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Old 09-15-2006, 04:40 PM   #31
zync
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OK, so another attempt at talking with TWC Austin.

"Your current wait time is.... 56 minutes"

WTF? Can this all be due to TiVo S3? I've never seen it this bad.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:03 PM   #32
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happy hour at the TWC office in Austin. I can hear the cans popping open from here....
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:22 PM   #33
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I went to the South Austin office today to see if I could weasle some Cards from them. No luck. All I got was "Let me talk you out of CableCard". I hate TW.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:24 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skweaz
I went to the South Austin office today to see if I could weasle some Cards from them. No luck. All I got was "Let me talk you out of CableCard". I hate TW.
What do you mean by no luck? They were all out or did they refuse to give you cards?
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:26 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zync
What do you mean by no luck? They were all out or did they refuse to give you cards?
They wouldn't let me pick them up. I have to wait until the installer comes next Friday.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:00 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skweaz
They wouldn't let me pick them up. I have to wait until the installer comes next Friday.
What are they charging for installation and for each card? Did they say anything about Switched Video?
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:07 PM   #37
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I have TWC in the Dallas area. I just went to my local office and picked up 2 Cable cards. No extra monthly charge $0 extra no matter how many cable cards you get. So when I get TWO more S3 units (for the bedroom, and game room) I will have 9 Cable cards all together... at $0 and I can return all 3 HD DVR's from them! Wooo hoo..

So if your in DAllas, go down to your local TWC office and pick up your cable cards!

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Old 09-15-2006, 07:12 PM   #38
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9 cablecards?!?! That's intense. It's unbelieveable that TWC doesn't have a consistent policy with the CCs. I guess it's not that surprising.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:48 PM   #39
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I called the Local Sales Call center to ask how to get the cable cards. They said visit your neighborhood retail store front. They'll have them when you bring your cable box(es) in.

Hope they're right. If so, this is gonna be sweet.

Waiting now for my tivo.com order to ship.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:26 PM   #40
zync
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*sigh*

user Zync has entered room
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.
analyst Jenn has entered room
Jenn> hello, This is Jenn at Time Warner Cable, How can I help you today?
Zync> Wow you guys are busy. I have questions on cable cards in Austin.
Jenn> Sure..
Jenn> I can try to help you.
Zync> I have need for 2 cable cards for my video device.
Zync> Can I pick them up from the customer service counter?
Jenn> No.. they have to be installed.
Zync> If so, what is the per month price?
Zync> I have instructions for installing them myself. The instructions are simple.
Jenn> 3.73 per card, per month.
Jenn> We do not allow customers to install the Cable Cards.
Zync> Do you know why TWC in Dallas allows customers to pick up their cable cards at the customer service desk and there is no monthly fee?
Zync> But Austin requires a truck roll?
Jenn> Dallas is a different division then Austin.
Zync> TWC Houston allows it as well.
Jenn> I cannot answer anything on another division.
Zync> In any case, is the truck roll free?
Jenn> No, there is not a charge other then the monthly fee.
Zync> Ok - Is the monthly fee per device or per cable card per device?
Zync> My device has 2 CC slots.
Jenn> Per cable card.
Zync> OK - do you offer dual stream cards?
Zync> In that case I only need 1 card.
Jenn> No.. it is a single stream card.
Zync> Thanks - a few more questions please.
Zync> Will I be able to get every digitial cable channel with CC?
Jenn> No.
Zync> What are the limitations?
Jenn> It picks up a different signal then the box..
Zync> What channels will I not get?
Jenn> You wont get the guide or the interactive view..
Zync> Any other limits?
Jenn> As well as any channel that requires a 2-way communication.
Jenn> As is for us to be able to "talk" to the card.
Zync> What channels require 2-way communication?
Zync> Is there a list?
Jenn> No.. there is not a set list.. the only ones that I can think of are the PPV's and the On-demand channels as well as the Icontrol.
Zync> I heard TW Austin is a test market for a technology called Switched Video which could, depending on how its used by the cable company, prevent access to certain channels unless the cable set top box requests the channel (2-way comm). Are you familiar with the use of switched video in the Austin area?
Jenn> Yes, We are in the area that requires a "switched video"
Zync> Do you know which channles are subjected to switching?
Zync> I had heard it was things like the west coast premium channels - nothing commonly used.
Zync> But I'd like to know for sure, since this breaks the use of cable cards with your cable system.
Jenn> There are new ones that were added like National Geo, HGTV, Food, the weather channels,. 13, 14, 20, 23, disney, and CNN
Zync> Wow - these are commonly accessed channels. Are you saying that I will not be able to get these channels if I use my cable card?
Jenn> One moment... let me verify.
Jenn> No, you are not able to get those channels that are considered that "switched" channels.
Zync> Does this violate the FCC mandate for cable companies to support cable card technology?
Jenn> No.. The cards have a specified broadband that does not support the channels.
Zync> It seems that with my cable card I don't get the cable channels that I should be getting.
Zync> In other words, users with cable card have a crippled experience.
Zync> In order to fully understand the limits of using cable cards with TW can you please give me the full list of switched channels?
Jenn> I already did.
Jenn> National Geo, HGTV, Food, the weather channels,. 13, 14, 20, 23, disney, and CNN
Zync> Both the lower channels and upper channels?
Jenn> some of them are not even broadcasted in analog signals anymore, (( national geo ))
Zync> So that's yes - both the upper and lower channels?
Jenn> Yes.. on some of them.
Zync> Do you know which ones from the list? Sorry to go on about this, but not being able to get all channels with cable card is a very big problem for CC customers.
Jenn> which is why we encourage that they get the box. .. But the Music channels you wont be able to get as well as national geo. and soon as well the animal planet.
Zync> I understand. However the purpose of cable cards is to allow customers options without being forced into using a particular set top box. Unfortunately with switched video CC users are effectively crippled which seems to defeat the FCC mandates. I believe I have enough information now. Thank you for your time.
Jenn> Jus remember that we are here for YOU 24/7!!
Have a great day !!!
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:30 PM   #41
zync
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I should add details on which channels are switched in Austin:

