Official Time Warner Cable Thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tunnelengineer, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Sep 18, 2006 #101 of 6277

    Interactive New Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    McKinney, TX
    Folks: This is a really sad thread. Those of us that are craving technological advances, and are ready and willing to pay for them, are restricted from adopting this technology because of an oversized, bureaucratic monopolistic company. Clearly getting to TW and their industry peers via politics and law will be tough as they have far more dollars for lobbyists and lawyers than I do (and probably more than all of us collectively).

    I know this sounds crazy (and it's really not my style to introduce a topic like this) but has there been any discussion of a formal, scheduled protest in the form of a "Service Cancellation Simulcast"? We pick a date and schedule thousands of us to call TW and cancel our service due to CableCard and Tivo incompatibility (and a laundry list of other reasons). I'd be willing to live with OTA for a while to make a point and get some attention. Issues far less impacting than this have received significant attention from the media and this may be the type of thing we need to stir up to get attention from the masses, and more importantly, to provide visibility TO the masses. Currently, TW views this as a problem for a small number of "early adopter" clientele and in terms of the percentage of total subscribers they're probably right. They don't feel threatened by our business, or potential loss of it, because we represent a small dollar amount to them in terms of their total revenue base. But the moves they're making now, and those they're discussing for the future, stand to impact many other users, especially after the upcoming holiday season which stands to be the largest HD buying spree to date. The rest of America needs to understand this corporate strong-arm tactic today before the inertia of their efforts forces the average TV viewing American to think that this is "just the way it has to be" for their cable services to work.

    I propose the week before Thanksgiving...the start of the holiday shopping season...where all of those naive, HD-desiring Americans are going to start laying down serious cash to buy into the next generation technology, only to be mis-informed and under serviced by their local cable co. Let's threaten TW and others where it hurts most: their premium subscriber growth rate. They've made significant investments to update networks to these newer services, albeit some of them very proprietary/non-universal, with the expectation that this would lure incremental revenue onto our cable invoices. What if those potential HD buyers were aware of the potential limitations, hassels and costs associated with that new flat panel...would they still make the investment this year or would they hold off until the "dust settles" a bit??

    I'm not a political activist by any stretch...and typically, I'm very politically conservative and pro-business. But those values are based on the assumption of a true competitive marketplace. In the case of cable TV, I don't have an individual choice of providers. I'm forced to deal with one service option for cable TV and they appear to be running rampant and taking advantage of their single-vendor advantage.

    Can't we do something to tip the scales back in our favor?
  2. Sep 18, 2006 #102 of 6277

    l_emmerdeur New Member

    Jun 13, 2005

    I have found that the best way to deal with a heavily-armored war elephant is to not deal with it at all. That is why I have suggested that the solution is in avoiding companies like TWC altogether. To do so, we need companies like Tivo to create boxes that are more flexible in terms of hardware upgrades/addons. And nothing angers a large, burdened elephant more than having to chase a bunch of pipsqueeks around the battlefield (and nothing tires them faster, either).

    Essentially, all Tivos are PCs. Why not include a couple of PCI or PCIe slots which can be used to add future modules? Thus, even if the S3 does not support CC 2.0, we can always buy a CC 2.0 module and have it installed later. That way, Tivo is not slaved to the cable companies' whims and business interests, or the schedule of the Cablecard 2.0 approval process.

    Isn't there anybody at Tivo pointing out these easy solutions? If I'm willing to pay $800 to get what people are reporting is the best HD recording quality available and the Tivo UI, I'm willing to pay an extra $100 or even $200 for some future-proofing against SDV/CC 2.0/etc. (and maybe a better processor :cool: )
  3. Sep 18, 2006 #103 of 6277

    freiz New Member

    Sep 18, 2006

    Some introductory fuzz and some notes on my upcoming TWC-Austin install. Then my analysis of SDV's impact on TWC-Austin viewers with S3s.

    New forum user, old-timer Tivo user here. I bought my first Tivo after hearing rave reviews from friends back in 2001 or so. My first PVR was the SA SD unit from Time Warner the very minute they became available. Yuck, they were buggy. To SA's credit over the past 8+ years they have managed to incorporate 2 or 3 improvements making the SA PVR almost functional, but useability still suffers a 2 out of 10. I currently have 2 40 hour Series 2's and 1 SA HD PVR.

    I ordered my S3 from Circuit City about 8 hours ago with the 10% discount and it'll arrive Tuesday. I also grabbed the 5 year warranty - something I never do. I figure $800 warrants a warranty given the failure rate of harddrives.

    My CC install is scheduled for this Wednesday. The poor call center employee that took my order for CC install early this morning could only smile at my ignorance when I told her I would be having the cards installed in my Tivo. I proceeded to try to explain to her the situation and after a couple of minutes of futility finally provided the model information for my "two" Mitsubishi 65" TVs. It's all I could do to continue the order process!

