Insight, RCN) carrying HDNet, Comcast is at serious risk of being left behind in the dust.

Comcast should get a better deal from Mr. Cuban than TWC and E* and even D* because Comcast will offer greater volume to HDNet. But the issue of HDNet being duplicative of InHD, or a competitor with InHD, is a huge red herring.

So Comcast, get your volume discount from Mr. Cuban, a better deal than any other video provider, and then get HDNet (and maybe HDNet Movies) on your HD systems a.s.a.p. (At a minimum before the NHL season is over.)

Thank you for your patience with this slightly OT post.
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post #6 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 11:49 AM
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Does anyone know when these additions will take place? I called TWCNYC and spoke to three different reps, none of whom had heard about the press release (not really surprised).

I emailed Keith Cocozza (his email address was in the press release) asking if he knew when local TWC affiliates would start to add these stations. Any additional information would be appreciated!

I also got greedy and asked him about StarzHD, CinemaxHD and ESPNHD. Not expecting to receive any information, but it didn't hurt to ask.
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post #7 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 12:08 PM
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And here's Mr. Cocozza's incredibly quick response:
------------------------------------------------------
From: Cocozza, Keith [mailto:keith.cocozza@twcable.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 2:45 PM
To: __________
Subject: RE: Addition of HDNet


Hi - thanks for your note. Today announced our agreement with HDNet,
not the launch, so our divisions are still working on timing.
We're in talks with the others you mentioned and will continue to add HD
programming to out offering which is already the largest available.
You'll begin to see marketing materials in the near future, which will
address availability.
-Keith

-------------------------------------------------------

Presumably when he says "largest available" he's only referring to cable systems. Is that true? In NYC we only have six hd stations (the three networks, HBO, SHO and Discovery).
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post #8 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 03:20 PM
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As of yesterday, HDNet, IN HD and Fox Sports HD (6 channels) are available on San Antonio Time Warner for an extra $5/ month.

Bill Bedwell
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post #9 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 03:29 PM
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These channels went live on TWC in San Diego yesterday. No mention of any pricing yet.
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post #10 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 04:54 PM
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Columbus, OH update: One of our HD Columbus members received an email from our local TW president stating that InHD and InHD2 would be coming late January and HD Net and HD Net Movies being released "shortly after that." Of course, no word on adding our local Sinclair affiliates (Fox and ABC) or ESPN-HD.
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post #11 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by whitllam
Columbus, OH update: One of our HD Columbus members received an email from our local TW president stating that InHD and InHD2 would be coming late January and HD Net and HD Net Movies being released "shortly after that." Of course, no word on adding our local Sinclair affiliates (Fox and ABC) or ESPN-HD.
Speaking to a TW - Cincinnati rep right now. States these new channels - HD Net and HD Net Movies - will be online Dec 30th. Beautiful! (Cinci TW already offers the InHD and InHD2 movies)

ESPN-HD is a national carriage issue as TW is yet to pony up the $$ to ESPN to carry this HD signal. All I can say to that, is bummer as an HD Sunday night football game would wrap up my weekend rather nicely - Hopefully next year. I did ask about the status of this ESPN HD issue, and in conjuction with the HD Net announcement, TW stated it is still working with ESPN and hopes to be able to offer this channel in the near future. In other words, don't hold your breath.

The TW rep also stated that on Dec 30th, they will also start carrying 2 InDemand PPV channels that will be offering HD content. Beautiful!!

-hp
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post #12 of 62 Old 12-17-2003, 05:48 PM
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Wow! This is great news. My only question is when is "Bikini
Destinations" on next? ;)
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post #13 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 03:48 AM
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Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD! Still NO ESPN-HD!
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post #14 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
This should put some additional pressure on Comcast to pick up HDNet. HDNet Movies would be a bonus but HDNet has the mix of sports, movies and other programming which is key. (Some of the movies on HDNet Movies look like ones I'd watch, but many seem to be B grade or otherwise uninteresting to me.)

