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 16

post #451 of 592
Stockhouse: RCN's Major Market Analog Crush(SM) to Be Completed January 31st

EngadgetHD: RCN's Analog Crush nears completion, 100 HD channels coming soon
post #452 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycdesigner View Post

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Fully agreed. But I know for a fact I'm not the only one who has been told I'm not allowed to have cable with them without a box.

Quote:


They cannot require you to have a box as long as you pay for whatever tier of service you decided upon. However, if you talk to "Local Care" (you must specify you will only talk to "Local Care"), they will likely send you a box for FREE.

I negotiated my old box for free when I got a TiVo with cable card, and refused to pay an extra $5.95 for a the box I had if I was going to pay $1.50 for the card. They said fine. Again, only Local Care can make these decisions.

You need to approach it from an "I'm going to switch" perspective, and it's amazing how receptive they become. Be nice and firm!

Good to know. I was planning to call them at some point and try to renegotiate our whole package based on the slightly cheaper promo rates they have on their website and the fact that FiOS is rolling into our building and it's good to know who to ask for (I hate banging my head against the wall trying to negotiate with customer service people who aren't authorized to give anything).

I don't really want FiOS, because I don't want to give up half a day and half a closet to the installation (it's Manhattan--that closet space is expensive!), but their rollout is good leverage against RCN. And worst comes to worst, I'll just cancel our TV subscription altogether and pay only for internet. We don't need cable TV that badly anyway now that the Daily Show is available on Hulu and HD is available OTA (although I suppose I should probably try OTA reception first...).

Quote:


Also, you already realize that you will be paying for some scrambled channels not received via free-and-clear QAM, and some of the free-and-clear channels will change or get removed. But it's a pretty hefty list right now.

I'm definitely aware of that. mrsmicah was a little sad when HGTV got scrambled a few months before the "crush." But as long as we have the networks in HD and Comedy Central, we're pretty happy. And the main thing is that I don't want to pay any more for cable than I already do (I already think I pay too much). Of course if they'll send me an HD box for free, I'd probably be willing to keep paying what I pay.

Thanks for the advice!
post #453 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post

We don't need cable TV that badly anyway now that the Daily Show is available on Hulu and HD is available OTA (although I suppose I should probably try OTA reception first...).

OTA digital through my free digital converter (from the gub'ment) and a Radio Shack antenna (you'll need an antenna of some sort), is great in Manhattan. You'll get 2,4,5,7,13,21 and variety of versions of the 2,4,5,7 networks, like all news and weather, or alternate programming. You'll also get about 5-6 Spanish channels. No "cable-like" channels, but 30 Rock doesn't need that!

Good luck!

P.S. You get great stereo and CC options, too!
post #454 of 592
P.P.S.: My negotiation of a deal including 20Mbs internet and digital tier w/HBO through RCN required a 2-year contract similar to common cellphone deals. This is a relatively new cable industry practice, and, of course, has a hefty early termination fee that is not pro-rated like cellcos.

I didn't mind since my only [other] choice in the East Village was TWC, as FiOS is not ready yet here. But I have been very happy with RCN, in general, and just wanted to stem the 30% price increase they tried to pawn off on us when the crush occurred, and get my box for free. So the lesson is to bargain with "Local Care" and ask about their 2-year deals, etc.
post #455 of 592
@Ghostman: Thx for the articles...I am still trying to figure out what RCN's "set-top box waiver" is all about. I can only find info on that re Guam and PR. I think it has to do with Cable Card integration, but I am also finding lots of details re old/new boxes, etc.

My old research with the FCC's rules yielded language requiring CableCos to "Not requiring set-top boxes to deliver the four major networks." This was to prevent new fees/boxes for those without access to good OTA digital, but with access to cable/sat, to get these channels regardless of whether the customer wanted the other 100+ channels shoved down their throat. Kinda like the olde-tyme "basic cable" service.

P.S. It was with this info about the FCC's mandate that I was able to "strongarm/negotiate" RCN into a free box for my second TV (and I'm only paying $1.50 for the TiVo's CableCard).
post #456 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycdesigner View Post

I am still trying to figure out what RCN's "set-top box waiver" is all about.