    TWC-Austin charges $3 and some change for CCs, but proudly wants $30 per card install. I will be requesting a service credit for the second install, once installed. We'll see what happens. I'll also let everyone know how the install goes.

    On the subject of SDV. This has been discussed at length in another thread and I agree that it represents a potential problem that will potentially grow larger over time. First, the bottom 100 channels on TWC-Austin are analog. Sure, there are channels that are digitally simulcast, but this does not affect the availability of the lower 100 channels on CC. If a channel on 100+ is SDV and also exists in the lower 100, the CC will get the channel on the lower 100. So, no missing channels, just analog signals, right?

    So, when I do the math:

    Food Network - channel 32, lower 100, not lost.
    HGTV - channel 31, lower 100, not lost.
    Weather Channel (may mean doppler and TWC and possibly News8) - all available on lower 100, not lost.
    KAKW - channel 13, lower 100, not lost.
    KADF Azteca America - channel 14, lower 100, not lost.
    KLRU-2 - channel 20, lower 100, not lost.
    KBEJ-UPN - channel 23, lower 100, not lost.
    Disney - channel 42, lower 100, not lost.
    CNN - channel 46, 47 (CNN HN), lower 100, not lost.
    Animal Planet (soon) - channel 37, lower 100, not lost.

    ** National Geographic - channel 232, upper 100s, lost.

    I've heard mumblings of selected east or west coast premiums being lost. I don't have any premiums although I will be grabbing HBO soon for Rome. We'll see.

    Am I missing something here?

    All but one of the channels listed above are available to standard cable users without a box and, therefore are available outside of SDV. Sure, not digital, but they are available with cablecard. I know there's a lot of worry and chatter around SDV, but I just don't think the sky is falling.

    I count one lost channel - National Geographic. I don't watch it, I could care less. In fact, even if all the listed channels are unavailable only 2 really raise any concerns - Disney and CNN. The wife and kids occasionally view those.

    Does anyone with TWC-Austin have an S3 up now? Can you confirm my analysis? Perhaps someone with a CC and TV could chime in?

    Is my analysis insane? Have I lost my mind? Or is there a little misinformation floating around with regards to the sky falling? FUD is in the cable companies best interest. They won't be running around in the forums correcting out misconceptions as they stand to benefit from them. Surely there must be a TWC-Austin Tivo S3 beta user out there somewhere? Come forth young man (woman) and spread the gospel!

    In any event, I will post my findings Wednesday.
  4. Sep 18, 2006 #104 of 6277

    Trynyty New Member

    Jul 16, 2002

    First, you may not care, but resorting to analog channels with a top of the line HD box is insane.

    Second, in my area, UniversalHD is a switched channel. Other areas may also having missing channels.

    Third, and most important, this is a trial and the purpose of the trial is to allow for TW to add more channels to their lineup. When your provider addes NatGeoHD and other new HD channels, how happy are you going to be when you find out that your $800 HD recorder cannot receive them? I believe that the only thing holding TW back is that they do not have a CC solution for SDV yet. So, I was told that the west coast feeds are just a freebie and that I'm not paying for them and that UniversalHD was added to the HD tier without a price increase so that I'm technically not paying for that either. Sounds like funny math to me. My fear is that once a CC solution exists (CC 2.0?) the flood gates will open and they are free to 'switch' any or all of their channels.

    Please remember, they DO NOT want TiVo or other 3rd party devices to be successful. It takes money out of their pockets. They have already labeled CC 1.0 as 'obsolete'. I got that directly from a higher up at TW. Keep that in mind as you peruse this and other forums and it will help you see through the misinformation to the core of the problem.
  5. Sep 18, 2006 #105 of 6277

    Trynyty New Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    I have seen a lot of info about the 2.0 spec supporting 2 way communications, thus enabling VOD & PPV, but does it specifically address SDV? This is a much trickier problem. How would the 3rd party device know how to tune in the switched channel? It could be anywhere. My fear is that 2.0 would still need TWs software to work properly.

    If someone here has a greater knowledge of the spec and the technology, could you please let me know?
  6. Sep 18, 2006 #106 of 6277

    LostInAustin New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Austin, TX

    First time poster here. I thought I'd relay my experiences getting my CCs installed in my new TiVo through Time Warner Austin.

    I picked up the TiVo on Thursday from Fry's (apparently box #2 of 3). I then called TWC to schedule the appt. The CSR didn't ask me what device I was going to install the cards in, so I certainly didn't volunteer it. I just told her that I needed 2 CCs because I had a dual tuner device, and she made a note of it for the installer. Original installation date was 9/25, but TWC called back and said they could do it Sunday afternoon (9/17), so I said, "Great!"

