or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › Local HDTV Info and Reception › New York, NY - RCN
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New York, NY - RCN - Page 13

post #361 of 592
I'm glad to see this forum has some life again.

Quote:


Actually I will be looking forward to viewing CNN in HD. When you consider the amount of time people spend watching the news, this is a must have!!!

I've seen CNN HD - it isn't all that. The CNN programming originating from the Atlanta studios is still SD and most of their field work is still SD.

Quote:


Gotta love the priority RCN gave to putting up all these new HD channels... and the 'coming soon' ones are the ones that should have been on first.... I just dont need any of the news channels in HD while we have to wait for good stuff like Sci-Fi HD ... even Food HD should have been a secondary HD channel... food still looks tasty enough in SD....

I'm not defending RCN on this, but understand that they are a business. For every household they service, they pay a fee for each station. Some stations are cheaper (Food) than others (ESPN). To keep the bookkeeping simpler, they tend to only launch new channels at the beginning of a calendar quarter or the beginning of a month. Since the Analog Crush turn-ons are broken up into nodes over several weeks, it makes sense that RCN is waiting until everyone is switched.

Interestingly, it seems like RCN has actually put some money into this. To do the staggered turn-ons, RCN had to either build a second head-end or install lots of extra equipment to put all those channels on different numbers. And they have informed TMS (the listings people) of the update - there is a RCN-Rebuild lineup that seems to be current.

The real question for those that have been upgraded: Can you receive anything without a box? Is the Clear QAM completely gone?
post #362 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

EDIT: Looks to me, from the pdf lineup, that the four premium channels are now HD for virtually all of the premium 'flavors' within each premiium group! That's a remarkable boost in movie premium channels!

the HBO and Starz HD lineups pretty much cover most of the 'flavors' but not so much with Cinemax and Showtime (Cinemax HD covers 3 out of 8 channels and Showtime HD covers 2 out of 5)...not that I'm complaining--big improvement over what they used to offer

pretty much every station is on a new channel now...have to use the phamplet a lot nowadays to find my channels...had my favorites memorized previously but now it requires some new learning...this really was a major undertaking by RCN and they deserve a lot of credit...it doesn't matter whether it was the increased competition from TWC or FIOS, at least they stepped up and delivered a great product which is probably better then anything else out there currently except for DirectTV (in terms of HD as well as standard content)

the NASA and Pentagon channels are pretty nice...would love to see NASA in HD
post #363 of 592
Called RCN again to confirm price estimate I made (above) and learned there's a separate "HD Premiums" with the 2 HDNets and 5 other HDs (see pdf lineup). Rep at first said my midtown East building wasn't ready but then checked her source and found it was ready to go. She also added that most of the analogs were gone but I didn't ask about free HD QAMs since I would order RCN's STB for the HD.
post #364 of 592
the 'HD Premium' set are the only channels I do not receive...don't think it's worth an extra $7 for those 5 channels that I barely will ever watch (the only one out of those 5 that I watch is Discovery Theatre and also HDNet a bit)

my understanding of the analog crush was that RCN converted to all digital, meaning no more analog channels at all
post #365 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

the 'HD Premium' set are the only channels I do not receive...don't think it's worth an extra $7 for those 5 channels that I barely will ever watch (the only one out of those 5 that I watch is Discovery Theatre and also HDNet a bit)

my understanding of the analog crush was that RCN converted to all digital, meaning no more analog channels at all

Yeah it sucks!... HDnet and it Movies channel were a couple of my fave first HD stations and it used to be included in the regular HD package... but now it been moved to some different tier/level.... Oh well I guess Dan Rather & the Torchwood team can go eat it...
post #366 of 592
When FIOS really starts to saturate NYC RCN will be singing a different tune on their pricing. My building on the UWS is virtually all RCN and my co-op board is currently working out a deal with Verizon for the building. I can't wait to switch over to Fios sometime in the 1st quarter next year which is the installation date that they promised us. In the meantime I will just accept whatever the basic HD lineup is from RCN.
post #367 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopRock View Post

Yeah it sucks!... HDnet and it Movies channel were a couple of my fave first HD stations and it used to be included in the regular HD package... but now it been moved to some different tier/level.... Oh well I guess Dan Rather & the Torchwood team can go eat it...