With TWC, D*, E* and other cable providers (Charter, Insight, RCN) carrying HDNet, Comcast is at serious risk of being left behind in the dust.
Why would another cable company adding HD-Net put any pressure on Comcast? Cable companies are essentially monopolies - you can't pick your cable provider. Only satellite companies can prompt a cable provider to add a channel because that is direct competition for them, not to mention how really cheap an easy it's become to make the switch.
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post #15 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MythTrip
Wow! This is great news. My only question is when is "Bikini
Destinations" on next? ;)

Thursday, Dec. 18, 3:00 AM ET / 12:00 AM PT

Saturday, Dec. 20, 10:30 PM ET / 7:30 PM PT

Saturday, Dec. 20, 1:30 AM ET / 10:30 PM PT
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post #16 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 10:59 AM
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Great news! Now let's get espnhd
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post #17 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NetworkTV
Why would another cable company adding HD-Net put any pressure on Comcast? Cable companies are essentially monopolies - you can't pick your cable provider. Only satellite companies can prompt a cable provider to add a channel because that is direct competition for them, not to mention how really cheap an easy it's become to make the switch.
It's not too difficult to see how. By carrying HDNet, other cable companies are setting a standard. When Comcast customers see TWC, Insight, Charter, RCN and eventually other cable companies (Cox, Adelphia, Mediaone, etc.) all carrying HDNet, the question is obvious: If all the other cable companies can do this and are doing this, why can't Comcast?

If Comcast does not have a good answer for this question (such as HDNet won't give us a volume discount-- a better rate than TWC, for example), then unsatisfied customers WILL switch to satellite if it is important enough to them. They will tell friends and neighbors debating Comcast versus satellite to avoid Comcast. Or they will minimize their Comcast service to the bare necessities (HD locals if they can't get HD OTA) and go to satellite for their HD needs.

As Comcast's franchise contracts come up for renewal, more and more people will complain. If Time Warner carries a desired channel or channels which Comcast doesn't, and Time Warner decides to bid for a current Comcast franchise, it will be one factor weighing in favor of Time Warner.

If Comcast is the only holdout cable company not carrying HDNet, they will lose a substantial amount of good will and, instead of being an HD leader, it will be an HD sluggard.

Just because TWC and Comcast do not have overlapping territories does not mean they are not competitors. They are competitors in every sense of the word, including competitors for investment dollars.

Here is a quote excerpted from a recent article (Multichannel News) emphasizing TWC's leadership position on HD and DVR service:

Quote:
While Comcast generated much of the financial headlines over the past year for its purchase and turnaround of AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable has not so quietly staked out a leadership position in the digital-video-recorder and high-definition-TV realms.

The MSO has rolled out more DVR subscribers (250,000) and more HD customers (155,000) than any other operator. For leading the industry charge with products aimed at retaining existing customers or attracting new ones, Time Warner Cable is being honored with the Multichannel News Innovator Award for advanced services.

The MSO launched both services late last year, with a strong ramp-up in 2003. Time Warner ended first quarter 2003 with 100,000 DVR subscribers, but added 50,000 in the second quarter and another 100,000 in the third quarter.

Consumer Hits
The HD rollout was not quite as great, but no less impressive. Time Warner ended the first quarter with 65,000 HD subscribers, before adding 55,000 in the second quarter and 35,000 in the third quarter.

Chuck Ellis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Time Warner Cable, said he had been "mildy surprised" at DVR penetration levels so far. But once the MSO received data from test markets in Rochester, N.Y., and Green Bay, Wis., executives quickly realized they had a consumer hit on their hands.

Scientific-Atlanta Inc.'s set-tops are Time Warner's workhorse for both its DVR and HD services. The MSO prices its DVR box between $4.95 and $9.95 a month; the HD box carries the same monthly lease fee that subscribers paid for previous digital boxes.

"The biggest marketing opportunity is at the transactional-sales level," Ellis said. "80% of sales come in over the telephone."

