Yet another reason HDTV won't catch on.....TWC. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-05-2001, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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In June, I noticed on my TWC Digital guide that HBO & Showtime went online in HD. I said "oooooh". I called TWC here (Winston-Salem, NC) and asked about it. I was told that they were in a "test period" and that it should be ready to go in 30 days. I ask if I can get on a waiting list like y'all in NYC and was told there was none.

In July, I bought a WEGA HD-ready TV and called them up. "It'll be 30 days" said the monotone on the other end. OK, so I wait. I ask if I can get on a waiting list and was told there was none.

In August, I call at the beginning of the month. Now there is an HDTV PTV demo loop listed "It'll be 30 days" said the monotone on the other end. OK, so I wait. I ask if I can get on a waiting list and was told there was none.

I call again two weeks ago. "It'll be 30 days" said the monotone on the other end. I ask to speak with the tech. director. I get the customer service lady. I am assured that there will be 20-30 Explorer 2100HD boxes the first of September. There is now a waiting list and I am #1. Cool, I say to myself, right in time for football...

So I call today, and guess what? 27 WEEKS is the new number I get as to when the boxes will be in. They put the freaking channels on the system, but cannot or will not give me the means to watch them.. I WANT to pay the extra. I want to deal with inept installers. But no, I have to wait sdix freaking months to get my freaking box.

If I had not just bought the new TV, DVD changer, and Pronto remote, maybe there would be a chance of setting up a disn system, but what do you think the wife will do? Leave me. With my toys and gadgets, without the extra paycheck. I'm screwed!

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post #2 of 17 Old 09-05-2001, 01:21 PM
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"Yet another reason HDTV won't catch on.....TWC."

A reason from today why your wrong:
The formal announcement of HDNet.

I don't mean to belittle your opinion, but when you make pronouncements that do not consider the greater scope of information available, it's hard to take you seriously.

On the other hand, I fully sympathize with your predicament. The problem with just about every program provider (DBS, cableco, OTA stations) is that they do not know about, and in many cases do not care about, proper customer communication.

My suggestion to you is this; find out who is the highest ranking employee of TWC in your area. I would make an appointment with this individual, have a written document outlining your dealings with his poorly run company, receipts showing the investment you made based on the information you were given by them, and explain that if he does not rectify this problem you plan on going to your local sanctioning authority (city, township, county, etc.) and petition them to remove their license to operate in your area.

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[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 09-05-2001).]

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #3 of 17 Old 09-05-2001, 01:48 PM
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roland6465,

I feel your pain. I was told the same thing about a 4-6 week wait period, but they said they would put me on the list. Ever since then I kept calling to see where on the list I was and no reply.

Finally I got a hold of the person responsible for the list and they said I was not on it, but would put me on it. I am #260 some out of #360 some.

Now the kicker - they have not received any new units for install since January!! The ones they have received since then went to replace defective ones already installed. I was told that they were having a manufacturing problem and they were not shipping, but should be shipping soon. So until I get confirmation of this, I have put my Panny order on hold.

On a side note - I felt your response of HD not catching on was just a frustration statement, not to be taken literally.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-05-2001, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Good points all, but nobody will make appointments. I have left at least a dozen voicemails, and have yet to be returned.

I give up. I'm going dish soon. HDNet looks like just what I need. I'm not about to wait 6 months for HD here, and then another probable year to get it on cable. I'm sick with dealing with these idiots. I quit. It's dish for me from here on out.

I didn't mean to be so broad, but I had just gotten off the phone with them, and I needed to vent.

In summary: HDTV good. Time-Warner Triad bad. Idiots amock. Dish for me.

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-05-2001, 11:01 PM
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I was quoted "two to six months" for my cable box swap-out. That was a couple of weeks ago; I don't think I'm going to make it. I would hope that there will be more programming available by that time, but who knows?

Another problem for most people using TW is that we would need to make a significant investment in cabling and a reciever when going to dish. I'm facing over $1000 just to get started with a dish and HD reception, plus I'd lose my cable modem hookup if I disconnected completely.

Argh, this is frustrating. --Karl
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-06-2001, 10:39 AM
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Ken,
I think you made an excellent suggestion to get some action. Even if they do not return your calls, document the attempts to contact them. After a "good faith" effort, present your case to the local authority and most likely they will help you out.

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-06-2001, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Major Astro:
I'm facing over $1000 just to get started with a dish and HD reception, plus I'd lose my cable modem hookup if I disconnected completely.
Easy there carl. You can buy Dish model 6023 kits that will get you in business for a mere $450 or so (after rebate) . . . not $1000. And there is no need to get rid of your cable modem. I still use my local cable co for my @Home cable modem service (until they go bankrupt ;-) ) and I get my TV from Dish Network. The cable co will just come & install a filter that filters out the TV frequencies.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-06-2001, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Major Astro:
Another problem for most people using TW is that we would need to make a significant investment in cabling and a reciever when going to dish. I'm facing over $1000 just to get started with a dish and HD reception, plus I'd lose my cable modem hookup if I disconnected completely.

Argh, this is frustrating. --Karl
$1000 seems high. You can get a brand new RCA DTC-100 HD receiver and elliptical dish for less than $500 (even less than $400 if you search harder).

You can keep the cable modem without having cable TV - that's what I'm doing. There are also cabling short-cuts. For example, my cable modem and second satellite receiver are upstairs in my home office. Instead of having two co-ax cables (one for cable modem and the other for satellite), I'm using a pair of diplexors to combine/separate the cable modem signal and the satellite voltage/signal onto a shared cable.