    Sunday, the installer arrives. He's actually a contractor trough NexCom (?), but he did have 2 cards with him. This was clearly going to be a new experience for both of us, so I walked him through the instruction sheet. We put the cards in and got the ID numbers. He had some trouble calling them in, though, as he appeared to be getting the runaround from TWC. Someone on the phone told him I only needed 1 CC, so he pulled the other out and put it in his pocket. I then convinced him I needed the second card, so he put it back in. Eventually, he got the numbers called in and I was able to test the channels through the service menu.

    I started the guided setup and it looked like it was going to take a while, so I told the installer he could leave if he wanted. I figured as long as I had the cards, I could get on the phone myself and deal with the techs at TWC if necessary. Oh, he charged me $7, COD for the install and confessed that it was his first CC install ever, let alone in a TiVo. He was very nice, though, so I have no complaints. I was concerned he wouldn't even give me the cards when he saw the TiVo, but I think his lack of experience with CCs actually worked in my favor. I'm convinced a self-install would have gone even smoother. I guess I'll wait for my next cable bill to see what TWC ultimately charges me.

    Anyway, after a restart and another trip through the guided setup, I was able to tune in the digital channels. I noticed on one of the tuners I wasn't picking up the HD package channels (ESPNHD, TNTHD, etc). A quick call to TWC and the rep was able to clear that up in 30 seconds.

    I didn't have the list of SDV channels posted earlier in this forum, so I can't confirm any of that at the moment, but I'll take a look when I get home tonight. I was getting all the channels I normally watch, though, including premiums. I recorded "Wedding Crashers" in HD last night and it looked great. I'm using component out, and haven't had any copy-protection type issues come up yet, so fingers crossed. I did have a few audio dropouts last night, but it was storming pretty hard so I'll wait and see if it's a recurring problem.

    So far, so good...
  7. Sep 18, 2006 #107 of 6277

    CALnyc New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    - I just got off the phone with TWC NYC. Called at 11:59 am, dealt with the automated system, and had a CSR within 5 minutes, even though the automated system said they were experiencing heavier than normal call volumes.
    - I told her we needed two cable cards or one dual-tuner capable card. She said we'd need two cards.
    - I said that we were putting the cards in a TiVo. She asked for the model number, I read the number provided in the forum (TCD648205B) (the S3 should be here Wednesday). She put me on hold to check the model number.
    - After holding for a few minutes, she comes back and says she doesn't have that number on her list, but has TDC648205B. I ask if it might be a typo because I'm reading my number off of the 'CableLabs Certified, Verified, and Self-Verified Products list as of 9/1/06 at 1:00 pm' and we'll receive our actual unit on Wednesday. She says she'll check, and puts me on hold again. She comes back and says she can't verify the number, but will schedule an appointment for us anyway, but she can't guarantee the cable cards will work.
    - I asked, "Can we pick up the cards, or do you need to send a tech?" She says she'll look, so she puts me on hold. Then, she tells me her computer freezes up, and she wrestles with the computer for a little while. She ultimately says she can't find anything about us being able to pick them up ourselves, and she doesn't think the TWC store has them. So, we schedule the appointment for the technician to come out.
    - The next available appointment is Wednesday 2/27 between 2:00 and 6:00. It will cost $30.50 for the technician to come out, then $2.00 per card per month.
    - I was off the phone by 12:16, and she was one of the nicer CR's I've dealt with at TWC.
  8. Sep 18, 2006 #108 of 6277

    CALnyc New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    TWC Info.
    Before having a model number, they wouldn't give me an appointment. It was a bad call and I thought the CSR was very rude. She said that to file a complaint with TWC, use the following address:

    Time Warner Cable
    Attn: Susan Dolan
    Client Relations Manager
    4161 Cassina Blvd
    Flushing, NY 11355

    I can only imagine that if her phone number were given out, she would be on the phone all day long.
  9. Sep 18, 2006 #109 of 6277
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    Oct 17, 2000
    Just got my appointment moved up from Thursday to tomorrow. Knock on wood!
  10. Sep 18, 2006 #110 of 6277

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    Jul 31, 2003
    Well ... yes and yes.

    Yes, interactive digital cable ready devices from CE companies will be able to support SDV.

    But yes, it will require software from your local cable company (for SDV, VOD, iPPV, the cable company's guide, Kereoke On Demand, and whatever other two-way services your cable company provides).

    A key part of the two-way specifications is OCAP ... two-way hosts provide an OCAP environment for OCAP software from the cable company that can access SDV, VOD, etc.

    Lots of threads here on TCF and lots of info available on the internet if you want more details on OCAP and how it works.
  11. Sep 18, 2006 #111 of 6277

    alee Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    New York, NY
    I'll be interested to see what happens tomorrow when TWCNYC shows up at my apt. The rep didn't question me about anything related to my TiVo model number... I just said "I need 2 cable cards to go in 2 cablecard-ready devices". He gave his required song and dance about no PPV, and the appointment was made.