I totally agree with you about HDnet. BTW, if you receive BBC America as a SD channel you can still see Torchwood.
post #368 of 592
^^^Speaking of BBCA, can't find it listed anywhere in RCN's Premiere/Signature sections for the "NYC-Crush" pdf ." Getting BBCA now on TWC with its "everything package" and was looking forward to its upcoming BBCA-HD rollout. To get RCN's HD lineup, which considerably exceeds TWC's S. Manhattan menu, planning to add RCN's 'everything' option despite the duplications. Got both RCN and TWC simultaneously a few years back when RCN had several channels that TWC didn't. Hoping Verizon's FIOS arrival one day would supersede both. -- John

EDIT: My bad. Found BBC listed, under Movies and Entertainment, by using the search feature of the NYC-analog crush-pdf (binocular icon).
post #369 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Called RCN again to confirm price estimate I made (above) and learned there's a separate "HD Premiums" with the 2 HDNets and 5 other HDs (see pdf lineup). Rep at first said my midtown East building wasn't ready but then checked her source and found it was ready to go. She also added that most of the analogs were gone but I didn't ask about free HD QAMs since I would order RCN's STB for the HD.

So, all you have to do is call, and they'll tell you when your neighborhood is getting it?
post #370 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmz00 View Post

So, all you have to do is call, and they'll tell you when your neighborhood is getting it?

Called them (sales) again Saturday (4th time) to actually order NYC's "crush" HD package and got a different response. Sales rep, as with the earlier calls, put me on hold for ~1 minute to supposedly check my building (not neighborhood) status; RCN's 'shopping' dropdown asks for a street address for available services but doesn't seem updated for the new NYC-crush since it didn't include the optional $9 HD Premiium option for HDNet and 6 other channels.

This last sales rep said building won't be ready until end of this month, while the previous reps said it was ready. Last guy seemed to give different prices than earlier reps. It's possible at the RCN.com site, using the 'shopping' dropdown, to get prices. But these price menus don't seem to include the NYC-crush options. [Recalculated the cost estimate on previous page post and figure the max-HD package would be ~$108 plus ~$6 tax. First sales rep said ~$77 would cover it.] Very flaky sales setup IMO. Starting to suspect, maybe for a sales commission, some reps put you hold for a building-status check, then read a newspaper for a minute or so, then fudge actual monthly costs. -- John
post #371 of 592
I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that my building won't be getting it for a long while, if at all, since it's leased by the school I go to, so they'd have to get a receiver for every television in here.
post #372 of 592
In general, best bet to get the new NYC-analog-crush setup seems to be calling only the local sales reps (1-888 number, lower right, of the NYC-crush pdf above; or use NYC phone directory). The main RING RCN hotline number in Pa. apparently isn't aware of NYC's discount promotions and building status. If local reps try diverting you to RCN's Pa. center, ask to speak with Chris, NYC sales manager. (RCN needs to set up local online sales sites for major analog crush cities--or break out these areas from RCN.com). And give local/national sales reps, or even online queries, instant access to building status, assuming local RCN officials know them. -- John
post #373 of 592
does RCN compress their HD channels now?...after the analog crush I noticed the picture quality on some of the HD channels to be worse then before the crush...did RCN always compress their HD channels and do they do it now?...if so does this really affect PQ and does RCN plan on offering true HD anytime soon?...I always thought RCN offered full bitrate HD...can someone explain this to me
post #374 of 592
^^^It's bad news if RCN is adding too much additional compression for the analog crush. Overall, it depends on how many channels they're stuffing into each 6-MHz frequency slot; (one former analog channel space). I'd read it was 10 SDs and 3 HDs per slot with RCN, similar to what TWC is doing. Comcast users found 3 HDs/slot, with their technique, degraded PQ too much (see HD program forum thread). Head ends use statistical multiplexing--sharing and shifting bit rates depending on action and detail in sources--so statmuxing the wrong types of sources could degrade PQ at different moments. Also, rate shaping used by head ends, combined with requantization , is effectively recompression on-the-fly (without MPEG decoding) and can spoil PQ.

