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guapoharry
01-26-2007, 12:48 AM
I read somewhere on Satellite Guys about a most basic type of cable service. Your cable company by contract in their franchise is usually required to offer really cheap, really basic service.

However, customer service reps play ignorant and try to avoid selling this type of service.

How do I ask for this type of cable service? There was some term I can not find now....

Thanks.

gary s
01-26-2007, 02:06 AM
I saw somebody post, sorry don't know who or where, that it was called something like lifeline package.

I called Time Warner cable today and after asking about lifeline and them acting like they had no idea what I was talking about, they finally told me they called it broadcast service and it was available for $16/month. I called several times and was told different things about this package each time it seemed. I was told it is channels 2 through 25 and includes KCET which is PBS but is actually channel 28 and then I was told it is channels 2 through another number which all I can remember was thirty something. They said it has all my available local channels, which are actually the L.A. locals. Also, I couldn't get a real clear answer, but I'm pretty sure they said with an $8.95/month hd box I could get the local networks, KTLA which is channel 5 and shows quite a few Clippers games, KCET, and a couple other channels (one of which I know was TNT and I think one was Discovery) in HD. I need to find out how much an HD DVR would be.

They did say there is normally a $29 installation charge.

One thing they told me is I would get $10/month for 12 months off my normally $44.95/month internet service. One thing I find hard to believe is they told me I would get the $10/month off my internet for 12 months even if I cancelled my cable tv.

I am mainly interested in getting this cable service for whatever L.A. sports teams I can get in HD. Mostly, during basketball season, I would like to get the Lakers in HD. The thread I saw originally about lifeline cable said the Lakers games on KCAL, which is L.A. local channel 9, were now being broadcast in HD. Time Warner said they are not broadcasting KCAL in HD. However, they did say if I get the HD package (I haven't found out yet how much that is per month) I could get what they call Universal HD and that shows a lot of the L.A. local sports including Laker's games in HD. Does anyone who has Time Warner HD in the L.A. area know if this is true?

I have an installation scheduled for early Feb

gary s
01-26-2007, 02:19 AM
I couldn't finish my previous long winded post--could not type anything.

Anyway, I plan on going through with my planned installation as I feel I can't lose if I keep the $10/month discount on my internet. I need to find out if there is some catch such as an disconnect or uninstall charge.

They did say if you can use a cable card on your tv it is less than $2/month instead of the $8.95 for an HD box.

dishrich
01-26-2007, 09:11 AM
Your cable company by contract in their franchise is usually required to offer really cheap, really basic service.

This is NOT always the case - there are SOME instances where cable co. of a certain size, MUST offer a "lifeline" basic tier, but if a community is considered to be completely deregulated, then there is NO requirments of a minimum pkg, what channels are in it, price, etc.

For example, there is a small local cable co. (Greene County Cable) that serves 5 very small towns north of Springfield. They have NEVER, EVER offered a stripped down "broadcast basic" tier since day 1. And starting about a year ago, they NO longer will sell residential subs cable modem only service - if you want it, you MUST pay for full basic cable, which is about $40 now. :rolleyes: :mad: (if you are a business, then they WILL sell it only, but charge a LOT more for business subs)

The sad part is - their analog cable service totally SUCKS big time - it has some of the WORST picture quality you ever saw. NO HD or DVR's & the digital service is minimal at best. Hmm, no WONDER they force people to take it with cable modem. (in most of these towns, most people CANNOT get DSL, either!)

Hall
01-26-2007, 08:36 PM
Many franchise authorities simply make it part of the "deal" that the cableco offer a lifeline type service.

I've gotten the same runaround with them pretending such a package doesn't exist. I had the 2nd lowest service level but wanted lifeline to get my local channels since D* and E* didn't offer them years ago. I said "I want to downgrade my service" and was told I've got the lowest package they offer.

HDTVFanAtic
01-26-2007, 11:18 PM
I don't know why people are calling it lifeline. Its just the most basic analog package of channels 2-13 in most cases. They filter above that. The problem is they put a filter to trap any of the higher channels - and thus it could easily trap the HDTV locals.

gary s
01-26-2007, 11:45 PM
I don't know why people are calling it lifeline. Its just the most basic analog package of channels 2-13 in most cases. They filter above that. The problem is they put a filter to trap any of the higher channels - and thus it could easily trap the HDTV locals.

I spoke to Time Warner cable a few more times tonight with mostly different answers each time. I think the final answer which makes sense is the "broadcast service" is channels 2-25 plus a few in the thirties. You can not get the HD package or any HD channels without signing up for the digital tier which gets rid of the trap on the cable line which does not allow access to the higher channels.

HDTVFanAtic
01-27-2007, 04:01 AM
I spoke to Time Warner cable a few more times tonight with mostly different answers each time. I think the final answer which makes sense is the "broadcast service" is channels 2-25 plus a few in the thirties. You can not get the HD package or any HD channels without signing up for the digital tier which gets rid of the trap on the cable line which does not allow access to the higher channels.

I suppose in LA perhaps the basic goes up to 25 because of the high number of signals.

In most markets you have 3 tiers

1) Basic 2-13 analog with filters on anything above 13 (usually in the $9-$13 range)

2) Analog Service - which will get you all the analog service roughly Channel 2 - 75. Again, you need no STB for a cable tuner equiped TV. This can cost $25-$35 depending on the area. As there are no filters on the line, you can get the HDTV QAM channels if you have a digital QAM tuner.

3) Analog and Digital Service - this gets you the channels over 100 which are digital in nature.

Hall
01-27-2007, 08:07 AM
My local TWC told me that filters/traps were the reason they couldn't sell me "lifeline" plus their HD-DVR. They could block channels 79-699 (digital channels) via the set-top box, but could not trap out channels 26-78. They simply didn't have traps that would do it. I was told that such traps do exist but the head of engineering at my TWC said because of differences in their plants (they're a hodgepodge of many, many systems now combined into one), the trap may not block things 100%.

Splicer
01-27-2007, 10:17 AM
2 traps are needed to block channel 14 and up. Cost consideration is most likely the reason NOT to offer as a single trap that combines the original 2 is a custom order and pricey. Not to mention that traps have a tendency to cause more problems than they solve.

Reigster at SatelliteGuys