Incendently, don't believe all the hype that you MUST have RG-6 cable over RG-59. I've been using 60 feet of RG-59 cable between my dish and my main satellite receiver in the living room since June '96 and it has worked flawlessly.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-06-2001, 06:01 PM
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Thanks for the helpful comments, but if the aim is to dump TW and get more HD programming isn't it better to go with DirecTV since they have added "HDNET"?

--Karl
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-06-2001, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Major Astro:
Thanks for the helpful comments, but if the aim is to dump TW and get more HD programming isn't it better to go with DirecTV since they have added "HDNET"?
Depends on what you are into. I'm into movies, not sports, so Dish Network is better for me.

Dish Network: HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, CBS-HD, 24hour PPV, & demo channel

DirecTV: HBO-HD, HDNET, & . . I think that's it. (Didn't they kill the demo/PPV channel to make room for HDNET?)
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-07-2001, 05:53 PM
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To be fair to TWC, at least they ARE testing HD service. If you were using AT&T cable, your only hope would be if someone bought them out.

The current Scientific Atlanta 2000HD boxes we use in the NYC "test" have problems (no Dolby Digital, occaisonally loss of on screen guides). If your system is using Scientific Atlanta, perhaps the 6 month lead time is for the new 3100HD.

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post #12 of 17 Old 09-09-2001, 04:00 PM
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I spoke with TWC in Raleigh last week and they told me at least February 2002 for an HD box. I feel like a pig, I have 2 but need a third one now. The boxes are crappy though. If I could see the future of Directv and Dish I would bite the bullet and buy a box. The biggest problem I have with TWC's service is that all the lower channels in my area are analog video and audio.

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post #13 of 17 Old 09-10-2001, 01:49 PM
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Roland 6465: Gee, I'm sorry for the trouble you guys are having in Raleigh/Durham. Here in Houston, TWC kicked off digital cable last January. I joined up the end of August, thinking the kinks were out. They weren't, but I got help from a Houston TWC employee who posts on another forum. This was absolutely KEY to getting my stuff working correctly.

He found the RIGHT box with the RIGHT software for ABC and PBS (eventually)and put them aside for me to pick up. We use a General Instruments box down here - the DCT2000. The high def box is also by General Instruments (HDD-200). The problem TWC has here is that so many people are getting digital/hi def that they are using contract installers - most of whom don't have a clue. I had a total of 5 service calls in 2.5 weeks to get things running.

However, it's all been worthwhile. The hi def channels are glorious. Most viewers in the Houston area at least need amplifiers (extra installation and product cost). The theory is that our heat causes signal problems. I don't know if I believe this or not, but signal dropouts have been greatly reduced since my amp was installed. Hi def signals used to began falling out mid-afternoon to early evening. Aarrgghh.

Are there still problems? Yep. Sunday night no hi def channels available period. Supposedly, an outtage. Thank God my husband wasn't home to give me "The Look" about all the new equipment I've bought! Well, I've been on the bleeding edge of technology before and survived - if barely. Guess I can take it <g>.
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-10-2001, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I talked to the "technical director" in charge of Greensboro/Winston-Salem the other day and was told that the reason for the holdup was "all the boxes from Scientific Atlanta were bad". When I came back that I know of people in Lincoln, NYC, and other markets were rolling along with the exact same box, all I got was mumbling. He now says he's not even sure they will go HD at all in the next year.

I have talked to two alleged "tech people", three "customer service managers", and everyone in between. All I have talked to are either clueless, or acts (IMO) like they're not telling me the whole story.

As there are no local affiliates broadcasting in HD in the near future, I'm going the Direct TV route in a few months (after I pay off a few bills) and pull in HD network feeds OTA from Raleigh & Charlotte. I am past my limit with the TV division of TWC, and will drop them like I need to drop the cigarettes ASAP.

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post #15 of 17 Old 09-11-2001, 11:45 AM
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What I have heard about the SA boxes generally are: they are in very limited production; are essentially hand made (not mass produced per se'); are expensive to produce (i.e. no profit); and many have had 5.1 audio problems. This is from a TW source though not a local one; local experts are indeed hard to find.

Our town of 50k is part of the TW system out of Columbia SC and I am one of three local subscribers with the HD box. We currently get HBO, SHO and SCETV/PBS. I am slightly hopeful that ABC will start passing HD over the air this year and and will be added to the cable and that CBS will follow next year.

My box did have a period of lock ups but even that has gone away and has been working fine now for several weeks now. So overall my experience has been pretty darn positive.

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post #16 of 17 Old 09-11-2001, 09:57 PM
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This is riduculous.

There are things that I don't like about Time Warner Cable, but they are a PIONEER of HDTV distribution. Every cable company in the company should try to be more like Time Warner in this respect. On top of that, Time Warner's digital SDTV channels have better PQ than current DBS satellite! Upgrading cable infrastructure takes much more time than doing it via satellite, and Time Warner does not engineer or make the cable boxes.

If you have to vent, bitch out Scientific Atlanta.
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-25-2001, 10:11 AM
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I live in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area.

There are some things I dislike about TWC, but must say they are trying to provide HDTV in the area. (Can't really believe that I am defending TWC). Last December I called TWC about digital cable, Roadrunner and HD. Luckily I spoke with a rep who was knowledgeable in the subject. He put me on the waiting list for a HD cable box and provided me with a lot of information.

I have been watching HDTV from TWC since February. And they have been transmitting any HD feed that you might get.

The problem is getting more Scientific Atlanta HD boxes. SA is the only company providing TWC with HD cable boxes. I got one of the SA 2000HD and know about its shortcomings. I was told there are several 100 people on the waiting list, for when TWC gets any more HD boxes.

If anyone in the Raleigh area has questions and would like a contact in TWC who knows about HD, email me. Since this is not his primary job, I don't think it would be right to post it here for all complaints.
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