National Geographic
HGTV
Food Network
Weather Channel (may mean doppler and TWC and possibly News8)
KAKW
KADF Azteca America
KLRU-2
KBEJ-UPN
Disney
CNN
Animal Planet (soon)

None of the HD channels were on the list... yet.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:40 PM   #42
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Zync, thank you for providing such detailed info.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:04 PM   #43
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Here is a link to my local TWC and it gives an idea of what will be lost by using a CC. I use none of those extras so it doesn't effect me really. http://www.timewarnercable.com/piedm...cablecard.html
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:31 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zync
I should add details on which channels are switched in Austin:

National Geographic
HGTV
Food Network
Weather Channel (may mean doppler and TWC and possibly News8)
KAKW
KADF Azteca America
KLRU-2
KBEJ-UPN
Disney
CNN
Animal Planet (soon)

None of the HD channels were on the list... yet.

All of the channels you mention, except National Geographic, are available as analog services as well. I believe all analog channels are now being converted over to digital. This means that if you have a converter, you will receive them in a digital format. If you have a CC equipped TV or Tivo, you will receive the analog version instead of the digital version. I think this is because these digital versions are being switched.

Past posts I have read on other forums mention that all of the west coast feeds of the pay channels (HBO, Showtime, Disney, Cinemax and TMC) are being switched and are not available to CC's. I am not sure if other channels have been added.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:46 PM   #45
zync
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Well I specifically asked about that:

Zync> Both the lower channels and upper channels?
Jenn> some of them are not even broadcasted in analog signals anymore, (( national geo ))
Zync> So that's yes - both the upper and lower channels?
Jenn> Yes.. on some of them.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:12 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zync
*sigh*

Jenn> 3.73 per card, per month.
Jenn> We do not allow customers to install the Cable Cards.
Zync> Do you know why TWC in Dallas allows customers to pick up their cable cards at the customer service desk and there is no monthly fee?
Zync> But Austin requires a truck roll?
Jenn> Dallas is a different division then Austin.
Zync> TWC Houston allows it as well.
Jenn> I cannot answer anything on another division.
Zync> In any case, is the truck roll free?
Jenn> No, there is not a charge other then the monthly fee.
Zync> Ok - Is the monthly fee per device or per cable card per device?
Zync> My device has 2 CC slots.
Jenn> Per cable card.
Unbelieveable! The cards in Dallas are free of monthly charges and here in Austin they not only charge for the card they also charge for each card. This is why I won't be using digital cable with my S3 or ever for that matter. What bull. Maybe we should get in touch with our city council folk and make some trouble for TW Austin. Perhaps a few phone calls from city leaders to the right people at TW could change this.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:11 AM   #47
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Cable Card Time Warner Piedmont Triad

I have two cards up and running in the Time Warner Piedmont Triad area. After reading a bit on here I checked out their website info on CC's. I noticed that it did in fact mention that the west coast feeds of some premiums were not available to CC customers. I have been unable to get HBO west on these cards and Time warner has been actively troubleshooting this problem. I spoke to an account rep today that had re authorized my cards several times and then completely wiped my account and started over in an attempt to fix this "problem". I now believe that there is nothing to fix and those channels must be switched. You would think the employees would be aware of such things and could have saved us both a lot of time and effort.

