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Discussion Starter #1
Well with this thread above on how some local cable companies are now offering HD, I emailed my local Time Warner and asked if it was available in my area, Naples Florida.

Here in Naples we can pick up ABC, NBC, Fox and WB ota, since November 1st.

Before I go buy an HD receiver and ota antenna, I thought I would see what Time Warner offers.


I got a call this morning from Time Warner.

They told me they receive the HDTV signals from the local stations, and upload them the same way they receive them, so yes, I would get then in HD.


I asked if they have a different cable box for this, and he said no, same digital cable box.

I told him you would need a HD box to receive them in HD. He said I guess we do not offer it yet then


LOL, clueless
 

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Sounds familiar. The TWC site for your area only mentions getting HDTV will require purchasing a costly set. Some TWC WWW sites provide detailed HDTV info, others, like yours, are very vague. As you indicate, some CSRs are clueless, so I'd certainly try to get another one, plus ask for a CSR supervisor. Naples TWC may be issuing SA3100HD converters now, as many TWC areas are. -- John
 

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Ditto that last response. HDTV is not on the front burner for most cable companies, they're still trying to recoup their investment in upgrades for "digital cable" and trying to sell PPV, VOD and some other interactive services. Usually TWC local offices have a point person who handles HDTV issues. After going through a CSR, I got the e-mail address of the guy handling HDTV and got in touch through e-mail. Shortly after the roll out of the SA 3100HD, I got a call that I had a unit to pick up. So, I drove down to their office, traded in my 2100 and spent a half hour setting up the new box. It was actually more convenient than waiting half a day for the cable guy. About the only glitch with the HD signal is that I noticed that the local station HD signal was constantly breaking up, compared to HBO-HD and ShowtimeHD, so that was fixed by installing a Motorola amp before the input into the 3100HD.
 

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Absolutely not so. Cable is pushing HARD into HD both to drive the spike into DBS and to revive the ailing "digital cable" patient. Cable systems that are non-HD will be a distinct minority in just about every DMA by the end of next year.


Austin

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Ichiyama
Ditto that last response. HDTV is not on the front burner for most cable companies, they're still trying to recoup their investment in upgrades for "digital cable" and trying to sell PPV, VOD and some other interactive services.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply guys



Wow John, even looked up my local cable website, thanks!


Wish I could find a contact email, much prefer that


So you think there is a chance they offer it, and this guy just did not know ?

What does CSR stand for ?


Thanks!
 

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Originally posted by snook789
So you think there is a chance they offer it, and this guy just did not know ? What does CSR stand for ?
Definitely. Many reps really are clueless about HDTV, often mixing it up with DTV (TWC's digital cable term). CSR is customer service representative. -- John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If our local networks are broadcasting in HD, should HD be available from my local Time Warner ?


Please someone explain to me how this works (HD over cable)


Still waiting for someone on my local TW to get back to me....
 

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The cable company picks up the local signal usually through a hardwire output from the local station, not over the air. They place the information on the cable in either the 8VSB signal type used in a few places (8VSB is decodable by consumer set top boxes) or in 256QAM signal which is decodable by the cable company's supplied STB. These channels will be in addition to the available pay HD channels of HBOE, HBOW, SHOE and SHOW.


TerryB
 

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Define "pushing HARD" by cable companies. The parent companies (TWC, AT&T, Comcast) love to put out press releases about their commitment to HD (they go all the way back to 1997), but when it comes to the customer, it can be like pulling teeth to get an HD box out of them.


Past AVS threads show that it's not uncommon to find that there's only one person at the local cable company in charge of the whole deployment and you have to get on that person's waiting list to get the service.


Cable knows the competition and their current strategy is video on demand, interactive cable and broadband internet. All cash generators for the operators. Perhaps as more people eventually replace their NTSC based 4:3 sets with 16:9 screens, cable will push more effectively.

Quote:
Originally posted by williak
Absolutely not so. Cable is pushing HARD into HD both to drive the spike into DBS and to revive the ailing "digital cable" patient. Cable systems that are non-HD will be a distinct minority in just about every DMA by the end of next year.


Austin
 

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There is no 'big push' on here in Dayton, Ohio from TW. They offer HBO-HD and SHO-HD. That's it. They're not even carrying the local affiliate's digital transmission. Their digital package is very overpriced for what they're offering here, and there is no competition. I do better with an ota set-top box as far as HD goes. And yes, the reps are clueless as to when anything will change.
 

