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Charter HDTV - Page 3

post #61 of 3555
Anyone hear anything about any new HD channels coming from Charter ?
post #62 of 3555
No Charter news from anyone ?
post #63 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

No Charter news from anyone ?

How do you lose $7 billion?
by The Associated Press
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 1:56 PM

That's a question for Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, who has seen his massive investment in cable TV operator Charter Communications Inc. all but vanish.

Charter was Allen's biggest investment after he left Microsoft in 1983. He is Charter's chairman and holds a 51 percent stake in the company, which is the nation's fourth-largest cable operator, with 5.5 million customers in 27 states, including Oregon.

But the stock is now 8 cents per share, down from an all-time high of $27.75 reached a few days after its initial public offering in 1999. The St. Louis-based cable company is facing bankruptcy, analysts said.

Allen wouldn't comment, and neither would Charter, other than a statement from Chief Executive Neil Smit, who said the company is continuing to negotiate with its bondholders. Analysts said Charter is likely to try rolling over its debt into new loans payable later, or swapping its debt for equity in the company.

Charter has been skirting insolvency for years, but this time it faces a brutal combination of tight credit and billions of debt coming due.

The company missed a debt payment this month, and about $1.9 billion of debt comes due next year. Overall, more than half of Charter's $21 billion in total borrowings will mature by 2013.

Tuna Amobi, an analyst with Standard & Poor's, doesn't think it likely that Allen will pump in more money. And selling off assets would be tough, because Charter is unlikely to get a good price in this down market. Charter itself acknowledged in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that if it can't refinance its debt, it could be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

Allen, 56, who started Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, once ranked as the world's third-richest person, with a $30 billion fortune in 1999, according to Forbes magazine. But he has had a mixed record as an investor, which is reflected in his decline on the Forbes rich list. Last year Allen was No. 41, with an estimated $16 billion in holdings.

Allen has plowed his money into such diverse targets as DreamWorks SKG, The Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. He had success with USA Networks and CNET, and failures with Priceline, Egghead.com and online retailer Value America. But Charter may be his biggest disappointment.

Allen's vision for his cable holdings began with high hopes. In the spring of 1998, he bought Marcus Cable Co. for $2.8 billion, and a month later he paid $4.5 billion for Charter, which would eventually acquire Marcus.

At the time, he said: "For over 20 years, I have been talking about and investing in the 'wired world,' a connected future marked by the merger of high-bandwidth data channels, the power of the personal computer, and the availability of compelling content."

"I will finally have some wires for my wired world," he later added.

But Charter has never made a profit since at least 1999, when it went public. Its earnings were wiped out by large interest payments on the debts it incurred largely in the acquisitions it used to expand.

Some of Allen's dreams for the cable business were shared by Gates. Microsoft invested $1 billion in Comcast Corp. in 1997, which went on to become the nation's biggest cable company. Five years later, Microsoft got even more Comcast stock in exchange for its $5 billion stake in AT&T Broadband, which Comcast bought.

But cable seems to have lost its allure for Gates - Microsoft recently liquidated all of its shares in Comcast. Now it might well be the same for Allen.

- The Associated Press



http://www.oregonlive.com/business/i...7_billion.html
post #64 of 3555
Over the last couple of days, my On Demand service for my Moxi box has slowly disappeared. I still have it on all of my digital boxes, but with the Moxi, it's gone, only the tab is there. Any ideas on how to fix this other than contacting tech support?
post #65 of 3555
I look for Charter to make some great strides in adding more HD channels this year.
post #66 of 3555
yes I agree I look for that too
post #67 of 3555
I wish I could get satellite. Waiting for Charter to add HD channels is like waiting for the government to balance the budget!
post #68 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

I look for Charter to make some great strides in adding more HD channels this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

yes I agree I look for that too

Talk to yourself much?

They've added a bunch of HD in central Vt this past year. Of course before that they didn't have any so it's all an improvment. Now they're actually giving Dish Network a little competition. I say "little" because Charter's HD-DVR is the absolute pits compared to Dish's 622. It's really the only thing keeping me from going exclusively Charter, as even though they don't have as many HD channels as Dish, they have more of the ones I like and their PQ is actually better - at least at my house.
post #69 of 3555
Charter I'm still waiting.................
post #70 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

Charter I'm still waiting.................

I'm with you man...welcome to the club!
post #71 of 3555
Here in Northern NV Charter customer service is as bad as it can get. I have a basic cable feed (get local HD channels via QAM) and subscribe to Charter's fastest broadband (advertised as 16megs but tests out between 12-14megs). I hope and pray that I never have a problem with my Charter service b/c getting it fixed is the most frustrating customer service experience I ever deal with. It doesn't matter if I use the phone, email, chat...Charter service is the most painful experience. Once I can get a tech guy or crew out to my location, then those guy's are usually great to deal with and things get done and fixed...but it's getting that far initially that is almost impossible. I also hope and pray that D* stays solvent not bankrupt. D* is the best value for my entertainment dollar. I've had problems with D* equipment/service too over the years but when I call D* things get answered quickly and fixed the same way.
post #72 of 3555
I bought our first flat panel yesterday, I called Charter CS to request a digital box.
... Rant OFF...
They wanted to charge me $30.00 to hook it up, I told the CSR that was a deal breaker, he said "Due to the complexity of HDTV, a technician is required to make the connections."
I said never mind, he changed his tune, any way, I went to the walk up, picked up the box, and I am disappointed in the line up. I am contemplating returning it, I have 30 days to make up my mind.