I post this only for the benefit of any other customers in the Piedmont Triad region of Time Warner's footprint........
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:56 AM   #48
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TWC Dallas

Guys, I have a friend that works for TWC in Dallas and it is standard procedure for a tech to install the cable cards. Customers are not able to pick up cards from local payment centers. This is no different for employees. There is a monthly charge of $4.73 for the 2nd card and on. The first card is free as it replaces the primairy digital box that comes with the package. What office were you able to pick up cards from?
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:14 AM   #49
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In Los Angeles, formerly Adelphia territory.

I had them out today to install the CableCards. When I ordered the install, I just told them I had 2 TVs to set up with CableCards, so I knew for sure the tech would bring two.

When he came he did in fact have 2 cards, put them in, called a number, and it was up and running. He was here about 30 minutes, mostly due to the waiting for the host id to come up after the cards were installed. He never complained or even mentioned that the order said it was for 2 TVs instead of just one TiVo.

I asked him if he had installed these on a TiVo before, and he said he had done it on a few, which surprised me.

Fortunately there doesn't seem to be SDV in this area, as I can get all of the channels. I'm hoping it's not rolled out here. I'm switching from DirecTV, and I'd like to keep the S3.

Funny side note, his cell phone was turned up pretty loud so I could hear some of the conversation on the other end. When he told the guy it was for a TiVo, I heard the guy say 'Good Luck'. I asked him what exactly that meant, and he said that CableCards can be difficut to get working sometimes. Anyway, that was kind of ominous, but it turned out okay for me.

Last edited by JerD : 09-16-2006 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:17 PM   #50
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F Time Warner Austin! I had my visit scheduled for today. The non-english speaking third party installer showed us and starting pulling my TV out. I told him it wasn't for the TV, he basically let me take over and I installed it. I asked for the second card and he said he didn't have one. I said that I specifically requested 2 and the conversation I had with the supervisor was specific to needing 2. He said there was nothing he could do besides have me call and set up another appt. He called his boss twice but the person would never speak to me even after I asked.

I live 2 minutes from the North TW office (main) so I drove over and talked a CSR. She had a CL list from January. I told her it was old and they needed a new one. She refused to set up and appt for me because they won't sell cards for Tivos. I told her I already had one installed this morning and it worked. She said because they weren't on the list she couldn't help me. She called someone else about 5 times and they talked about my problem. They finally set up an appt but told me once he got here they couldn't promise he would install it or that it would work. I told her it would and it was the law that they had to sell me one for this device as it was cable labs certified. She didn't believe me.

I don't expect all TW people to understand. But at this point cable cards shouldn't be so foreign. I've had to make 10 phone calls, 1 on-site visit, and 1 truck roll. Don't be so anti-customer service monopoly pushing jerks. Print out a what's up how-does-this-work sheet and hand it out to people. They tried to talk me out of it from the time I called the level 1 phone support person and heard "the" speech no less than 5 times. I DON'T BUY VOD OR OTHER STUPID SERVICES THROUGH MY CABLE BOX! I ALREADY PAY ALMOST $200 TO TW! QUIT RAPING ME! Just give me the cable card and make me a happy customer. I'm saving you money by coming to get it and not making you roll a truck and not making you talk to me for 3 hours. It just cost you over $100 for work I was willing to do myself. It's basic business! Want to make more money?! Treat your customers with respect and decency and you will be rewarded. You should be happy that I give you more freaking money than anything besides my car or my house. Geez. I might actually have a freaking stroke. :-)
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:51 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zync

Zync> Does this violate the FCC mandate for cable companies to support cable card technology?
Jenn> No.. The cards have a specified broadband that does not support the channels.

LOL! "The cards have a specified broadband that does not support the channels".

