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Portland, ME - HDTV - Page 6

post #151 of 4993
Hello all, longtime lurker, new poster.....I also emailed TWC here in Maine recently regarding HDTV offerings in the near future. Here is the response I received:

Hi Mike,
I spoke with our engineering department and this is the information they forwarded to me:
Technically we have everything in place and are ready to air additional HDTV programming, other than the HBO and Showtime channels we currently offer. In regard to our local broadcast stations (ABC, NBC, CBS), they are only airing approximately 4 hours a day of HD programming. We are waiting for them to increase the amount of this programming before they have one channel designated for HD programming. As far as ESPN and other cable networks' HD programming, our corporate offices are working on those agreements.

Sincerely,
Laurie Russell
Customer Care


Also, I'm sure that many of you have noticed from the HDTV Programming forum that TWC just announced the addition of Discovery HD and InDemand, although it is not clear whether that will be nationwide.
post #152 of 4993
My nose was itching....

Well, I'm a Mainer now.... Have moved in to the house in Greene on Sabattus Pond.

DirecTV is a much more attractive programming source now that they have announced creation of the HDTV Package (HDTV Package. ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater, HDNet and HDNet Movies for $10.99/month. Starts July 1. Add to this PPV and NFL Sunday Ticket HD games. Not so shabby (although I probably won't be able to afford/justify a Sunday Ticket subscription). Too bad they aren't adding any HD OTA network programming yet.

I haven't got an antenna up yet, and my TV is in the basement, so reception right now is poor. With my indoor set top antenna, I am only able to pick up strong broadcasts from analog Fox 23 and digital PBS 17-1,2,3,4. I'm going to talk to the DirecTV installers (from Austin Electronics in Buckfield) about the cost of installing an antenna. I'm waffeling between a Winegard 88" 7015A UHF/VHF/FM antenna and a 78" PR-9022 UHF only antenna --

The 9022 is significantly better for UHF, but for now I also need the VHF analog channels, PLUS there is always the chance that when the analog switch is turned off that NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS will relocate their DTV signals to the then opened VHF channels (I understand from a discussion with a station engineer that VHF operating costs are considerably lower than UHF costs).

I should say that this is a turnaround from my comments a few posts up this thread. While DTV broadcasts in Maine are presently UHF-only, I had forgotten that this will probably change after analog goes away. While in the short run all one needs for DTV is a good UHF antenna, I think Redinger's point about UHF/VHF was probably right.


I'll get a rotator and signal amplifier. I'll see what the cost is like before I think about going to a larger antenna.


Ciao,



Joe
post #153 of 4993
Yep..looks like DirectTV for me too and an antenna for OTA. I knew I shouldn't have just gotten the OTA only STB! Alas....too bad TWC can't even blow a little sunshine at us!
post #154 of 4993
I think we need to put more pressure on TW Maine. Many of the other TW cable cos. around the US are carring the local DT channels with the same national HD content along with many other cable companies (Comcast down in Boston and Manchester, NH are carrying most of the local DT channels, NBC, ABC, PBS). So this '4 hours of content' excuse does not cut the mustard, ie others are doing it, plus the stations in ME are now broadcasting for 12 hours per day (alot of non HD stuff is upconverted). Another point is that most all TV viewing is done during the 4 hour prime time window at night. The cable head end in TW Maine is sufficient to support the bandwidth (I think it is 750 Mhz 256QAM) which many other TW and other cable cos. are using with good success carrying the local DT channels. TW Maine has been progressive in many ways (Road Runner was introduced back in early 1996, far ahead of the national curve) but they are just dragging their feet on this one.....
post #155 of 4993
Thread Starter 
It's going to be a long battle. Once a corporate decision is made, it takes more time and money to establish an HD feed from the stations. Cox where live in VA has been working on this for 9 months since their announcement and still no HD.
post #156 of 4993
Perhaps with the latest flurry of annoucements it will take little more time before TW Maine will officially add the new channels. From the HD Programming threads, Discovery will start in July, and INDemand in the Fall. I even saw a passing ESPN-HD rumour in there. As for the locals, I guess we stick to OTA.
Doesn't look like I'm moving into new digs until August so hopefully the picture will be clearer then (pun intended).
post #157 of 4993
Consider me ready for the call of duty in putting more pressure on TWC. I really don't want to make the switch to D* (although Sunday Ticket is awful inviting). switherman or anyone else, do you have a contact at TWC that is more direct than the general help email? A manager or PR type perhaps?
post #158 of 4993
Also, jkurlanski, as I stated a few posts up, I don't think that there has been any indication that the Discovery and InDemand deals recently announced by TWC are nationwide. I would like to think that they were, but the Fox Sports announcements that were market specific (and not inclusive of Southern Maine - no Sox in HD!) make me nervous.
post #159 of 4993
Good point meander. I'd like to hope that if Discovery-HD is being added at no charge (or so the annoucement went) they would atleast pass that on. All speculation for now! But count me in on the call ups too. I'd like to pretend I'd have some influence since I'm going to be picking a new provider.
And as for the Sox, I'll have a last hurrah down here in Philly when Boston is in town. The game Friday night the 20th here will be in HD on Comcast Sportsnet-HD. Going to be missing that. Not to make anyone laugh, but any word on NESN?
post #160 of 4993
Thread Starter 
I see that Channel 13 DT is off the air again tonight. Back to old problems I guess.
post #161 of 4993
Thread Starter 
Rechecked at 9pm and signal was very weak on DT13. Just barely popping up a picture every now and then.
post #162 of 4993
I took a shot and emailed sports@nesn.com. The good news is I received a reply! (something Time Warner Cable hasn't done yet) The bad news is I got a reply:

Dear Mr. Kurlanski:

Thank you for your email letter.

Currently, NESN does not have any plans to broadcast in HDTV. However,
NESN is always looking to improve. NESN may broadcast in HDTV in the
future.

Sincerely,
Customer Relations
post #163 of 4993
Well, I emailed TWC again, this time specifically regarding the recent Discovery announcement and whether Portland would be adding that, and here is the reponse I recieved:

Yes we will be launching it in the fall! Corporate is also negotiating with espn high definition but no dates have been issued. We are also waiting for the local channels to have more programming. We are looking for 20 hours of programming per channel because we will dedicate one channel to the high definition programming. Thanks for asking!
Sincerely,
Laurie Russell


Good news, at least on the Discovery front. Not so much on the local channel front though. Baby steps.....
post #164 of 4993
Thread Starter 
20 hours of DT programming for locals is a long way off if ever.
post #165 of 4993
enlighten me...do they mean 20 hours per week or per day? I would think, with most of CBS primetime in HD, they would surpass that...
post #166 of 4993
Received this e-mail from Laurie at TW of Maine. It appears are e-mails are working. Not a lot of details, but it appears that the locals in HD are coming!

Hi Dave,
Recieved great news last night. We will be going ahead and adding the local channels that are broadcasting in HDTV to our digital tier line up very soon! The requests have been coming in, and they took notice! Look for an email in the next couple of weeks announcing the details.

Sincerely,
Laurie Russell
Customer Care
post #167 of 4993
SWEET! Thats great news.
Darey1: what email address are you using for TWC? I was about to just try the info@twmaine.com again since I didn't get a response to my first message. Some sort of "Second attempt - please reply" message. I was going to be specific about Discovery, the locals, and HDNet. Also, their web site HD FAQ specifically says they would be adding Maine PBS when they went digital, which I believe it now has.
post #168 of 4993
jkurlanski, I have been using this email to get info from Laurie. I'm surprised they answer me back, I have written so many time since February, when I purchase my HDTV. In fact, last night when I wrote, I mentioned what a popular subject TWC on this forum. Address: laurie.russell@twcmaine.com

Maine PBS is infact Digital and all 4 channels are on the digital tier, so they haven't lied yet. What isn't there is the HD feed of their programming and I don't know if it available. Can someone out there fill us in on the Maine PBS HD Feed?
post #169 of 4993
jkurlanski, here is the address I have been using for laurie:

laurie.russell@twcmaine.com

that's great news, darey, let's keep the pressure on!
post #170 of 4993
oops, you beat me to it darey!
post #171 of 4993
Figures - just last month I cancelled my TW subscription, and told them my reason was because I wanted HD programming and they only offered HBO & Showtime. If only they had told me to wait a month.
post #172 of 4993
redinger, I know your frustration, but unless you have DBS to fall back on, I wouldn't consider dumping TW. Although, I have debated with myself for a long time of getting an OTA STB, I just could not justify the cost knowing that someday, TW would be carrying the locals in HD. I have written several times to TW telling them that other divisions of TW were carrying the locals, so why can't we. I visit the other TW sites looking for justification to entice our TW folks to add channels. It finally, with everyone elses help, seems to be paying off. Of course, all the announcements out of the National Cable Trade Show in Chicago about HD, probably didn't hurt our pleas. I'll be anxiously waiting for that e-mail Laurie is talking about for the locals. Now, if only corporate will come to some sort of arrangement with ESPN HD - I think many of us would be in heaven.
post #173 of 4993
Here in Philly I had to finally bite the bullet and get an OTA STB because Comcast and CBS couldn't (and still can't) come to an agreement. I finally got pushed over the line when the AFC championships were on CBS. I hope very much to be putting it up on EBay when I move into new digs in Cumberland in August.
And thanks all for the address. I sent Laurie an email requesting info about the status of HD with TW of Maine. Dropped the "I just can't justify going with TW with their limited HD offerings." I sincerely hope they are beginning to realize that their big ticket consumers (I've got a $100+ cable bill now) will be fleeing in droves if they don't keep up the pace with the satellite companies regarding HD. Of course, I'll let you know what I hear. Lets hope its all good!
post #174 of 4993
Poor Laurie is probably going to get quit a few emails today