As anyone who uses a CableCard can tell you, cable companies are less than happy to supply or support CableCard. They fought tooth and nail to not have to supply them because CableCards meant extra equipment, extra training for installers, extra support issues (because the equipment was poorly designed and manufactured), and less income because CableCards don't support Video-On-Demand.

In an attempt to push CableCard interoperability and break the proprietary cable box monopoly, the FCC mandated that set-top boxes had to use CableCards as of the Summer of 2007. Cable companies could apply for a an exemption waiver if they were small, could prove that the ruling would cause an undo financial burden, or they had planned an all digital conversion in the following year. RCN probably qualified on all of those.
post #457 of 592
****Had to move this here since a Mod felt the need to flex his internet muscle and lock out the conversation before any replies were posted, though conversation is in regards to my cable company its one that could have been anwered by others outside the RCN world, but no one was given the chance to reply [maybe the post took up too much bandwith ....*****
[You'd think a mod would move it before locking it as well]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm reffering specifically to NBC and the CW on RCN-ny standard def boxes [4/11 on the box or 20.4-20.11 thru a QAM tuner] before the start of the year these two stations have the majority of their primetime shows letterboxed, but now it appears that RCN has taken it upon itself to zoom in to a 4:3 image and have ruined most of the shows -[faces cut off, people talking to the edge of the tv, huge heads on the screen *LOL* ..etc]

NBC seems to be the worst and it appears that RCN just takes the HD feed and zooms into it incorrectly and you can tell when a show begins the local "4NewYork" badge is almost entirely cutoff since its at the very lower left of the 16:9 screen.... NBC places its peacock badging more to the right of left the screen....

To make sure I had my parents, who have TimeWarnerCable and record Law and Order, Smallville and other programs on those two networks and they were letterboxed and looked as 'nice' as before... ABC/CBS have never shown any letterboxed programs during primetime to my knowledge but local ABC shows LOST letterboxed in late night repeats ...go figure... and so far it appears that FOX's shows have been left alone ....

I tried explaining this to an RCN rep and I might as well have been talking to a pile of soot... and was could'nt get transferred to an engineer who might have gotten what I was trrying to say... I wonder if there is a way to contact/email an RCN engineer directly and ask why RCN took it upon itself to do this....

[[and before you ask yes I do have an HD box... but record from an SD box to DVD in the bedroom for other shows that record off the living room HD box]]

update... out of curiosity I checked on the airings of the Last Templar on NBC.. OTA [analog signal] & TWC= letterboxed / RCN=zoomed in
post #458 of 592
Okay, this is really pissing me off...

I have been noticing RCN-NYC zooming in SD programs, period. It appears that they are not carrying both versions, and opting to somehow save bandwidth by somehow serving, for example, NBC on Ch4 and NBC-HD on Ch604, with one signal.

The Ch4 is definitely receiving a zoomed signal, albeit SD480i. Maybe there's something at the box level, or RCN level that "dumbs down" the single signal to serve both SD and HD.

I think this is definitely a conspiracy to force everyone to HD content.

The problem with that, for me, is that I want to save TiVo space by recording only certain shows in HD and others in SD that I don't care much about, like Law & Order.

I first noticed this with the PBS series Make 'em Laugh. Even the torrent files are sliced off! I am trying to record the next episode in HD to see if the titling is okay on the PBS-HD.

I'm not sure what can be done about this. I would think the networks and their IDs, and maybe advertisers getting frame chops, would be angry as well.
post #459 of 592
UPDATE:
After a support call with RCN (of course they didn't know anything about the zooming), I researched my taped shows and found that between 1/8/09 and 1/15/09 is when the zoom happened on NBC Ch4. I had taped 30 Rock and the previous shows are letterboxed and the latter are zoomed.
post #460 of 592
They need to get this up and running.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Format_Descriptor

Either the stations aren't providing it or RCN is unable or unwilling to use it.
post #461 of 592
post #462 of 592
What I don't understand is why RCN chooses to do this... and why not enough people have complained to make RCN compliant with what being aired over the air... if its letterboxed OTA... that how it should appear on RCN's ch4 or ch11 as well... It can't be about bandwith...
I wonder if some of RCN's older customers were complaining about letterboxing on their older/smaller tube set and thats why the switch was made... bad idea on RCN to cater to one set of customers and piss the majority off and like nycdesigner I like to save on my HD space by recording certain shows SD off the regular cable box to DVD...
My guess this wont be solved until RCN is publicly embarrased into doing so... on TV, print, or the web... Its clear they don't read these forums....
post #463 of 592
Just wondering if anyone knows why we still don't have MSG HD and MSG+ HD. I was told we were supposed to have them by the New Year.