There were four people returning their HD boxes standing in line with me.

I get quite a few QAM channels, I might leave it at that.
post #73 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanraff View Post

I bought our first flat panel yesterday, I called Charter CS to request a digital box.
... Rant OFF...
They wanted to charge me $30.00 to hook it up, I told the CSR that was a deal breaker, he said "Due to the complexity of HDTV, a technician is required to make the connections."
I said never mind, he changed his tune, any way, I went to the walk up, picked up the box, and I am disappointed in the line up. I am contemplating returning it, I have 30 days to make up my mind.

There were four people returning their HD boxes standing in line with me.

I get quite a few QAM channels, I might leave it at that.

I had the same experience about a year ago. I got a box from my local Charter office. Not only was the HD channel lineup more than pathetic, the box made the standard channels look like absolute crap. I brought the box back a couple of days later.

I am now a Uverse user.
post #74 of 3555
I guess it doesn't matter Charter filed chapter 11 this week.
I wonder who will pick up the pieces?

I hope a REAL cable company...
post #75 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanraff View Post

I guess it doesn't matter Charter filed chapter 11 this week.
I wonder who will pick up the pieces?

I hope a REAL cable company...

Chapter 11 only means that they've hit the skids and need to re-organize their business and try to become profitable again. Management continues doing its thing but any business decisions require Court approval.

Chapter 7 means they close the doors and stops all operations.

I think Charter has done a Ch 11 filing before.

-t
post #76 of 3555
That's too bad, I was hoping for the best.....
post #77 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanraff View Post

That's too bad, I was hoping for the best.....

FLAME ON:
The best thing they and the whole industry could do, is to listen to what their customer's want. Getting only what they want to purchase, not what is forced down the customer's throats! I hate having to pay for channels I do not want and have no desire to watch. I don't need cartoon channels (kids are grown), or golf channels (not my sport), or religious channels (that's what church is for) , or Spanish channels (I don't speak the language) , or etc. etc.

If you want them, that's fine. And these days with addressable cable boxes, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to pick and choose.
FLAME OFF:

Charter could lead the industry and do this but ... don't hold your breath.

-t
post #78 of 3555
In Minnesota Charter just today added Fx HD, SciFi HD, USA HD, and MLB Network HD
post #79 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

In Minnesota Charter just today added Fx HD, SciFi HD, USA HD, and MLB Network HD

Good news for the rest of us in Charter Land. We already have FX HD, but the latter 3 are eagerly wanted from this customer.
post #80 of 3555
The problem is that Charter (or, more accurately, the regional Charter organizations) don't always roll out HD channels across-the-board in a given market. Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Charter subscribers in Fort Worth proper have had something like 6 new HD channels, including SciFi HD and USA HD, since January. Up here in Denton (still in the D-FW service area), they won't make any commitment to when we'll get any of those channels, or any new channels at all.
post #81 of 3555
Anything new in Charterland ?
post #82 of 3555
The Atlanta area just got MLB HD and that's the only addition this year. Still waiting for CNN-HD, USA-HD, Sci-Fi HD, FX-HD, Fox News-HD, Speed-HD and two local stations that we still don't get in HD!
post #83 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBarclay View Post

The Atlanta area just got MLB HD and that's the only addition this year. Still waiting for CNN-HD, USA-HD, Sci-Fi HD, FX-HD, Fox News-HD, Speed-HD and two local stations that we still don't get in HD!

A glimmer of hope, we got local MyNetworkTV affiliate's HD added by Charter last week. I hope the other two local stations come online for you soon!
post #84 of 3555
Thanks for the info. The My Network affiliate is one of the two we're missing!
post #85 of 3555
FYI - in Minnesota Charter added the local CW affiliate in HD this past week.
post #86 of 3555
Charter added the local CW affiliate, WYCW-HD, here on Friday. All of the network-affiliated locals in Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SD/Asheville, NC are in HD here now. Now, if we can get the two remaining news outlets holding out on Local News in HD to give in, we'd be in really good shape in this DMA.
post #87 of 3555
so Popweaver - you really don't have USA HD or SciFi HD yet ?
post #88 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

so Popweaver - you really don't have USA HD or SciFi HD yet ?

We really don't.
post #89 of 3555
Quote:
Originally Posted by forumreader View Post

so Popweaver - you really don't have USA HD or SciFi HD yet ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post

We really don't.

Here in Madison WI we don't have USA HD or SciFi HD either. It's a little encouraging that Minnesota got those not too long ago.

My TiVo is the only thing allowing me to tolerate Charter's anemic HD offerings.
post #90 of 3555
My Tivo told me Monday that Charter was adding an HD channel (hold on for the big news...) QVC-HD!!! (Whoopee). However, it still wasn't available this morning. Come on Charter, get off your bankrupt butts and add some real HD channels!
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