Quote:


Hi Chris,
Wow! Word travels fast! We just got word last night that we will be adding
the local channels that are broadcasting in high definition to our digital tier.

Thanks for the info darey. (By the way - you have a private message)

Quote:


Originally posted by darey1
redinger, I know your frustration, but unless you have DBS to fall back on, I wouldn't consider dumping TW. Although, I have debated with myself for a long time of getting an OTA STB, I just could not justify the cost knowing that someday, TW would be carrying the locals in HD.

I honestly thought that 'someday' would be at least a year away. We kept hearing the same thing, that they wanted a certain threshold of programming that seemed unreasonable. So, I picked up an OTA tuner to get my locals in HD and figured I'd be cable-free for a year or so. I figured that $200 for a used Samsung was worth it for a year. Worst case, I figure I can still recover some money from Ebay. At least now I'll be able to compare the TW feed with the OTA feed and see if the compression is noticeable.

In regards to ESPN-HD, originally I was worried that even if/when corporate TW hammered out a deal, we still wouldn't get it for a while. I'm feeling a little more positive now that they are taking this step.

So now we can start pestering for more programming: ESPN-HD on TWC, ABC and WB to get their HD feeds, Fox to get it's "Faux HD", CBS to get 5.1. Anything else?
post #175 of 4993
I just got a reply from Laurie too. Same "Word travels fast!" She confirmed the locals announcment and Discovery-HD. No word on InDemand. I asked her for some clarification on "adding the locals to the digital tier" I wanted to make sure they would be passing the HD along, and not just rebroadcasting the Digital signal. It would be strange to do that (could they even?), and certainly a step above the analog, but it would still be just SD. But we're looking good!
post #176 of 4993
Wow! What a few weeks of great news for HD fans! ESPN-HD by football season is next on my wishlist....imagine Thurdsay and Saturday night college football, NFL Game of the Week on CBS on Sunday (certainly with a few Pats games chosen) finishing with Sunday night football - all in HD! Now if we can only get WMTW (ABC) on the ball. On that note, does anyone have an email contact at WMTW that we can bug? At least to take the heat off of Laurie a bit!
post #177 of 4993
Laurie has been very helpful and confirmed that the local stations will be HD when the programming is available in HD (which we all know isn't all the time). I again extended an invitation to the forum and to post info as it becomes official, and, from a customer service perspective, to find out about any issues we may run into in the future in advance of our tirades. I hope she accepts. At the least, it should save her some emails!
Great stuff today!
post #178 of 4993
This is very good news indeed! The local HD channels and Discovery HD (and a maybe on ESPN-HD) on TWC. I may also have an extra HD STB but I am not ready to let D* go yet. The HD package just announced on D* probably can hold me over until TWC gets ESPN HD.

I will send an email to Laurie at TWC with congrats and request for even more channels!

I have emailed Amy Picucci at WMTW regarding HDTV, her email address is below.

wmtwviewerlink@wmtw.com
post #179 of 4993
Hey Folks, It's been a great day for HDTV in Southern Maine. Let's just hope that TWC doesn't drag their feet getting these channels on the system. It was fun being able to break the news. I just wrote to them last night after reading the thread about 20 hours of HD before they would put the locals on. I sent a nice long e-mail and low and behold I got that news back this morning. I have to admit, that I sometimes get frustrated walking into the office to pay the bill and don't get very good answers from their CSR, but Laurie has been a "God Send" and I sure hope she takes jkurlanski's invitation and joins our forum. She has been a big help. Well, off to watch some HDTV. If anyone hears anything, run it up here ASAP for all of us to enjoy. This is a great forum and I read it several times a day.
post #180 of 4993
Good Afternoon,

Received an email from Laurie @ TWC. It follows:

Update.. The Discovery channel in high definition will be on very soon channel 550! Keep an eye on it. Anyday now!
Laurie

Also, asked on the status of the locals. Will post after an answer.
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