So much for that! Had I known this last fall, I might have stayed with the dreaded TWC.
post #464 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdavie3 View Post

Just wondering if anyone knows why we still don't have MSG HD and MSG+ HD. I was told we were supposed to have them by the New Year.

So much for that! Had I known this last fall, I might have stayed with the dreaded TWC.

I was told back in october that those channels where available before I switched over from TWC. 4 months later and still no MSGHD. Should have never switched thinking of switching back now.
post #465 of 592
A ton of HD channels added today. RCN's website is not updated yet, but these are all on now for customers with converters or CableCards - not sure about Clear QAM yet:

629 - G4 HD
633 - Cartoon HD
635 - Fuse HD
637 - E! HD
638 - We HD
646 - Style HD
665 - C & I HD
666 - IFC HD
667 - AMC HD
668 - Encore HD
696 - Outdoor HD
706 - HBO Latino HD
712 - Cinimax - Thril HD
714 - Cinemax - WoMax HD
715 - Cinemax - @Max HD
716 - Cinemax - 5 Star MAx HD
717 - Cinemax - Outermax HD
722 - Showtime Too West HD
723 - Showtime Showcase HD
724 - Showtime Showcase West HD
725 - Showtime Extreme HD
727 - TMC XTRA HD
728 - TMC XTRA WEST
post #466 of 592
Did anybody else lose all their Clear QAM channels tonight?

We finished watching Lost and went to switch to Comedy Central and it was no longer there. We flipped through the channels and are still getting all the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, etc.) in SD and HD over Clear QAM, but all the cable channels are gone.

Maybe RCN finally made good on their promise to cut off those of us without cable boxes and are now scrambling everything? Or maybe it's temporary. I'm going to hold off a day before running a new scan of all the channels.
post #467 of 592
Yup lost all of them except the major networks.

Did anyone scan QAM to see if they got any of the new HD channels?
post #468 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post

Did anybody else lose all their Clear QAM channels tonight?

We finished watching Lost and went to switch to Comedy Central and it was no longer there. We flipped through the channels and are still getting all the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, etc.) in SD and HD over Clear QAM, but all the cable channels are gone.

Maybe RCN finally made good on their promise to cut off those of us without cable boxes and are now scrambling everything? Or maybe it's temporary. I'm going to hold off a day before running a new scan of all the channels.

CONFIRMED

Here's what's left:

CBS SD/HD
NBC SD/HD
FOX SD/HD
ABC SD/HD
My SD/HD
WNET SD/HD
WLIW
Lifetime Movie Net SD/HD
ABC Family
Fox Business
Fox Sports
the local Spanish stations + Galavision
Public Access

They have shuffled a few stations and there are some doubles of the locals, so I don't think they are done yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muevelonyc View Post

Yup lost all of them except the major networks.

Did anyone scan QAM to see if they got any of the new HD channels?

None of the new channels are Clear QAM.
post #469 of 592
those #@$@ jerks!
post #470 of 592
The main reason why I'm willing to put up with RCN all these years was for their unscrambled (in the analog days) and clear QAM channels for all the channels you are paying for. I hardly use their converter box even though I'm paying for it.

If the disappearance of clear QAM channels is permanent, then my sole reason for using RCN has just evaporated. If I'm going to have to rent converter boxes anyway, I want to explore my options.

In terms of pricing, is TWC more competitive? Will they offer a better package for new subscribers? I'm looking for two HD boxes. Any idea how much that will run? How about if one of them is a PVR?
post #471 of 592
RCN charges $9/mo to rent an HD box, $18/mo for an HD-DVR.