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Mark and Paul,


Cable's drive into HD is a process, not an event. Look around you. Rollouts one after another all over the country. New STBs by SA and Motorola. Support by the TV manufacturers. Content providers coming online one after another. ESPN, HDnet, CineMax, etc. HD-PVRs right around the corner. With DBS in the tank after the merger crash and the feds desperate for cash, the DTV transition (including HD) is assured and everything is falling into place. Structural moves this year leading to mass migration in '03.


Austin
 

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I'm tempted to steal the line off of that satellite tv commercial:


"You work for the cable company, huh?":D



All I'm saying is that the cable companies seem to be the ones that needed to be pushed rather than them doing the pushing.
 

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Okay guys, I've been reading the forums for a while. And I understand a lot of your complaints and concerns. I work for one of the cable companies, here, in the Twin Cities.


I feel the need, here, to defend the Cable Companies. I've seen a few people on here who understand the high costs of operating cable companies. I, too, am an HDTV enthusiast, along with DVD and many other Audio Video technologies.


The push to digital has many reasons behind it. To improve the quality of video, delivered to the home; to allow the interactivity of subscriber and providers; and to address the issues of cable piracy. All of which have been very successful.


As for the carrying of local and network HD content, there are a lot of factors to consider. Even at the highest data modulation of a QAM, that being 256, you would only be able to deliver Two channels of HD content per 6 MHz of bandwidth. Even with the rebuilds of plants to 750 and now 860 MHz, that bandwidth is precious and limited. Forward plant is operated in the 50 MHz and above range. At least five, of those channels are used for High Speed Data and VOD services. That leaves a maximum of 111 channels, or 6 MHz frequencies left. Our plant still carries seventy analog channels, all of which are basic or standard services. All of our premium and pay services are provided digitally. OTA channels are still must carry on the analog portion as stated by the FCC; and many cable networks require that they remain on the analog side of the spectrum. OTA Digital is not a must carry, yet, and must be negotiated by the broadcaster and the local cable company. These negotiations are not simple and are usually long and protracted. Many OTA's are not providing full time HD. The current QAM technology doesn't provide a solution for switching between Standard and HD OTA broadcasts, since the Program ID's used for the video and audio streams usually change between formats. The OTA receivers, don't look for a specific PID (Program ID); they use any that are provided on that frequency. Settop boxes on the other hand, have to be told where and what the PID's are. This is an issue that the industry is addressing and working to find a solution.


I understand the New York systems were providing the 8VSB signals over their cable. This was something they did until a suitable conversion of the 8VSB signal to QAM was commercially available and financially viable. I'm not sure where TerryB is from, but having a raw studio baseband signal would require a real time encoder to produce digital content. Most cable operators would not invest in such an undertaking because the preliminary financial investment would be outside most budgets and then having competent encoding specialists hired for full time encoding would not be reasonable, plus would be at the mercy of the broadcaster's scrutiny without any regulation by the FCC. Thus, almost all MSO's will just convert 8VSB to 256 QAM, since it has more data capacity and is the most reasonable solution to the customers, with and without digital televisions. This solution offers the non HD channels to all customers, rather than just to people with digital tuners.


Here in the Twin Cities, we are only carrying the full time digital OTA broadcasts. We have several broadcasters here which only broadcast digital at night. That would mean that bandwidth would be blank during the day if provided on our cable system. Would you pay for a channel that is blank for more than half the day? We even provide all five channels transmitted by our public television. We have overcome the decoding difficulties caused by every station choosing a different MPEG encoding scheme. I think our commitment to providing the customers; Analog, Digital, and HD; the best options available, are there. We are constantly looking for ways to stretch the bandwidth and provide the optimum choice of services at the lowest prices to our customers. We are at the mercy of the cable networks, all of which want more money, when it comes to pricing. We are at the mercy of technology when it comes to what we can provide.


I also agree that most of our CSR's are not helpful. Most don't even have a fundamental knowledge of the technology. Many divisions have developed specialized CSR groups to handle the different technologies provided. Even these groups cannot answer all of the questions. If you have questions, that are not being answered, please ask that an engineer be consulted so that your questions can be answered adequately. Many divisions will work their hardest to make a customer happy.


I hope that I've provided some insight into what we can provide the customer.
 
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