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TWC and Tuning Adapters

Started by TiVo Dude, Wednesday Sep 10, 2008, 09:11:21 pm

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TiVo Dude

Wednesday Sep 10, 2008, 09:11:21 pm Last Edit: Wednesday Sep 10, 2008, 09:13:29 pm by TiVo Dude
Hey all.  Question.

I just had two S-Cards installed on my brand new HD TiVo, and have already found myself missing the SDV HD channels like TNT and Discovery.  I did some research (some on this forum) and found that the tuning adapters being produced by Motorola and others have been passed for consumer use and at this point it is only a matter of the local cable companies putting them into our hands.  I understand that the SDV push may have outpaced the distribution of these adapters, and that's fine.  I can wait a few months as long as I have my network HD.

But here's the thing.  I called TWC today to ask when I might be able to procure a tuning adapter, and I was told by both a tech support rep and a customer service rep that they have no idea what a tuning adapter is.  Furthermore, the customer service rep told me that TWC also plans to "phase out" (her words) the CableCards completely.

So my questions are:

Is this simply a case of speaking to someone with too low a paygrade?  Are these people just not high enough up to know TWC's plans regarding adapters?

Does anyone know of TWC's plans regarding adapters, or even a possible timeframe?

If TWC is indeed not going to make tuning adapters available, how does that fit in with the FCC regulations regarding consumers' freedom of choice regarding equipment such as CableCards?

If TWC is also planning to phase out CableCards (which seems doubtful, considering the law regarding the pesky little buggers, unless they have another option coming online for TiVo users), isn't this just basically illegal?

I don't know if any of the rest of you out there are dealing with this, but it seems frustrating, not so much because of the hardware issues, but because of the ignorance of the TWC grunts.  I mean, I learned all of this in an afternoon of internet browsing, but the people who work for the cable company don't know anything about it?  I'm not exactly brimming with confidence here.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts or info.

Thanks!

-TiVo Dude

tencom


kevbeck122

This is the latest news I could find: http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=159407&site=cdn.  Sometime this year.. nobody knows when.  I'm sure the majority of the techs or customer service reps know nothing about the adapter and probably won't be told about it until it's about ready to be deployed.

Cablecard isn't going away... TWC's newer (crappier) boxes have M-cards in them.

UncleMeat

CableCARD should not be going anywhere, yet.  FCC basically requires that TWC and others support it.  However, it's little surprise that TWC sales/call-center folks are saying they want to stop supporting it as there is more money in selling their proprietary technology with increasing rental costs and greater availability of packages to sign up for.

For the record, I was told the same thing by TWC.  I signed up for a cablecard package anyway.

basshive

Just to note, I would not expect anyone at TWC to know about tuning adapters since the likelyhood that they themselves are going to provide them is pretty slim. I would expect these to be items coming directly from Tivo themselves.

As for the reps saying cards are being phased out, I think that is non-sense.
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LoadStar

Quote from: basshive;48169Just to note, I would not expect anyone at TWC to know about tuning adapters since the likelyhood that they themselves are going to provide them is pretty slim. I would expect these to be items coming directly from Tivo themselves.

Nope. The devices are specific to the head-end equipment that each cable company uses, so it's up to the cable company to provide the correct tuning adapter. It was never intended for TiVo to provide the adapters.

basshive

I just read this -

QuoteCable operators who currently use or are planning to use switched digital technology are working on integrating Tuning Adapters into their cable systems over the next few months.

So now its even more concerning no one knows anything about these locally!

Cox in Phx is giving them to Tivo 3 / HD owners free!
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BlueOtto

I am interested in the status of a tuning adapter from TWC as well.  No one we spoke to with TWC seemed to have any clue.  Should we be writing them so they at least know the interest?  Calling often (until they get a clue...)?  If there is no indication that anything is happening... that is not good.

BlueOtto

I sent an email to TWC regarding the tuning adapters.  Although not what we want to hear, I found it interesting and at least they don't seem inept in this email.

