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(Last Login: Nov 6, 2008 at 11:27:02 AM) boswic
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Time Warner and Switched Digital Video
Nov 5, 2008 at 1:57:52 PM  |  #1
[Archived]  
I live in SE Wisconsin, and I recently got a Tivo HD and had Time Warner install two CableCARDs. After installation, I found out that I was not receiving all HD channels that I receive on my TW Scientific Atlanta box in my basement.

I spoke with customer service who told me this was because of the move to SDV and that they hoped to have tuning adapters available "by the end of the year." I'm skeptical, but ok, fine.

Yesterday, I found out I was missing some pretty standard cable channels like Bravo, Oxygen, and WE. Today I contacted TW customer service and after they dug around for quite a while, they informed me that those three channels are also part of the move to SDV and I cannot receive them unless I'm using one of their digital boxes.

According to the rep, "all of the channels are going to be doing this. The only way that you can keep these channels is by getting a box. I have been told this by a number of people."

I figured this had to be incorrect, and when I pressed her on it, she did a little more digging and came up with the info about the tuning adapter and sent me the link to fill out the request for the adapter. She had no knowledge of when they would be available, only that they are "still in beta testing".

Anything that I can do?
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(Last Login: Apr 23, 2014 at 1:06:19 PM) jrm01
jrm01
Nov 5, 2008 at 3:43:54 PM  |  #2
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It is highly unlikely that "all channels" will be SDV, but TW is aggressively moving many that way. They have released the TA in many parts of the country (free), so I would just suggest that you sign up for it and see what happens.
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(Last Login: Mar 3, 2010 at 10:19:55 PM) gkloepfer
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Nov 5, 2008 at 4:00:23 PM  |  #3
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Time Warner Cable in Austin, TX has done an extensive deployment of SDV. The web site is still saying that the channels that are delivered via SDV are not accessible via CableCard (UDCP (unidirectional) specifically, which is what TiVo uses).

I have an e-mail into our local office to see what they say about the TA and will report back here as soon as I find something.

I agree with the other poster who said that all the channels will likely not be SDV. SDV does utilize bandwidth efficiently at the cable head-end, though, and with HD taking a significantly greater amount of bandwidth than SD channels, I can understand the motivation behind SDV and its deployment. It's actually good for us because it effectively allows us more HD channels on cable. It's bad because it requires bidirectional communication and it's impossible to predict whether there will be any available SDV streams when you tune-into your favorite SDV-based channel.
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(Last Login: Nov 6, 2008 at 11:27:02 AM) boswic
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Nov 5, 2008 at 4:12:19 PM  |  #4
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Thanks for the responses.

I actually just got off the phone with a customer service supervisor about this issue and she re-stated the claim by the first rep that they are moving to SDV for all channels in my area. She said that all channels except for the basic broadcast networks will be SDV by the end of the year, and that the tuning adapter would "hopefully" be available by February.

Ugh.
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(Last Login: Dec 16, 2008 at 2:57:51 PM) bsquarewi
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Dec 5, 2008 at 10:53:54 AM  |  #5
[Archived]  

 

TimeWarner in WI is still giving the answer of "We are not sure when the tuning adapters will be available"  

Is there ANYTHING that Tivo can do to pressure TW or the FCC to get these SDV adapters out??? 


I'm not currently a Tivo customer, but I just finally switched to HDTV and had planned on convertnig my 3 ReplayTV boxes to TivoHD's but this SDV thing is throwing a major wrench into the works.  I may end up needing to go Dish network if TW can't get these SDV's out quick.

 

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(Last Login: Mar 3, 2010 at 10:19:55 PM) gkloepfer
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Dec 5, 2008 at 11:16:09 AM  |  #6
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My apologies for not reporting back here sooner.  I was actually trying to get a definitive answer about this.  I actually "blogged" about the frustration I originally encountered when I first tried to get information about this, and a TWC manager contacted me but never followed-through on helping me out.

So far, my dealings with Time Warner Cable in Austin have been fruitless.  The first customer service rep (CSR) denied any knowledge of tuning adapters and sent me to technical support.  The technical support person said that he was "not allowed to discuss anything about tuning adapters" with me unless I was part of their beta program.  When I got back to yet another CSR, I was effectively told that they had no idea when the tuning adapters would be released.  Further, I was told that the reason why CableCard was priced at $2.65/month was because "it doesn't receive all the channels."  I also was told that they would not let me put the CableCard into the TiVo myself (I knew this already) and that it would cost $41.26 (standard installation charge) for someone to come out and install it.  That's outrageous.  I suspect they plan on charging that fee when the tuning adapters finally come available since that also requires a tech to install it.

This conversation with TWC/Austin took place yesterday.  I am actually intending to cancel my cable TV service today.  I have one more trick up my sleeve, and that is to contact TiVo's CableCard folks directly and see if they have any ability to help me.

I am concerned though about the "be careful what you wish for" idea here:  If Time Warner Cable is unwilling to properly support CableCard, then they have the ability to make using CableCard (even with the tuning adapter) so incredibly painful and unreliable that it is hardly worth using.  While I enjoy having the cable channels, it is becoming far more irritating than entertaining to have this.  The TiVo HD is nice, but I'm not sure that it's worth it for just over-the-air programming (I have 30 days to find out).

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(Last Login: Jul 24, 2014 at 5:54:32 PM) sinanju
sinanju
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Dec 5, 2008 at 11:23:04 AM  |  #7
[Archived]  

The FCC has fined TWC for moving to SDV without the adapters being available.  If you've lost channels to SDV and the adapter is not available in your area, you're entitled to refunds.

 

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(Last Login: Mar 3, 2010 at 10:19:55 PM) gkloepfer
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Dec 13, 2008 at 2:34:26 AM  |  #8
[Archived]  

Here's an update on the tuning adapter with TWC:

I got my cablecard installed today and later in the afternoon I got a call from TWC saying my tuning adapter was available.  When I got there to pick it up, apparently they called a lot of people and ran out, but expected a shipment later.  When I went back, they had it, I picked it up, and installed it myself.  I think they were taken-back by how many people were actually waiting for this.

The tech who installed my cablecard earlier in the day said the tuning adapters were still in beta yet.  So I think the problem is that the different departments don't talk to one another.  This has been the same problem I had with ordering cablecard as well.

This all being said, the tuning adapter does work fine.  I had to restart my TiVo HD before it got completely recognized.  It also took a while for the firmware to get completely downloaded into it.  As the cablecard installer said, "the most important thing in having this work successfully is to have patience."  I will also add that the tech (who was a TW employee, not a contractor) was excellent.

I guess one more thing I will add is that since the adapters came out today it has been difficult to get some SDV channels (I think because more people are now trying to access SDV channels now, they're running out of slots).  When I am able to tune-in a channel, though, it works seamlessly.

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(Last Login: Apr 23, 2014 at 1:06:19 PM) jrm01
jrm01
Dec 13, 2008 at 9:34:34 AM  |  #9
[Archived]  

gkl,

I just noticed that you are in Austin. In case you haven't found it here is a link to a TCF forum dedicated just to TW-Austin cablecard users who have gotten the TA.  May help you:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=398126

You seem to be in a lucky area that has a TCF member inside TW-Austin (cableguy) who is helping people with their TA.

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