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Old 09-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
BrianMundt
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TWC and Roamio: Black screen on popular shows?

Hey everyone. I've been a TiVo user for many years, and I've run into a recurring problem that I can't seem to solve.

Right now, I'm on TWC, using a CableCard and Cisco TA. I've had (and still do) many, many issues with the stupid tuning adapter. Black screens, "channel not available" errors, V52, etc.

For the last few weeks, a few minutes before Breaking Bad, my screen will go black with no error messages. AMC will be working perfectly fine in the minutes before the show starts, but like clockwork, the screen will go black about 5-10 minutes before the show airs.

After the show, sometimes AMC will return, sometimes it won't. When it does return, it will record a subsequent rerun of the show.

I've found that unplugging the TA a few minutes before the show starts will fix the issue occasionally, but not all the time.

It's almost like I'm dealing with a TWC capacity issue or something. I've had the exact same thing happen with Walking Dead last season-- both shows with a very large viewership.

Anyone know what's going on? This is happening on both an XL4 and Roamio PLus.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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I am wondering if the current tuning adapters can handle the workload of 4-6 tuners. My Premier xl ( 2 tuners) never had an issue but currently with the Roamio i get frequently the same problems as you reported. My TA is from the first delivery TWC supplied so i guess its already pretty old.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #3
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i think you guys might have an issue whith how many tuners the ta can handle. i'm not on twc, but i believe some ta's can only handle 2 or 4 tuners. i would call up twc and see if they say how many tuners your model ta will support, and if there is a better one that u can use or an update they can push.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
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Exact same thing hapenned to me tonight with Breaking Bad. It was great (I was watching previous episode on AMCHD) then the channel went black when the new episode started. I tried several times with channel up and down, never able to get the channel. Ended up watching in standard definition. I tested again when the show ended, and it was working
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Same thing with the Walking Dead a few months ago
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Same here, been having the issue all week. I'm going to try the 4 tuner setting on a Pro to see if it helps by limiting the streams on the TA. My TivoHD w/ 2 streams perfect.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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Same here, been having the issue all week. I'm going to try the 4 tuner setting on a Pro to see if it helps by limiting the streams on the TA. My TivoHD w/ 2 streams perfect.
Do i understand there is a setting that limits the Roamio Pro to 4 tuners? I like to try that as well if it exists. Where do i find it?
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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It could be, because they are both very popular shows, and since you need a tuning adapter to tune, that AMC is of course an SDV channel. That being said, my theory on what's happening is there are too many people tuning in for the show in your area and the head end can only support so many concurrent connections being streamed onto their network at the same time, and you lose out. That's the whole point of SDV. It's so they don't have to have that channel, and all their SDV channels, broadcasting full time in order to save bandwidth. They're banking on not everyone tuning in at the same time.

It wouldn't surprise me if their STBs take precedence over cable cards when tuning into these channels as well. Just another reason to piss off the customer trying to use their own cable device enough to return it and go back to the crappy cable co's equipment and make them more $$$.

.....just a thought.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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Do i understand there is a setting that limits the Roamio Pro to 4 tuners? I like to try that as well if it exists. Where do i find it?
Look up member "TiVoMargret" and you'll find a post by her describing the remote codes to use. It's in a thread about missing tuners 5-6 if you want to search.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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Look up member "TiVoMargret" and you'll find a post by her describing the remote codes to use. It's in a thread about missing tuners 5-6 if you want to search.
Found it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoMargret View Post
If the CableCARD in your Roamio does not support 6 tuners, here is how to reduce the number of tuners Roamio will use:

Go to Settings > Channels > Channel List
and enter one of the following number sequences using the number buttons on the remote. This will tell Roamio the how many tuners it can use.
- 88633 = use 3 tuners
- 88634 = use 4 tuners
- 88635 = use 5 tuners
- 88636 = use 6 tuners

You should hear some "Thumbs Up" dings confirming the number of tuners Roamio will use.