Wonder what she was trying to say ...
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:31 PM   #52
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MurrayJimW,
I live in Greensboro, but have held off on the S3 because TWC has said they are rolling out SDV now and intend to put all their channels on it. Did you find out anything from TWC regarding SDV? Don't we have the same franchise (Triad)?
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:13 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by jacksonian
MurrayJimW,
I live in Greensboro, but have held off on the S3 because TWC has said they are rolling out SDV now and intend to put all their channels on it. Did you find out anything from TWC regarding SDV? Don't we have the same franchise (Triad)?
Yes we are in the same division. I went ahead and ordered firstly because I couldn't stand the DVR they gave me one more minute and secondly because I don't think TWC is going to be able to get away with doing this.

My OPINION is that since the FCC mandated that cable companies provide a way for consumers to receive their offerings without their box and the cablecard is the device that serves that mandate; doing anything to render the cablecard ineffective essentially ignores the FCC's mandate. (I hope I'm right)

In any event, the only problem thus far is HBOW channels which I can live without. If it gets worse I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Time Warner was not even aware I could not get HBOW and spent all afternoon trying to make it work. That should tell you how much the local folks are aware of system issues regarding cable cards. I would think trying to get a rollout schedule from them would be impossible since they didn't even know they were using it now.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:30 PM   #54
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I was really upset with my experience and posted in the Columbia, SC - HDTV thread over at AVSForum. Here is my post, the reply from a TW rep, and my response to that. I'm really concerned about the future of CableCards with TW and SDV is currently the only think keeping me on the fence regarding the S3.

Enjoy

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

My first post:

I recently called and had a cable card 'installed' in my cable card ready TV and was NEVER told about an installation cost for this. I will be disputing this if I am charged. I truly do not understand why I have to be charged to call a phone number and read some numbers off of the card and then off of the screen. There is nothing more to it than that. The whole process, minus the inept bumbling of the 'installer' should take less than 5 minutes.

Now, about the installer. He couldn't understand how a cable box and a cable card could both work on the same TV. He thought he HAD to take the cable box with him in exchange for the cable card. I finally told him I was going to move it to another TV just to shut him up. He has no clue what HDMI is. He called it 'HDI something' over the walkie-talkie. He had apparently never even seen high-def before and was marvelling at the channels on my TV in disbelief. He kept reading the wrong numbers on the screen when he was prompted for one. I had to correct him several times. He would read numeric triplets such as 503 over the phone as 'five hundred and three' instead of 'five zero three'. He also told me that you could not receive premium channels over a cable card. In essence, he was akin to the 'worst case customer' scenario that TW would face if it allowed customers to install their own cards. In addition to this, he is providing mis-information as a representative of TW. Why does this cost $30?

'Egregious' is being very polite. The word I'm thinking of may be a RICO offense although I'm sure there is enough lobby money to prevent that from happening.

I am mostly just frustrated right now. I see SDV as yet another roadblock to allowing 3rd party devices to eat away from the profits, irregardless of the FCC mandate. It's like a smug little game where the law states that you must provide something and you do, but you cripple it just enough and just shrug your shoulders and say 'we cannot do it any other way, but the next version will work just fine when it comes out in 2 or 3 years'. Do you think this game will ever end? I don't.

I just want to watch some TV on my terms, why is the world against me on this?


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

Reply:

I have addressed all these points previously from the TWCSC viewpoint - don't mean to be rude, but I am not going to rehash everytime someone new wants to bring it up.

The rate card installation price point for CableCARD is and has always been $29.95. I can have the recording of your installation conversation pulled if you like to review. I honestly don't know the legal ramifications if the Rep didn't tell you about an installation cost AND you also did not ask if there was any such thing, but I'll be happy to pursue that information if you would like. I will need you to email me with specifics of your account so I can get the recording pulled.

Certainly I do apologize for the ineptitude of the Installation Tech. Again, if you email me specifics of your account I can see who that was and ensure this is reported to their supervisor for education.

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

My last post:

I'm not sure what the recording will buy me. I was there. You read the number off the card, insert it and then read the two numbers off of the screen. That was quite literally all that was done. Someone on the backend entered the info and I had television within a couple of minutes of that entering. I really love the convenience of being able to go to the main cable office and pick up a box and install it myself. That is great. I think TW needs to make cable cards follow the same model. You throw out a lot of technical terms and try to make it sound difficult to do this on the backend, but it was only three numbers and nothing was done on my end above that. This is not rocket science, as they say. Why can't a typical support operator be trained to do this?