"The opportunity to simplify offerings for our own [customer service rep] process is a huge benefit for them. That's how the majority of DVRs are going out today. The second-largest area is outbound telemarketing to targeted homes. We haven't done a lot of direct mail," Ellis said, partly because the other sales channels are performing well.

On the HD front, Time Warner Cable carries ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS, or combinations thereof, plus HBO, Showtime, Discovery and many Fox Sports regional networks. Some WB and UPN content also is available. There is no extra charge beyond the lease fee.

The MSO is launching an HDTV tier that now includes In Demand's two HD channels, but will feature more channels in the future.
If D* and E* (and eventually VOOM) did not offer HDNet, I would be closer to agreeing with your point. But they do. And if TWC can carry and does carry HDNet, more and more Comcast HD customers will expect Comcast to carry it (unless Comcast has a legitmate reason for not carrying it).
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post #18 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 12:37 PM
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I think it's great the the Marketing guy keith mispelled "out" vs. "our"
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post #19 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 01:49 PM
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Comcast=ESPN-HD
TWC=HDNET


Comcast in having ESPN-HD for awhile has NOT forced TWC to do anything.

Time Warner Cable in having Discovery-HD has not forced Comcast to do anything.





YET:D
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post #20 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 03:58 PM
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No one "forces" anyone to do anything. Just think about it for a while, you will start to figure it out.

It is spelled C O M P E T I T I O N. Competition does not force anyone to do anything-- it just incentivizes them to do certain things.
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post #21 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 04:06 PM
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The only thing that will force cable companies to add more stations is competition. And I agree that the competition will not come from other cable companies (unless they compete in the same location), but from satellite operators.

The problem for most of us in big cities (I live in NYC) is that the vast majority of us have no choice. Very few NYC residents are able to receive a satellite signal (must have an apartment with southwest exposure, plus be high enough so that you have a clear angle) and not many buildings are wired for both TWC and RCN.

TWCNYC's HD offerings lag behind nearly every other TWC affiliate and their customer service stinks in other regards unrelated to HD. We don't have INHD or HDNet nor does anyone I've spoken with know when we're getting them. Actually no one's even heard of the press release, the HD tier or the planned additions.

I truly believe that TWCNYC just doesn't care. We've all dealt with poor customer service from time to time, but I've lived here for five plus years and NEVER had a good experience with TWCNYC. But what are we going to do? Our choice is either to live with their lame offerings (compared to satellite and other TWC affiliates) or live without cable TV.

TWC in general may consider itself the industry leader in high definition services, but obviously they haven't tried speaking to one of their representatives in New York City, most of whom know literally nothing about HDTV. Nor have they had technicians (yes, more than one) hook up an HD box to an HD set using only S-Video cables because they "give the best HD picture."

And yesterday we got this pleasant news: TWCNYC's contract with MSG Network and Fox Sports NY is up on 1/1/04. Cablevision (which owns the networks) has rejected the last TWCNYC proposal and if the situation is not resolved by January 1, the channels will disappear. I know how contract negotiations are, so I'm not laying the blame for this at TWCNYC's feet. Nor am I solely blaming TWC for not having ESPNHD. But I wish I had a choice in the matter so I could select a provider who gives me programming I want. With no competition, why should TWCNYC give even an inch to make their customers happy? We can't go anywhere else anyway.
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post #22 of 62 Old 12-18-2003, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
We don't have INHD or HDNet nor does anyone I've spoken with know when we're getting them. Actually no one's even heard of the press release, the HD tier or the planned additions.
Jergan's - reading your post I realize that TW in NY is not as good as in Charlotte. However, it might make you feel better to know that everyone I have talked to in person or here states that TW SUCKS when it comes to informing their customers. The CSR's here are totally clueless and don't know about new channels ever. In addition to this I know several TW markets that doesn't have inhd yet and we haven't heard when they will put on HDNet. I think the good thing is they will since it is national agreements, the bad thing is that the local markets decide when. Also remember that NY is a much harder place to do upgrades to the system than for instance Charlotte or Raleigh. You got to deal with stricter zoning rules and Unions etc etc - the market decides what service you get as well....