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Old 09-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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It could be, because they are both very popular shows, and since you need a tuning adapter to tune, that AMC is of course an SDV channel. That being said, my theory on what's happening is there are too many people tuning in for the show in your area and the head end can only support so many concurrent connections being streamed onto their network at the same time, and you lose out. That's the whole point of SDV. It's so they don't have to have that channel, and all their SDV channels, broadcasting full time in order to save bandwidth. They're banking on not everyone tuning in at the same time.

It wouldn't surprise me if their STBs take precedence over cable cards when tuning into these channels as well. Just another reason to piss off the customer trying to use their own cable device enough to return it and go back to the crappy cable co's equipment and make them more $$$.

.....just a thought.
Over time I've seen reports that SDV gives fits to people with only cable company equipment also. Those people were not happy. It would worth it to get tech help cable from your cable provider.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
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Found it:
Thanks!!!
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:42 PM   #13
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I am having a similar problem with TWC too. None of my basic or expanded basic channels are working now that I've switched to the Roamio. I have a Premier and it works fine.

TWC has no clue and they are sending someone out. They are telling my that all of their signals are digital and the channels aren't analog. I've read in the earlier posts that you guys are using a "tuning adapter." Any suggestions on how I find out if I need one. I have TWC in Western Kentucky.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #14
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Thanks!!!
I've been having some better results at 4 and even 5 tuners. Soon as I bump up to 6 tuning starts to fail. In the DVR diagnostics you'll find which tuner failed. It will say the tuner #, channel, and status. For me the status of failed tuner is waiting for response.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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I am having a similar problem with TWC too. None of my basic or expanded basic channels are working now that I've switched to the Roamio. I have a Premier and it works fine.

TWC has no clue and they are sending someone out. They are telling my that all of their signals are digital and the channels aren't analog. I've read in the earlier posts that you guys are using a "tuning adapter." Any suggestions on how I find out if I need one. I have TWC in Western Kentucky.
I had a similar problem with Brighthouse. While TWC is big on SDV, given your Premier is working, its doubtful you need a Tuning Adapter. My issue at Brighthouse was the CableCard was added to the account wrong and wasn't receiving *many* of channels. I asked asked for their "PRT" group (Priority Response Team) to help with the issue - this got past their front-line reps and onto someone that can help. They found I was missing a code on the new cable card. He said, in their jargon, it "was missing a code from the occurrence". He said the occurrence is the cablecard and the missing code related to channels. As soon as he added the code, bingo, back in business. I wasted about 3-4 hours this week getting the reps to add the cablecard and then fix it so it would work.

Good luck with yours. Just hang in there with TWC until you find a rep that knows what a cablecard is
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:30 AM   #16
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I had a similar problem with Brighthouse. While TWC is big on SDV, given your Premier is working, its doubtful you need a Tuning Adapter. My issue at Brighthouse was the CableCard was added to the account wrong and wasn't receiving *many* of channels. I asked asked for their "PRT" group (Priority Response Team) to help with the issue - this got past their front-line reps and onto someone that can help. They found I was missing a code on the new cable card. He said, in their jargon, it "was missing a code from the occurrence". He said the occurrence is the cablecard and the missing code related to channels. As soon as he added the code, bingo, back in business. I wasted about 3-4 hours this week getting the reps to add the cablecard and then fix it so it would work.

Good luck with yours. Just hang in there with TWC until you find a rep that knows what a cablecard is
I think what he was saying was "OCURs", meaning:

OpenCable Unidrectional Receiver, here: http://www.cablelabs.com/opencable/s...ions/ocur.html
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #17
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So, here's an update on my situation.

I had a tech out to my house yesterday. When I had called the CableCard hotline, they told me that my FDC levels were too low, and needed to be raised. They claimed that the levels were to blame for my issues.