This Excel spreadsheet zip file by TWC user Berk32 shows how NYC's TWC (upper westside) distributes channels. Someone could similarly map RCN's channel distribution.

Expecting an RCN install shortly so I'll A-B compare TWC and RCN PQ-wise. A few years back I compared them using HDNet's Saturday 10 am test pattern, finding RCN was delivering slightly crisper resolution wedges (and other channels). That's just HDNet's channel with a static test pattern, so it doesn't necessarily apply to all channels these days--with so many more sources. -- John
post #375 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

^^^It's bad news if RCN is adding too much additional compression for the analog crush. Overall, it depends on how many channels they're stuffing into each 6-MHz frequency slot; (one former analog channel space). I'd read it was 10 SDs and 3 HDs per slot with RCN, similar to what TWC is doing. Comcast users found 3 HDs/slot, with their technique, degraded PQ too much (see HD program forum thread)

how would one know how many channels are being stuffed into each slot?...is the only way to call up RCN and ask them or is there another method of finding this out?

I hear FIOS has the least amount of compression aka best image quality...how are they able to do this while most other cable companies are not?...more resources (money) or other factors?...anyone know how many channels are in each slot with FIOS?
post #376 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

how would one know how many channels are being stuffed into each slot?...is the only way to call up RCN and ask them or is there another method of finding this out?

I have found that calling RCN for anything that isn't a normal type connection issue question will result in a non answer and you will only get frustrated. Recently I called for new codes for their Synergy V remote control as the booklet they give you is totally outdated (2005). Their response was to call Pioneer who makes my plasma set to get the codes. RCN provides the remotes and it is their responsibility to keep up with the codes for new TV models being introduced by the major manufacturers and update their own listings. I spoke to three people and one was as clueless as the next.
post #377 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

how would one know how many channels are being stuffed into each slot?...is the only way to call up RCN and ask them or is there another method of finding this out?

I hear FIOS has the least amount of compression aka best image quality...how are they able to do this while most other cable companies are not?...more resources (money) or other factors?...anyone know how many channels are in each slot with FIOS?

By getting into the STB's diagnostics mode it's possible to see what frequency (6-MHz-wide slots)each channel is using. Berk32's spreadsheet for TWC (see above) shows how channels are clustered. Suspect it's quite a tedious process to map them all. If you log all the channels by frequency used you could, if needed, use Excel's sort function to group channels/frequency. Customer service, I'd wager, couldn't help. Somehow speaking to engineering at the head end would--but lots of luck.

Hear the same about FIOS (keeping the bit rates sources deliver at). FIOS uses techniques very similar to what cable companies use, even with fiber to the home delivery. But they use a different light wavelength, AIUI, for other services such as Internet and phone service, plus Internet protocol for video on demand channels, giving them overall more spectrum for SD/HD without too much rate shaping or other compression techniques. Besides eliminating most analog channels, RCN supposedly could also adapt switched digital video (SDV)--only sending less frequently watched channels to homes within local cable nodes (<500 customers) when someone requests them. -- John
post #378 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Expecting an RCN install shortly so I'll A-B compare TWC and RCN PQ-wise. A few years back I compared them using HDNet's Saturday 10 am test pattern, finding RCN was delivering slightly crisper resolution wedges (and other channels). That's just HDNet's channel with a static test pattern, so it doesn't necessarily apply to all channels these days--with so many more sources. -- John

Some SD/HD PQ comparisons of RCN with TWC suggests RCN's is quite similar to TWC's on my setup (9"-gun 64" CRT RPTV @8'). Watched the live grand slam golf match from Bermuda on TNTHD yesterday (final round this afternoon) and RCN's PQ was fine. Plan on DVRing HDNet test pattern Saturday to see if RCN's STB/service still has slightly better 1080i test pattern resolution compared to TWC.