First, my email:

Original Message Follows:
------------------------
Hello,

I have two questions about Time Warner Cable in WI/Milwaukee area:

1. Do you offer a Tuning Adapter?  If not, when will one be available?

[A tuning adapter allows the Tivo Series 3 to access channels newly being provided by SDV.  I am guessing that is all of the new HD channels that TW is offering-- so without a tuning adapter, people with Tivo Series 3 cannot watch any of these channels.  There is info about this from Tivo at http://www.tivo.com/switched/. ]

2. Do you offer both M-Card and S-Card CableCARDs?

Thank-you for the information.


--------------------------
Reply from TWC:

Dear [BlueOtto],

Thank you for writing to Time Warner Cable.

At this time tuning adapters are not yet available for Series 3 Tivo devices. The cable cards we have now are one-directional and are not capable of receiving the SDV channels. I'm sorry but it has not been communicated to us when tuning adapters or bi-directional cards will be made available.

If we can assist you in the future with any questions or account concerns, please feel free to visit us online at http://www.timewarnercable.com/wisconsin or email us at timewarnerwi@twcable.com.

Thank you for using Time Warner Cable!

Sincerely,

Steven
Consumer Contact Specialist
Time Warner Cable

OlsonNet

I'm guessing 99% of CSRs (phone or e-mail) won't have an idea what these things are.

In the letter TW sent to us CableCARD users, they said that the tuning adapters would be provided free of charge once available, so it's just a waiting game.

I'd imagine TiVo will do what they can to press the issue as it's in their best interest to get these adapters out there to increase sales from people who are on the fence about getting a TiVo because they don't currently get all the channels.

LoadStar

Quote from: BlueOtto;48265I sent an email to TWC regarding the tuning adapters.  Although not what we want to hear, I found it interesting and at least they don't seem inept in this email.

First, my email:

Original Message Follows:
------------------------
Hello,

I have two questions about Time Warner Cable in WI/Milwaukee area:

1. Do you offer a Tuning Adapter?  If not, when will one be available?

[A tuning adapter allows the Tivo Series 3 to access channels newly being provided by SDV.  I am guessing that is all of the new HD channels that TW is offering-- so without a tuning adapter, people with Tivo Series 3 cannot watch any of these channels.  There is info about this from Tivo at http://www.tivo.com/switched/. ]

2. Do you offer both M-Card and S-Card CableCARDs?

Thank-you for the information.


--------------------------
Reply from TWC:

Dear [BlueOtto],

Thank you for writing to Time Warner Cable.

At this time tuning adapters are not yet available for Series 3 Tivo devices. The cable cards we have now are one-directional and are not capable of receiving the SDV channels. I'm sorry but it has not been communicated to us when tuning adapters or bi-directional cards will be made available.

If we can assist you in the future with any questions or account concerns, please feel free to visit us online at http://www.timewarnercable.com/wisconsin or email us at timewarnerwi@twcable.com.

Thank you for using Time Warner Cable!

Sincerely,

Steven
Consumer Contact Specialist
Time Warner Cable

Points for seeming to be familiar with a tuning adapter, I suppose.

However, he never actually answers the question about M-Card vs. S-Card. He talks about bidirectional cable cards, so he might be confused and thinking an S-Card is a unidirectional and M-Card is a bi-directional, and answering the question that way.

Good luck in getting someone who knows what _really_ is the difference between an M-Card and an S-Card.

MDR

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TiVo Dude

Thursday Oct 30, 2008, 09:08:08 am #12 Last Edit: Thursday Oct 30, 2008, 09:16:18 am by TiVo Dude
Here's some interesting news:

http://www.timewarnercable.com/Wisconsin/products/cable/sdv/default.html

Sounds like they might finally be getting this moving!

OlsonNet

Quote from: TiVo Dude;48945Here's some interesting news:

http://www.timewarnercable.com/Wisconsin/products/cable/sdv/default.html

Sounds like they might finally be getting this moving!

Thanks for the link. Although I wonder if they put that page up for legit reasons because these are being close to being ready or just to get the FCC off their backs about the delay.

TiVo Dude

So we're creeping up on the end of the year, which is when these things have been promised.  Anybody heard anything regarding delivery yet?