I spoke with a local care rep just the other day about switching my existing service to a plan that was $64 and change (+ box rental + taxes/fees) for cable TV + 10Mbps internet with no contract. That deal is supposed to be for new customers in my building (where RCN is desperately trying to hold its own against FiOS, which just rolled out and is spending a fortune in marketing), but the rep I contacted said he'd give it to me even as an existing customer. So I imagine if you speak with the right local care reps, you can get similar deals.

Of course now that they've cut off clear QAM, I actually may just drop down to internet-only service, which I know I can get from Earthlink (through TWC) for under $45/mo all-in, and I'll bet I can get RCN to match that.
post #472 of 592
$9 for an HD box for something I got for free? That's messed up.
post #473 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostman View Post

A ton of HD channels added today. RCN's website is not updated yet, but these are all on now for customers with converters or CableCards - not sure about Clear QAM yet:

629 - G4 HD
633 - Cartoon HD
635 - Fuse HD
637 - E! HD
638 - We HD
646 - Style HD
665 - C & I HD
666 - IFC HD
667 - AMC HD
668 - Encore HD
696 - Outdoor HD
706 - HBO Latino HD
712 - Cinimax - Thril HD
714 - Cinemax - WoMax HD
715 - Cinemax - @Max HD
716 - Cinemax - 5 Star MAx HD
717 - Cinemax - Outermax HD
722 - Showtime Too West HD
723 - Showtime Showcase HD
724 - Showtime Showcase West HD
725 - Showtime Extreme HD
727 - TMC XTRA HD
728 - TMC XTRA WEST

Where are you in the city? I'm in the Financial District (99 John St) and don't have these channels yet and I have both an RCN HD DVR and an HD Tivo with cable card.

You haven't got MSG HD yet have you? Just wondering. Thanks.
post #474 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdavie3 View Post

Where are you in the city? I'm in the Financial District (99 John St) and don't have these channels yet and I have both an RCN HD DVR and an HD Tivo with cable card.

You haven't got MSG HD yet have you? Just wondering. Thanks.

I live in the East 30s. I have a TiVo Series 3 with the cable cards and I went all the way into the Setting>Channel List to initially find them all deactivated. I enabled them and then I could surf the channels.

No MSG HD yet. Over the years, I've learned that RCN primarily launches new channels around the beginning of the month. I'm assuming this is a billing deal, as they have to pay for every channel and it's just easier to handle your accounts payable if things come due at set dates. I've also noticed that they tend to add HD channels just after the major sports events you want to see in HD (Universal HD came after the Olympics, ESPN2 HD came a few years ago conveniently after the college football season, Versus HD came online late in the NHL season last year). Given that theory, MSG HD will probably come online in June - after the NBA and NHL playoffs.

I've also noticed lately that RCN units don't know what other units are doing. All the cable listings/channel guides in the US are generated by Tribune Media Services (TMS). I have submitted changes to TMS over the last few months (including this weeks additions) and most get bounced at RCN: TMS calls RCN's office in Virginia, RCN employee looks at RCN website and sees no change in the channel lineup, RCN employee assumes that website it the gold standard, RCN employee doesn't pick up phone to New York and just tells TMS "No, Not available". This is why WGNHD has been available, but without listings for about 4 month (finally got listings for WGNHD last night). That all gets really frustrating when you have a TiVo - you can see the channel, but you can't schedule recordings.
post #475 of 592
none of these new hd channels have listing info yet. i have a tivo hd and sympathize. i gave up trying to tell anyone about this, although i believe tivo customer service has a way to report changes in lineups, and they'll follow through with rcn. it may be on the tivo website, or call the 800 number.
post #476 of 592
... just great, right after I get a new DVD recorder with a QAM tuner
..... fu(^i#g a$$#0les.... they just became like TWC

... and the problems with them screwing with NBC/PIX letterboxed programming continues....
post #477 of 592
Spoke with with their Local Care this morning . Very nice people but the prices they were offering me did not make much sense (as if they were not even aware what the competition, especially FiOS is charging).

For the last five years I've been living in a large apartment building (more than 200 units) which used to be mostly RCN (probably 80% of the apartments). Once Verizon moved in and started offering promotions my neighbors started abandoning RCN in droves so that at this time, AFAIK, I am the last hold-out on my entire floor.