Anyone getting all 75 HD sources listed in the RCN NYC-crush pdf ? Only getting 31 HDs here (midtown Manhattan), one less than TWC is delivering; (more TWC HDs in other boroughs). But suspect, with less than one day's service, I need to call RCN's Pa. hotline to get more channels turned on. -- John

EDIT: Just spoke with a RCN rep (in the Philippines!) who said my area hasn't gone to NYC-analog-crush yet, accounting for all the missing or seemingly misnumbed channels. Switch to 'crush' is apparently Oct. 29th. Lots of recorded RCN background messages while waiting on the phone about analog switchover problems in Queens, NY.
post #379 of 592
Just want to let everyone know that my area has been upgraded. I'm in Flushing btw. I did a complete rescan, the only new HD channel I found is Lifetime
post #380 of 592
as far as PQ I've noticed it as well... Monday's NBC shows were very grainy; and CBS kept dropping out ... hopefully these problems are just new day jitters... and I found an telephone message letting me know that if I wanted HDnet, HDnetMovies and a couple of others that were formerly free now I'd have to pay $8.99 a month more.. It pisses me off because I don't need several news channells in HD & not being a sports nut don't need any of the multiple ESPNs in HD either.... wish I could choose which HD stations I get for a set price....
post #381 of 592
Here's a Googled link I came across showing Manhattan's or all-NYC analog crush lineup:
http://www.rcn.com/cabletv/lineups/d...N-ALL-DIGITAL#
There's a page-to-printer (4 pages) link atop the java print-view list.

As mention earlier, this lineup doesn't seem available in midtown East Manhattan yet, or maybe just my building until Oct. 29, (although someone earlier indicated it's at 23rd St.). My new installation yesterday, specifically to get ~75 HDs, has no 300 or 600 channel blocks, only 31 HDs, and no new adds like the NASA or Pentagon channels (330, 331). Some of 300, 600 HD listings in this crunch lineup appear at different locations on my cable box guide. -- John

EDIT: Puzzled by CBS's frequent SD and HD dropouts, too, not even using the crunch lineup. There's a hint RCN's head end is using a multipath-plagued OTA pickup for CBS instead of a fiber link. Naw, can't be....
post #382 of 592
the analog crush took place in my neighborhood (October 8th) and I'm getting the full post 'analog crush' lineup listed in the RCN pdf file...I live on 23rd street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan

http://www.rcn.com/pdf/ny_crush_lineups.pdf

I just counted them...I'm getting a total of 58 HD channels currently...there are around 8 HD channels that are listed as 'Coming Soon' in the pdf file that I currently do not receive (probably will be added in the coming weeks/months---USA HD, SCI-FI HD etc)...also I'm not receiving CNBC HD even though it is listed in the phamphlet as being currently available...there are also 7 HD channels which are part of a new tier called 'HD Premiums' (Discovery HD Theatre, Smithsonian HD, HDNet, HDNet Movies, MGM HD, Universal HD and Hallmark Movie Channel HD)...this tier now costs an additional $8.99...I decided not to subscribe to this new tier as most of those channels I do not watch much and it is not worth an extra $9