As many of you probably know, getting a knowledgeable tech is a lottery at best. The guy that came to my house spoke like he knew what he was talking about, so I trusted him. He examined the levels and claimed it was "physically impossible" to boost the FDC numbers past their current level (-12). He claimed that low FDC numbers wouldn't impact anything important. I told him that the CableCard hotline had said, on multiple occasions, that the levels needed to be between -7 and +7. He claimed that those levels would "cause more problems than they fix" and that I really didn't want levels that high.

He told me that a "network" issue on their end was probably the cause, but wouldn't provide any additional information, let alone a "fix" for such issues. Okay.

Then, he asked me how many tuners were in my Tivo Premiere XL4 (I'm running this and a new Roamio), and I told him that it had four tuners. He looked at me for a moment like I was stupid and said, "well there's your problem! Our tuning adapters can only tune to two SDV channels at a time!"

First, I told him that I didn't believe that was true (I was under the assumption that they handled four simultaneously) and that it couldn't be the source of my problems, as I was only attempting to record Breaking Bad with no other simultaneous recordings. He wasn't taking any of it. He told me he was 100% certain that was the issue.

So, he proceeds to, over the course of 4 hours, completely mangle my enclosed component rack. He split the coaxial coming off the wall and ran that to two separate tuning adapters, each connected to same TiVo via USB. Now, having had such immense problems with one tuning adapter, the idea of having two to worry about was not appealing.

During the course of this "fix," he had to call a minimum of ten people to get clarification on a myriad of things. Listening in on his conversation, it seems as though his manager told him that the tuning adapters were not limited to two SDV channels, but four, which he dismissed as being incorrect. He kept insisting, to everyone he talked to, that they were limited to two.

When I asked him how running the coaxial cable through two tuning adapters would impact my MoCA network, he claimed it wouldn't. He also installed a signal booster.

He left, and almost immediately, one of the tuning adapters started blinking, which knocked out every SDV channel. Not only that, but the TiVo was getting no MoCA connection, despite countless resets.

Completely unsatisfied, I called the CableCard hotline, where the woman proceeded to tell me that the tech obviously had no idea what he was doing. Great!

She told me to disconnect one of the tuning adapters, which I did. She also told me that now my RDC numbers were below target, even though they were perfectly fine before the tech arrived. Surprisingly, the FDC numbers that were "physically impossible" to raise were now almost perfect.

The CableCard hotline also confirmed my suspicion that the tuning adapters can handle four simultaneous SDV channels, not two, and that daisy chaining two of them was a recipe for instability.

She scheduled someone to come out on Monday and try to raise my RDC levels now, which I'm doubtful will do anything.

So, long story short, I lost four hours of my life so that a tech, who smelled terribly of BO (I had to spray my house afterwards… no joke), could mangle my meticulously maintained component rack and cause more issues than before he arrived.

Last edited by BrianMundt : 09-04-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #18
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I'd ask to speak to the tech supervisor and tell him to take that jack leg out of the rotation.

And call the (NC) RDU TWC techs for advice before hacking up your setup.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #19
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The CableCard hotline also confirmed my suspicion that the tuning adapters can handle four simultaneous SDV channels, not two, and that daisy chaining two of them was a recipe for instability.
The Tuning Adapters can actually support 6 tuners.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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About two years ago when I got one of the first Ceton 4-tuner PCI cards, I remember reading somewhere that you could be limited to two streams if the tuning adaptor did not have updated firmware. I never checked this out because I was not trying to tune any SDV channels on that setup (just on my Tivo HD XL, which only had two tuners anyway).
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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The Tuning Adapters can actually support 6 tuners.
Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Looks like I was given the wrong information twice then!
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #22
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About two years ago when I got one of the first Ceton 4-tuner PCI cards, I remember reading somewhere that you could be limited to two streams if the tuning adaptor did not have updated firmware. I never checked this out because I was not trying to tune any SDV channels on that setup (just on my Tivo HD XL, which only had two tuners anyway).
Prior to the FCC Mandate which took effect August 8, 2011 (and was postponed to Nov, 2011) , the Cisco SDV Tuning Adapter with a Firmware prior to FLASH: STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1402 did only support 2 Tuners. So perhaps that is where the confusion come in.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-11-1373A1.pdf