And while it sucks if you loose MSG - we don't have a contract with a local provider of sports........so there are ups and downs in every area and while TW NY might not be as good as the others it is a lot better than many other cable companies..............
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post #23 of 62 Old 12-19-2003, 03:30 PM
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HDNET and HDNET Movies have been added to the Time Warner Cable system in Columbia, Sumter, and Orangeburg South Carolina. We now have INHD,INHD2,HDNET ,and HDNET Movies. It is part of a HD tier and the cost is $6.95 a month, but will not be charged till March 1st. We still need ESPN-HD ,but a lot seems to be happening.
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post #24 of 62 Old 12-19-2003, 08:24 PM
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$6.95 a month! Here in Portland, Maine we are charged $9.95 for the HD tier (INHD 1 & 2, HDNet & HDNet Movies)....of course there is no charge for HBO-HD, SHO-HD, Disc-HD and PBS-HD.
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post #25 of 62 Old 12-19-2003, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kevinivey
HDNET and HDNET Movies have been added to the Time Warner Cable system in Columbia, Sumter, and Orangeburg South Carolina. We now have INHD,INHD2,HDNET ,and HDNET Movies. It is part of a HD tier and the cost is $6.95 a month, but will not be charged till March 1st. We still need ESPN-HD ,but a lot seems to be happening.
The same situation prevails with TWC in Syracuse, NY.
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post #26 of 62 Old 12-19-2003, 11:13 PM
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None of the Southern California Time Warner Cable websites list DiscoveryHD in their channel lineups.

Is anyone receiving it via TimeWarner in SoCal?

I think I might switch from E* if I can keep DiscoveryHD...

Robert Clark
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post #27 of 62 Old 12-20-2003, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Clark
None of the Southern California Time Warner Cable websites list DiscoveryHD in their channel lineups.

Is anyone receiving it via TimeWarner in SoCal?

I think I might switch from E* if I can keep DiscoveryHD...


I'm getting it here with TWC-Orange County as part of the HDTV Basic Package. Discovery HD is on Channel 1120.

If you want INHD1, INHD2,HDNet, and HDNet Movies you have to call them up and tell them you want to add the HDTV Plus package. It is $9.95 a month. They also are showing select Fox Sports West shows in HD on either channel 1105 or 1182. They showed the Lakers game tonight in HD it looked great.
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post #28 of 62 Old 12-20-2003, 04:51 AM
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Remember TWC is like thousands of "Mom and PoP" stores running a cable network. Each community store has to decide to carry anthing new in HD first and this usually takes months or even years.Good luck. I waited almost two years before finally cutting the cable and going to Direct TV where all these HD channels are available. Of course CBS,NBC,ABC & PBS in HDTV are all available free to anyone with an HD converter box and antenna. And when TWC finally adds these HD packages it will cost much more than satellite. About $120 per month for cable vs. about $85 for the same thing plus more HDTV on Direct TV.

Former VOOMER.....now former DISH-er
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post #29 of 62 Old 12-20-2003, 06:25 AM
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I've been waiting since April for my local TWC to launch any HD programming. Supposedly they are in final testing. If they can supply me with Fox sports HD and INHD i'll turn the cable back on. If they add ESPNHD to the mix now that they have HDNet, I'll probably dump my D* when my year expires!
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post #30 of 62 Old 12-20-2003, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Griz92867
I'm getting it here with TWC-Orange County as part of the HDTV Basic Package. Discovery HD is on Channel 1120.

If you want INHD1, INHD2,HDNet, and HDNet Movies you have to call them up and tell them you want to add the HDTV Plus package. It is $9.95 a month. They also are showing select Fox Sports West shows in HD on either channel 1105 or 1182. They showed the Lakers game tonight in HD it looked great.
Thanks!

That is fantastic news!

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