It just seems funny that an item you make a lot of money off of is easy to get and install but one you make much less from is difficult to get and has mandatory installation fees. Can't you see how that looks from the outside? Even if you believe this justified, it is a PR issue and I'm sure you can understand it from that standpoint. And, sorry to be rude and rehash previous posts that have, I'm sure solved and explained everyone's complaints and issues, but there is no justification for charging 60 bucks to install 2 cable cards at one time. None. I hate to be unreasonable on this, but nothing will change my mind. The on site installer's time and gas money should at least be deducted. But there you go.

As for going after the poor guy sent to my house for corrective action, that is so typical of a business. That would just be a bandaid and not address the real problem. I've seen this many times. He was a nice guy. His problem was that he was improperly trained and I seriously doubt (based upon my experience with multiple TW contractors sent to my house over the past 10 years) that this would not be true of a majority of the on-site folks. You cannot hire the cheapest and expect the best. So, no, I have nothing against the fellow sent to my house. I know that you know who I am and therefore who the installer was, but I urge you to truly address the problem and not just go after the easy quarry.

PS
Don't worry about being rude. This is nothing personal, and based upon our previous communications, I like you quite a bit. I'm angry with TW, not with you. I don't even need a reply to this. Sorry to be disruptive. Now, everyone can go back to discussing how wonderful the SA DVR is.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:37 PM   #55
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Surprise! The TWC rep completely ignored the SDV comment.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:50 PM   #56
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Oceanic TW (Hawaii) wants to charge for duplicate service for each CC. So each CC will cost $8 per month. They also unbundled the HD Programming Package (HDnet, HD ESPN, HD TNT, iNHD, HD Discovery, etc) and now charge $6.95 separately for each box or cablecard that gets it. So I'd have to pay $6.95 x 2 to get it on both cable cards for a single S3. (Can the S3 deal with different programming packages for each CC? Do you get to pick "channels I receive" separately for each CC?)

I've never heard of this pricing model before. Can they actually do this? You end up paying extra for stuff you're already paying for with this model, and at the same time makes the cost higher for competing products.

The $6.95 per box charge already made me dump it (and the HD box) from the downstairs TV, and at the same time I returned another box, so I have two sets in the house that just get analog using either their own tuner or an S2 tivo. On the other 3 sets, I have their HD DVR in the living room, my modified S1 + cable box in my bedroom and a cable box in my daughters room. If I got an S3, it would go in my bedroom with a new monitor. I really don't want to have to pay OTV more money for returning a box and renting 2 CCs plus the extra 6.95 x 1 or 2. One $8 charge would be offset by returning the box, so it works out to one extra duplicate service fee, plus the HD Package fees.

OTW's pricing model makes DTV look more attractive every day.

Not sure what good it will do, but I'm writing to the FCC.

-David

Last edited by Icarus : 09-16-2006 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:15 PM   #57
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TW Cincinnati just did my install, took about 10 minutes, and worked a treat (aside from card 2 not being set up for the ESPN HD tier, but they're coming back Monday for that - a TRUCK ROLL, for cripes sakes). Both are doing all the Digital and HD stuff, and the card 1 does ESPN HD, so I'm pretty pleased.

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Old 09-16-2006, 07:31 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bferrell
TW Cincinnati just did my install, took about 10 minutes, and worked a treat (aside from card 2 not being set up for the ESPN HD tier, but they're coming back Monday for that - a TRUCK ROLL, for cripes sakes). Both are doing all the Digital and HD stuff, and the card 1 does ESPN HD, so I'm pretty pleased.

Brett
Is there a way to tell your S3 that only one CC gets HD ESPN, etc?

Thanks,
David
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:32 PM   #59
ahaley42
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With one cable card, all I could squeeze out of TW Austin, I can't get above channel 411. very bizarre. All channels, not just HD.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:59 PM   #60
bferrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus
Is there a way to tell your S3 that only one CC gets HD ESPN, etc?

Thanks,
David
Yea, what I did was tuned in ESPN HD, ok that worked, changed the channel on that tuner and had it record something else (to make sure it wasn't being used), and the hit "live TV" to switch tuners, tuned to ESPN HD, nada. I was able to clear this up with a simple telephone call, though they seemed clueless. However, now I notice that neither tuner pulls in SPEEDChannel, though they both think they are. Cripes.

Brett
TW Cinci
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