Although the FCC provision only specifies 4 Tuners, most all Cable Cos have updated to support 6 Tuners.
"Operators also must ensure that retail devices can tune at least four simultaneous channels, or as many switched digital channels as that operatorís most sophisticated operator-supplied set-top box, whichever is greater."

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Old 09-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #23
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Prior to the FCC Mandate which took effect August 8, 2011 (and was postponed to Nov, 2011) , the Cisco SDV Tuning Adapter with a Firmware prior to FLASH: STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1402 did only support 2 Tuners. So perhaps that is where the confusion come in.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-11-1373A1.pdf

Although the FCC provision only specifies 4 Tuners, most all Cable Cos have updated to support 6 Tuners.
"Operators also must ensure that retail devices can tune at least four simultaneous channels, or as many switched digital channels as that operatorís most sophisticated operator-supplied set-top box, whichever is greater."
Cool. Thanks for the link. I actually printed this out for my followup tech visit on Monday. When the previous tech told me that it was limited to two simultaneous tuners, I told him that I thought four-tuner functionality had been mandated by the FCC, but he told me I was mistaken. Guess not!
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:46 PM   #24
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So, again, like clockwork, my signal went out just before Breaking Bad. I called and spoke to a woman at the CC hotline, who told me that it definitely is a capacity issue. I asked what I could do to make sure that this doesn't happen again, and she said, "you could get a TWC DVR."

Uh yeah... I think that's what they call a monopoly.

Unbelievable. TWC has to be the worst company I've ever had the misfortune of working with.

I'm on hold right now trying to get a substantial discount on my monthly bill. In total, I've spent six hours on the phone (five weeks in a row of service calls) and four hours supervising the tech that came to my house and screwed things up. So, I'm out ten hours of my life and I'm paying through the nose to lose that time.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #25
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So, again, like clockwork, my signal went out just before Breaking Bad. I called and spoke to a woman at the CC hotline, who told me that it definitely is a capacity issue. I asked what I could do to make sure that this doesn't happen again, and she said, "you could get a TWC DVR."

Uh yeah... I think that's what they call a monopoly.

Unbelievable. TWC has to be the worst company I've ever had the misfortune of working with.

I'm on hold right now trying to get a substantial discount on my monthly bill. In total, I've spent six hours on the phone (five weeks in a row of service calls) and four hours supervising the tech that came to my house and screwed things up. So, I'm out ten hours of my life and I'm paying through the nose to lose that time.
Does TWC have any sort of executive customer service? I think it's time to go there if they do. If not, email the TWC CEO, or SVP of your region, or someone with power. Seriously. Someone'll see it and get the ball rolling.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #26
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Does TWC have any sort of executive customer service? I think it's time to go there if they do. If not, email the TWC CEO, or SVP of your region, or someone with power. Seriously. Someone'll see it and get the ball rolling.
Tivo should be working with Cisco / Motorola to troubleshoot these TA / SDV errors. However, after being sued for patents, these vendors maybe less willing to work cooperatively. We'll be stuck with these errors until these two figure out how to work together.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #27
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I looked and I can't find the number or contact info of a higher-up. Anyone have any good contact information?

A few months ago, I spoke with a woman at the CC hotline. I asked about a discount for all my troubles, and she said that my calls were being saved on my file and that, when I finally got things fixed, they'd give me a substantial discount. This same sentiment was echoed when I went in to TWC to handle a billing mistake two months ago.