This morning as a last ditch effort I called RCN's Local Care to check if they can offer me a package comparable to Verizon's (Extreme HD + 20/5 Mbps + phone) at a comparable price. In other word I was trying to decide whether to upgrade my current package and stay with RCN or switch to Verizon.

The conclusion (after 40 minutes on the phone): they could roughly match the package but the price would be 40% more than Verizon's.

Even if I opted for a slower speed (10 Mbps and a Signature (lower tier) cable package) it would still cost 20% more than Verizon's (Extreme HD + 20/5 Mbps + phone).

Now, I don't cherish the idea of having to spend half a day at home while the Verizon guys are drilling my walls and installing new boxes but I cannot honestly justify staying with RCN.

So, before I pull the trigger can some of you try to convince me (using sensible arguments) not to switch. I believe that market competition is extremely important and am not looking forward to the time when Verizon may have a monopoly.

Thanks!

(P.S.: I am not affiliated with either RCN or Verizon.)
post #478 of 592
i am the super of a few properties in manhattan and this pretty much reflects what is happening in my properties. i used to get courtesy service but then was started being charged. it was then when i stopped being so generous to the rcn techs coming in and out, leaving mess in hallways and double parking in front of my building usually blocking residents from hailing cabs, etc.

verizon is in the process of wiring 1 of my properties and the residents are excited. most are with time warner now but looking to jump ship.

btw i found this board by googling rcn sucks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atomtom View Post

Spoke with with their Local Care this morning . Very nice people but the prices they were offering me did not make much sense (as if they were not even aware what the competition, especially FiOS is charging).

For the last five years I've been living in a large apartment building (more than 200 units) which used to be mostly RCN (probably 80% of the apartments). Once Verizon moved in and started offering promotions my neighbors started abandoning RCN in droves so that at this time, AFAIK, I am the last hold-out on my entire floor.

This morning as a last ditch effort I called RCN's Local Care to check if they can offer me a package comparable to Verizon's (Extreme HD + 20/5 Mbps + phone) at a comparable price. In other word I was trying to decide whether to upgrade my current package and stay with RCN or switch to Verizon.

The conclusion (after 40 minutes on the phone): they could roughly match the package but the price would be 40% more than Verizon's.

Even if I opted for a slower speed (10 Mbps and a Signature (lower tier) cable package) it would still cost 20% more than Verizon's (Extreme HD + 20/5 Mbps + phone).

Now, I don't cherish the idea of having to spend half a day at home while the Verizon guys are drilling my walls and installing new boxes but I cannot honestly justify staying with RCN.

So, before I pull the trigger can some of you try to convince me (using sensible arguments) not to switch. I believe that market competition is extremely important and am not looking forward to the time when Verizon may have a monopoly.

Thanks!

(P.S.: I am not affiliated with either RCN or Verizon.)
post #479 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomtom View Post

Even if I opted for a slower speed (10 Mbps and a Signature (lower tier) cable package) it would still cost 20% more than Verizon's (Extreme HD + 20/5 Mbps + phone).

Call back and ask if they can give you, as an existing customer, the $84.02 Signature cable + unlimited phone + 10Mbps internet they're offering to new customers in some newly-equipped FiOS buildings (like mine). Even after you pay for the STB/DVR and cable modem rental, it's still a little cheaper than the FiOS $95 package (which includes a DVR free for 6mos, but requires you to pay after that). And it doesn't require the installation hassles or the contract that Verizon wants to lock you into.
post #480 of 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post

Call back and ask if they can give you, as an existing customer, the $84.02 Signature cable + unlimited phone + 10Mbps internet they're offering to new customers in some newly-equipped FiOS buildings (like mine). Even after you pay for the STB/DVR and cable modem rental, it's still a little cheaper than the FiOS $95 package (which includes a DVR free for 6mos, but requires you to pay after that). And it doesn't require the installation hassles or the contract that Verizon wants to lock you into.

Many thanks! I'll try that although I still find the Signature option quite deficient compared to FiOS ExtremeHD in terms HD channels and channels in general.
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