I sent the following email to Bob Watson yesterday morning. I'll let you know when/if I hear back from him. I apologize if any points were omitted.
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 10:41 AM
To: 'Watson, Robert'
Subject: HD Questions
I am writing on behalf of the TWCNYC High Definition Programming Forum on the Audio Visual Science Forums Website (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...c&pagenumber=1
). You have been very helpful to individual members who have had questions in the past. We hope that by writing as a group, you will only have to answer these questions once.
1. You have mentioned in the past that TWCNYC is unable to add any HD channels at this time (specifically HDNet, HDNet Movies, INHD and INHD2, stations that are carried by other TWC affiliates) due to the lack of available bandwidth in the TWCNYC system. You previously mentioned that TWCNYC hopes to have additional bandwidth available "sometime in 2004." Are you able to provide a more accurate estimate at this time? Did the recent elimination of 5 PPV stations free up any bandwidth that will be used for additional HD stations?
2. Once additional bandwidth is available, what are Time Warner Cable's and TWCNYC's plans for adding high definition stations in 2004? We are aware of the ongoing negotiations between Time Warner and ESPN regarding ESPNHD. Locally, we are interested in any news regarding the carriage of WPIX-DT (WB Network), WWOR-DT (UPN) and MSGHD. Nationally, are there any plans to add StarzHD, EncoreHD, CinemaxHD, TNTHD (once it begins broadcasting) or any other high definition stations in the near future?
3. Are there any plans to add a high definition PPV channel in the near future, or is that a longer term initiative?
4. The group also has a number of technical questions. I realize that you are VP Programming & New Business Development, so these questions may be better addressed to someone else. If you know of someone to whom we may address these questions, please let me know. In the meantime, we are wondering why the rollout date of the HD-PVR was moved back from "first quarter of 2004" to "late 2004" (the change was made to TWCNYC.com over the weekend). Everyone is anxiously awaiting the HD-PVR box so we will finally be able to timeshift high definition programming.
We greatly appreciate any feedback you are able to provide. We realize that some of this information may be confidential or sensitive and that you may not be able to provide answers to all of our questions. We understand the bandwidth and technology-related hurdles that TWCNYC faces today. However many of us are getting impatient. With RCN's recent addition of CBSHD to their lineup, which already includes ESPNHD, INHD and HDNet (in addition to all other HD stations TWCNYC provides), many of us have the opportunity to switch to a cable service that currently provides superior high definition programming. RCN will also have an HD-DVR available before TWCNYC.
The members of the TWCNYC High Definition Programming Forum are anxious to learn any information that you are able to provide about TWCNYC's high definition programming plans. We sincerely appreciate your time and thank you in advance for any information that you share with us.
Thank you again,