So, fast forward to last night. Completely fed up, I asked the CC tech to transfer me to billing, and she told me she couldn't. Instead, she gave me a number to call. After an hour of sitting on hold, I just gave up and called back. Strangely, the second time, I managed to speak to someone within minutes.

Long story short, I'm screwed. Though they have record of my repeated calls (dozens and dozens in the last few months), they only gave me $20 in credit for one month. That's $20 for almost eight months of constant trouble.

They explained that I needed to call the billing department every single time I have issues with my CableCard, which at this point is two or more times a week.

To sum things up, in addition to calling the CC hotline waaaaaaay too often, now I have to make a followup call to the billing department, which kept me on hold for an hour. I calmly explained that logic to the billing support rep, but she didn't seem to get it.

Ughhh.

So, I have a tech coming out to the house in about two hours. I'm sure it's going to be more of the same confusion, so I'm not very hopeful. I'm just going to have him raise the RDC level so they don't have any more excuses. Maybe when they run out of "explanations" I'll finally get somewhere.

Truthfully, if my issues were as simple as calling the CC hotline once every three months or so, I'd be fine with that. But, when the issue can be recreated every single week, like clockwork, that should point to a very specific, very real problem that should be easy to identify and fix. They don't seem to be interested in doing that.

It's incredibly frustrating when you can get an admission of the issue and be told there's nothing they can do.

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Old 09-09-2013, 03:34 PM   #28
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I looked and I can't find the number or contact info of a higher-up. Anyone have any good contact information?

A few months ago, I spoke with a woman at the CC hotline. I asked about a discount for all my troubles, and she said that my calls were being saved on my file and that, when I finally got things fixed, they'd give me a substantial discount. This same sentiment was echoed when I went in to TWC to handle a billing mistake two months ago.

So, fast forward to last night. Completely fed up, I asked the CC tech to transfer me to billing, and she told me she couldn't. Instead, she gave me a number to call. After an hour of sitting on hold, I just gave up and called back. Strangely, the second time, I managed to speak to someone within minutes.

Long story short, I'm screwed. Though they have record of my repeated calls (dozens and dozens in the last few months), they only gave me $20 in credit for one month. That's $20 for almost eight months of constant trouble.

They explained that I needed to call the billing department every single time I have issues with my CableCard, which at this point is two or more times a week.

To sum things up, in addition to calling the CC hotline waaaaaaay too often, now I have to make a followup call to the billing department, which kept me on hold for an hour. I calmly explained that logic to the billing support rep, but she didn't seem to get it.

Ughhh.

So, I have a tech coming out to the house in about two hours. I'm sure it's going to be more of the same confusion, so I'm not very hopeful. I'm just going to have him raise the RDC level so they don't have any more excuses. Maybe when they run out of "explanations" I'll finally get somewhere.

Truthfully, if my issues were as simple as calling the CC hotline once every three months or so, I'd be fine with that. But, when the issue can be recreated every single week, like clockwork, that should point to a very specific, very real problem that should be easy to identify and fix. They don't seem to be interested in doing that.

It's incredibly frustrating when you can get an admission of the issue and be told there's nothing they can do.
Try the folks listed here, including the Glenn Britt (the CEO):

http://elliott.org/contacts/time-warner-cable/

Alternate email for Mr. Britt (found on a different site): glenn.britt@twcable.com
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:46 PM   #29
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Try the folks listed here, including the Glenn Britt (the CEO):

http://elliott.org/contacts/time-warner-cable/

Alternate email for Mr. Britt (found on a different site): glenn.britt@twcable.com
Great. Thanks for the info man!
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:00 PM   #30
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... I called and spoke to a woman at the CC hotline, who told me that it definitely is a capacity issue. I asked what I could do to make sure that this doesn't happen again, and she said, "you could get a TWC DVR."...
By "capacity" I assume you mean too many people tuning to the same show? If so, how would getting one of their DVRs fix that issue? It seems as if what I said on another thread about them intentionally sabotaging cable card users may just have some validity!
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