First, thanks to Obie_FL, Barry928 and others for trying to keep the facts at the forefront of this discussion. Your comments reinforce for me the value of my participation here.
Regarding Pace box availability: What the CSR's have been saying is essentially correct. They have no ability to get you one, and no visibility to what method the engineers and field operations people use to determine where the new boxes go. If you look back several pages in the thread, I said pretty clearly that the Pace box is in a "trial" status and being put into a controlled number of homes.
My advice is be patient, and allow us to get these issues resolved, then we'll figure out a way to work swapouts (I owe my boss a plan on this very subject). It still has some bugs (DVI over some HDCP capable sets being one of them) and we're working through them. To demand immediate deployment and then complain that the box is buggy is counter-productive. We'll do full deployment when it's ready.
mhdiab -- Time Warner has NOT taken the position that it is illegal to charge extra for digital versions of basic channels (I used to work for them in the same capacity), because it's not true. (I've had this discussion indepth with our attorneys). Their position is that they shouldn't have to pay to carry digital versions of programming they already pay for in analog, so that they can pass these channels on to the customer for no extra charge (above the regular digital service). We were able to do that with Discovery and the locals. With INHD and HDNet, it's new content we were not carrying elsewhere, so it's in a tier for an additional fee.
As far as "tier buy through", that does not apply either. Here's the FCC's fact sheet: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-231469A1.pdf.
Essentially, that means if you want to buy any of the premium services, I can't require you to buy the standard or digital tier first. So if you want only basic cable and HBO, you can do that. You have to pay the published "rate card" rates for each, and rent a set top box and remote, lose the guide, but you can do it.
But it doesn't mean that we have to sell any specific channel a la carte. And since the Digital Broadcast channels are part of the Digital tier, they are not subject to this. And since HBO-HD and SHO-HD are the same content, just different resolution, as SD HBO and SHO, they aren't subject either. INHD and HDNet are a separate tier, so they also aren't subject.
Oh, and by the way, nearly our entire service area has been determined to be subject to "Effective Compeition" (mentioned in the FCC sheet), so we aren't required to comply with "Tier buy through" anyway. But, in the interest of our customers, we're voluntarily complying anyway.
I've probably made this point before, but I'll repeat it. Find another cable company (or even Division of a cable company), that has embraced HDTV as much as we have. We were certainly the leading division when we were part of Time Warner, and we continue that path. We could be doing 84 more channels of standard definition programming, but we believe HD is important to our customers. We'll continue to make improvements as they come available. It will never be perfect, but we're doing our best -- and I think we've done pretty well.