    A truck roll is required for NYC... you will not be able to pick them up and self-install.

  12. Sep 18, 2006 #112 of 6277

    jimmythemoose New Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    I think someone else said they went down to 23rd Street and were unable to get the cablecards. My appointment with TWCNYC is scheduled for Thursday and they are picking up 2 DVRs, bringing 3 cable cards (2 for Tivo and 1 for the TV so that I can get PIP) and a regular cable box for my series 2. (I had previoulsy had my Tivo hooked up to a HD DVR so that I could record HD when needed). Originally, TW wanted to charge me ~$70 for the visit , but I think I was able to get them down to the $30 fee for the truck roll. We'll see what really happens when the bill comes...
  13. Sep 18, 2006 #113 of 6277

    zimmou New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Queens, NY
    Has anybody else in NY been told that you can't get a cablecard unless you subscribe to their most expensive cable package? I have the "Intro" digital cable package and they won't give me the cards unless i upgrade for $20 more per month (plus the monthly cablecard fee whatever that is).

    it just doesn't seem right...

    I'm about to decide to downgrade to standard cable and then just rely on the OTA signal.
  14. Sep 18, 2006 #114 of 6277

    Trynyty New Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Okay, so the CC then replicates all of the functions of a set top box. Why won't a CC 2.0 card cost the same to rent as a set top? And if it does, what's the point? The value to the consumer will be greatly diminished. I don't want their guide or their services, what option will I have?
  15. Sep 18, 2006 #115 of 6277

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    Jul 31, 2003
    No, the CableCard replicates all the functions of the integrated security crypto chip(s) inside the set top box. That's all a CableCard is really ... a crypto chip in a nice form factor ...

    The OCAP environment, tuners, MPEG decoders, etc. etc. etc. and all the other functions of a set top box are part of / provided by the CableCard host (TV, Tivo, whatever the CableCard is plugged in to) not the card.
    See above.
    If you don't want two-way services ... you're in luck ... you can use a one-way host like the Tivo S3 today! ;)

    Seriously though ... if you want to start a discussion on two-way services, interactive digital cable ready devices, OCAP, and the like I'd suggest starting a new thread (here or in the Coffee House) as I think it would be considerably off-topic for this thread.
  16. Sep 18, 2006 #116 of 6277

    jeffrypennock Member

    May 18, 2006
    New York
    Has anyone in the Houston area gotten their S3 to work well with cable cards yet? Do you have trouble with ESPNHD, UniversalHD, HBO-SD and/or Sundance??? (By trouble, I mean pixellation and sound drop-outs.)
    I'm wondering if this is a problem w/ my S3 box, with my current set of cable cards (and the previous pair of cable cards that I swapped this pair out for), with TWC or some combo/incompatability of the above. I don't care if you were a beta tester, just got your S3 or whatever (I won't force you to disclose that). I just want to know if anyone in the TWC-Houston area has gotten this to work or if I'm fighting an unwinable battle.
  17. Sep 18, 2006 #117 of 6277

    Philmatic Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    Just called TW in Lancaster, CA (SoCal). Previously Adelphia, still in transition actually.

    $1.75/mo for the first CableCard
    $4.15/mo for the second CableCard

    $25 Installation (I believe total, but will see)

    Thursday September 21st From 1PM-5PM

    At first, the CSR said that they can only install them on TVs, then she checked with another tech and she confirmed the install appointment. :)
  18. Sep 18, 2006 #118 of 6277

    Bytez Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    On an earliest post o this thread, someone from TWCNYC said he didn't have to pay extra for the CC, only had to pay for $6.95/month for the HD package. :eek:
  19. Sep 18, 2006 #119 of 6277

    JKay Member

    Feb 8, 2001
    I just phoned TWC from Southern California and asked about getting 2 cablecards for a S3. Was advised they would only provide one cablecard and the cost was $6.95 per months. I then asked if I had 2 televisions would they provide 2 cards and was advised they would do that, and each card would be $6.95 per month.
  20. Sep 18, 2006 #120 of 6277

    ahaley42 New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    TW Austin, fry's Box 3 of 3. :) I have tested all of my channels and can still tune in to the upper channels of the supposedly SDV channels. Food, etc. I can't get to channel 13, which is weird but I really don't care. Still stuck with only 1 cable card, have an install appt for another tomorrow. I called today and asked them to bring 2 as the one I have won't tune into any Premium channels. I also have another appointment for thursday to troubleshoot the CC issue with an actual TW tech.
    They suggested today, after once again swearing everything on that side was fine, that I email and that address bounced. nice. I also have a call into the office of the TW Austin CEO. Spoke with his assistant and she's trying to find the person who decided that you can't pick up your own cable card.

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