Troubleshooter

Cable customer upset over Time Warner changes

Friday, December 14, 2012

A cable customer upset because some of his channels are now blank turned to the ABC11 Troubleshooter for help.

If you are a Time Warner Cable customer, you may have noticed you can no longer see some of your channels. This latest change caught at least one customer off guard.

"I'm not a happy camper," said a frustrated Jim DuBreck. "Channel 44 comes up blank. Channel 47 comes up blank."

Eight channels are now blank on all five of DuBreck' televisions. He has basic cable through Time Warner. Just recently Time Warner began moving eight of its analog channels to digital.

"When they sent me a card saying they were going to do a digital conversion, and therefore you would lose these channels unless you got a digital conversion box, I wasn't worried because I have digital television with a digital tuner," said DuBreck.

However, even with a digital tuner on your TV, as a Time Warner customer, you still won't get C-Span, CMT, OWN, VH-1 Classics, Discovery Fitness & Health, Lifetime Movie Network, TruTV and the Golf Channel unless you have a cable box, cable card, or adapter from Time Warner.  

As soon as DuBreck noticed he lost those eight channels, he got in touch with Time Warner for answers and said he didn't like what the rep told him.

He was told Time Warner was converting all the channels to scramble; therefore you need not only a digital converter but also a decoder.

In order to see the affected channels, if you don't have a cable box, Time Warner customers need to request a digital adapter, which is free for the next two years. Starting in January 2015, Time Warner will charge 99 cents per adapter.

So why the change? In a statement, Time Warner said, "Moving analog channels to digital frees up capacity in our network to bring customers faster internet like we just did last week when we boosted the speeds of our standard internet service by 50 percent. Providing channels digitally also allows us to offer customers more because it's dramatically more efficient: We can deliver up to four HD channels, or as many as 12 standard-definition digital channels, using the same capacity as it takes to carry one analog channel."

DuBreck has ordered five adapters through Time Warner and is awaiting their arrival.

A Time Warner rep told me said they have seen a much higher demand than anticipated for the adapters. So, there may be some temporary delays when you request one.

DuBreck was concerned that the adapters would affect the functions on his TV, but the rep said they will not because the adapters are a pass thru device to unscramble the encrypted signal.

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