**funny thing is, even though I'm not subscribed to this new tier I have been receiving these channels the past few days

I'm also receiving all the new standard channels (Pentagon Channel, NASA TV etc)

overall the transition has been very smooth and I'm not experiencing any major issues at all...I did receive some pixelation on 2 of my HBO HD channles in the days immediately after we were converted over...the pixelation problem seems to be fixed now but I'm now getting a slight delay in the audio on those 2 channels which causes the audio to not match what is being said on the screen...it's like a second or 2 delay/stutter

once all the 'Coming Soon' channels are added and counting the 'HD Premium' Tier, the total number of HD channels will be 74
post #383 of 592
Yay CNBC in HD so we can all watch the economy go into the crapper in the best quality possible!
post #384 of 592
I have RCN phone/cable/internet at Waterside Plaza (23rd and FDR in Manhattan) and now get all HD channels (currently 66 with 9 more listed as coming soon) for less than I was paying before "analog crush" (and I did not have HBO then). Check with your LOCAL rep to see what deals are available. There was about a $20 difference between what my local rep offered and what the people at the 800 number were telling me. It took a few phones calls and emails to get it all sorted out, but it was worth it to me.
post #385 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferchl View Post

I have RCN phone/cable/internet at Waterside Plaza (23rd and FDR in Manhattan) and now get all HD channels (currently 66 with 9 more listed as coming soon) for less than I was paying before "analog crush" (and I did not have HBO then). Check with your LOCAL rep to see what deals are available. There was about a $20 difference between what my local rep offered and what the people at the 800 number were telling me. It took a few phones calls and emails to get it all sorted out, but it was worth it to me.

Yeah I got snookered into one of those deals -I'm in Stuy Town- just as the advertising for FiOs began... I'm OK with it; but now peeved that HD channells that were once free have to be paid for... And I'm hoping a lot more people switch to FiOs and that will free up more bandwith for us RCN loyals...
post #386 of 592
Surprised with my resolution reading just now from DVRing HDNet's Saturday 10 am ET test pattern . Could barely resolve 700 (X 1.78 = 1246 lines 16X9 width) on the middle upper-right (6--8) converging-wedge lines. A few years back with RCN, with DCT6208 and 6412 STBs, I measured ~1335 lines, and only 1290 lines with a TWC 8300HD STB. Also now, my TWC 8300HD has dropped to about the same as RCN's resolution with my RCN DCT6416/2300 STB/DVR (1246 lines). Suppose it could be my vintage year-2000 9"-gun CRT RPTV, but also might be that more rate shaping from head ends is trimming resolution. It would be interesting to see what others with true-1080p displays measure. Maybe I'll buy a Blu-ray player and check the RPTV with the 'hidden' resolution patterns on Sony movie discs or buy the DVE HD-test DVD.

With less than one week of service, have had to cold-boot the DCT6416 twice now to cure glitches. Gave the sale guy I spoke with two code words that supposedly will provide a discount for my max-HD-only subscription slated for ~Oct 29 mid-town Manhattan start up. Guess I need the initial mailed bill, plus the code words, to sign up for online Internet payments. -- John
post #387 of 592
Can anyone who just received the digital upgrade comment on what clear QAM channels are now available after the upgrade? Thanks very much.
post #388 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

Can anyone who just received the digital upgrade comment on what clear QAM channels are now available after the upgrade? Thanks very much.

I just checked and found none. The only channel available without a set top box or cablecard is the analog RCN info/promo channel.
post #389 of 592
Thanks for checking. This not the news I was hoping to hear. Aren't they required by the FCC to at least give you the local channels? I guess when that happens in my area I will be dropping RCN and signing up with TimeWarner since I know for sure TWC does not encrypt their local SD and HD channels.

BTW I called up my RCN rep and asked him if I will be getting any clear QAM channels after the upgrade since I have an HDTV with QAM tuner. He had no idea what QAM was, and kept telling me the party line that nothing will work unless I use their converter box.
post #390 of 592
Actually in my area were are still getting pretty much all the same channels in clear QAM (albeit on different channels, had to do a rescan), meaning most of the basic cable channels with a few exceptions. Not sure how long this will last though.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Local HDTV Info and Reception
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › Local HDTV Info and Reception › New York, NY - RCN