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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


I have subscribed to DirecTV for over a year now receiving HBO and HD Net in HDTV. Pre 9/11 I also used to receive numerous OTA HDTV broadcasts.


Two days ago I checked out the Time Warner NYC website and discovered that for $107.95/month I would get HBO, Showtime, ABC and CBS in HDTV plus more premium and regular channels and also Road Runner Broadband. This essentially is for the same money I am paying now for DirecTV and a slower Verizon DSL service.


Seems like a good deal right?


I called customer service and asked for some more HDTV info, needless to say they couldn't help me but did give me a phone # for HDTV info. I called and it transpires this department is one person(!) who happened to be out of the office. I called back this morning and whilst she didn't know anything about the technology she was able to tell me the following.


To receive TW HDTV I need a special cable box ($35).


First I must sign up and have regular DTV installed and then they will come and swap the DTV box for a HDTV box.


Why, I asked, can you not install the HDTV box at the same time as the basic installation and save a trip? And here it is. Apparently HDTV is so popular in NYC they do not have enough HDTV boxes so there is a waiting list. This waiting list will service existing TW customers first and they expect this to happen sometime in July/August! In my experience make that January/February.


Why would a company lose customers ( I am sure I am not the only one) for at least three months due to lack of hardware.


Surely a company as big and powerful as Time Warner could bully their manufacturers/suppliers to step up production of these boxes particularly as it would seem to be in TW's financial interest.


I am baffled.


Does anybody out there know of a solution to this?


Any information, comments, thoughts or commiserations gratefully received.


Regards,


Andrew
 

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HDTV at TW (and really all cable outlets, OTA and satellite services) are still in beta testing stage. The revenue lost from not being able to provide HD converters is chump change to them. The investment required to order all those set top boxes is a significant outlay, and given that the industry has not agreed on copyright issues, I don't think we'll see TW ordering too many STBs.
 

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there is much on this subject. search.
 

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Quote:
Why would a company lose customers ( I am sure I am not the only one) for at least three months due to lack of hardware.
That sound you just heard was the ball being dropped...
 

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Quote:


Apparently HDTV is so popular in NYC they do not have enough HDTV boxes so there is a waiting list.
Haven't solved the TWC HDTV mystery myself, but as a 3-decade cable customer in Manhattan, without practical access to DBS, here's a few suggestions.


I'd probably research as you're doing, but sign up for the package you outlined ASAP. If you'd need to get a non-HDTV box first (SA2100, I think) then that's the way to go. I'd suggest the d'ultimate(?) package, BTW, slightly more expensive but worth it, IMO, to get all the premium-movie channels plus Road Runner. Then I'd immediately get on the waiting list for a HDTV converter (SA2000HD or upcoming SA3100HD). These HDTV cable converters from Scientific Atlanta, required for NYC's cable system, seem scarce nationwide judging from other posts.


While waiting, you're a lot better off than many urban dwellers since you can get HDNet and HBO etc. via DBS. In addition, if you have an OTA HDTV tuner or module, you could get CBS HDTV as an OTA-type 8-VSB signal via a direct-cable hookup and 1-GHz splitter. You could/can get CBS OTA, too. If you got a HDTV cable converter fairly soon, you'd receive HBO, CBS, Showtime, and NBC as cable's 256 QAM signals (WNBC-DT was destroyed 9/11 but TWC has a fiber link to NBC's studios). TWC, nationwide, has been better than most systems adding HDTV, although NYC hasn't matched Houston yet--or some Canadian systems using U.S. channels available to TWC! Seems likely ABC, PBS, Fox (no HDTV), and perhaps others will soon join the list.


Some of the latest cable news was discussed in this thread , including a chart I ran indicating how NYC's TWC seems to be using its 750-MHz+ hybrid fiber/coax bandwidth. Seems crucial, since that bandwidth appears almost 'full' unless more space is found by digitizing more analog channels or other techniques.


And hopefully such techniques won't involve continued MPEG-2 'squeezing' of digital channels (not HDTV) until artifacts become very irritating. You see pro and con views on this problem with DBS. I often comment TWC's fidelity seems excellent. In recent months, I've noticed excessive MPEG-2 compression on a few channels, and hope to determine how much the programmer, such as Sundance or IFC is at fault, or whether TWC, perhaps using a Cisco video router or other hardware is contributing to apparent overcompression. Last night, the Mystery Encore channel replayed a BBC film about a woman police DCI, and even moderate movement within scenes created 'stuttering' blurred images. HDTV channels, in my experience, come through nicely without any tinkering. -- John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This from TVinsite.com


>>


I particularly enjoyed "It's just a matter of a different digital box for the customer," says Watson. "It's a replacement for the digital box, and there's no extra charge."


I guess Bob Watson missed the memo about the $35 charge for exchanging boxes, or maybe there is no charge as Time Warner doesn't have any boxes to exchange.


Andrew
 

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In addition, Scientific-Atlanta has just started shipping its 3100HD set-top box, which will allow the system to provide a good HDTV service with more channels.
Thanks for that post Andrew. Missed that article. Here's a mention of another model, the pvr-type 8000 being tested. You'd hope the 8000 had HDTV features, or a 8000HD exists. -- John
 

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No, Tae, TWC's SA2000HD delivers all the HDTV currently available over the air (OTA) in NYC: (CBS), plus three not available (HBO, Showtime, and NBC). Fox (non-HDTV), ABC, and PBS are rumored for addition soon. An OTA set-top box offers flexibility in case TWC is down (a few channels), or the possibility of picking up more distant signals with a good antenna. -- John
 

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There was a rumor floating around that the digital versions of ABC, FOX and WNET were going to be carried over TWCNYC. The source was supposed to be Bob Watson's assistant and TWC was supposed to start carrying the digital signals for those stations as of May 15 or soon after.


Any news on if there is any validity to this claim and when it might come to pass.


EDIT: I noticed another thread mentioned an update to this after I posted - Nevermind.


-Brett
 
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