Review by slyphoxj
Good "Channel changing fast on HD boxes, smooth install, decent customer/tech support"
- Location: Brook Park,Cuyahoga,OH
- Cost: $103 per month
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "Some TV channels out, internet outages"
Overall "Stick with Time Warner unless TWC won't renew promo pricing"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
UPDATE (10/19/14): I went back to TWC last month. I get a lot more channels and more TV features for the same price WOW was charging, although I did have to sacrifice my internet upload speed (went from 15/2 on WOW to 15/1 on TWC... I can live with it as long as TWC turns out to be more reliable in the coming months).
UPDATE (6/18/14): Had a few outages this month. I've had more issues with my internet than I have with any previous provider since I first got high speed internet back in 2001. On the verge of going back to Time Warner.
UPDATE (8/3/13): Since my last update, my WOW bill has gone up to ~$111. I called in a couple weeks ago and, without any hassle, got a $15/month for 1 year discount (restored the previous $10 discount that expired in November plus an additional $5/month to offset the $5 increase in my bundle price) and a $20 one-time credit. But.... last Tuesday morning (7/30/13) the TV started acting up again, going in and out, then at around 11:30 AM, both the TV and internet went out for a few minutes.
UPDATE (11/19/12): The "watchdog timer" issue with my cable modem's firmware appears to have been resolved... over 17 days uptime. Yay! Internet seems to be solid... I consistently score above 15/2 on speed test and pingtest.net rates my connection an "A".
But.......... still getting pixelation, freezing and, in the last couple days, outright outages on a number of the HD channels above 210 (no problems with the broadcast HD channels 200-208). On the verge of going back to Time Warner.
UPDATE (11/5/12): Still getting pixelation and freezing on some of the HD channels. Animal Planet HD was terrible on Saturday... picture paused every 2-3 seconds for a few minutes and sometimes froze (someone else posted in the WOW forum here that they experienced the same issue). My mom got a "Not Authorized" on the box in her room a little while ago while watching one of the cable news channels... I had to reboot the box to get out of that one. A firmware upgrade pushed down to my Scientific Atlanta DPC2100 caused a "watchdog timer" issue that caused my modem to reboot itself every couple days (looks like it's finally been resolved... been up over 3 days now... yaaay). And WOW changed their billing/admin system last week (right during the freakin' storm!)... some people are getting 40-70 minute wait times when calling in! Seriously considering jumping ship back to Time Warner at this point.
UPDATE: Getting occasional brief pixelation and sometimes audio dropouts for a couple seconds on some of the HD channels 210 and above (above the broadcast networks)... maybe signal level issues (haven't bothered yet to check before calling WOW).
Also I'm not getting the full upload since I was bumped from 15/1 to 15/2 (can't get any better than 1.8 Mbps upload). WOW_Dan on the WOW forum here on DSLR is aware of the issue and was able to reproduce it, so hopefully there will be a solution soon. But I'm not complaining... it was a free bump .
But otherwise... everything's OK.
If WOW were to bring the 8/1 back and charge $10/month less than the 15/2, I'd consider going back to the 8/1 and maybe also change out the HD box on my basement HDTV for a SD box and knock another $7/month off the bill if WOW would let me do that.
--- Original review ---
After reviewing our account, Time Warner offered a deal back in March 2009 for ~$83/month (raised to ~$88/month last summer) for digital basic TV with Showtime + 1 HD DVR box w/HD service + the SD digital box already installed + Road Runner Standard (8000(or was it 7000?)/512, upgraded to 10000/1000 a couple months ago) + cable modem. We took it. It was a nice upgrade from just 1 SD box for ~$68/month + AT&T 6000/768 DSL (really about 5000/650) for ~$35/month.
I called Time Warner about a month or two ago and they told me that this promo was set to expire at the end of August of this year (2011) and that the bill would be going up. If I remember right, one offer was for ~$105/month + taxes. We decided to wait. My mom then called them again about 2-3 weeks ago and the best they could offer for the services we had was ~$145/month... ouch!
So.... we decided to give WOW a call and see what they could offer. Their offer was in the neighborhood of $100/month. My mom told 'em to come out and hook us up. We got the Digital Value + 1 HD DVR box + 1 HD box + Xpress 8/1 internet + QAM SD box for ~$98/month guaranteed until 1/1/2013. Only one week till the installation... cool! The salesperson my mom spoke with mailed a sheet with the channel lineup with the Digital Value channels highlighted and services and pricing info written on it (he did this before my mom actually ordered). After my mom actually ordered service, the sales rep. mailed a copy of the work order with the pertinent info (services ordered, prices, etc.)... got this a couple days later.
Installation was yesterday (9/1/2011). The WOW installer (a contractor) showed up in the middle of the 1-3pm install window, hooked everything up and got everything working OK and did a nice, clean job with the wiring and new drop installation outside... even looks nicer than what Time Warner did when they hooked us up when we moved into this house back in 9/2009.
I'm using my old Motorola SB4200 modem that I used with Adelphia before I switched to AT&T DSL back in early 2006. WOW only supports DOCSIS 1.0 for this modem... I was only getting about 2500-3700 down with the Xpress 8/1, so I decided to save $10/month and downgrade to Xcite 2/1. I called about 11-11:30 last night... got right through to a friendly rep who immediately pushed the new speeds down to my modem. She told me the total bill with taxes, etc. would be ~$88/month... almost exactly what the TW bill was. I might get a newer modem and go back to the Xpress 8/1 again... haven't made up my mind yet.
What I like so far:
- The HD-DVR boxs so far are problem free... channel changing is MUCH faster than it was on the TW boxes. The TW Scientific Atlanta silver HD DVR box (SA8300?) was a piece of crap... took forever to change channels and had other issues that forced me to reboot it too often. The first TW HD-DVR box we had had a dead HDMI port.
- The picture quality of the 20 or so remaining analog (NTSC) channels is superb, better than the QAM basic channels.
- The channel lineup is easier to navigate... 3 digit channel numbers for the HD channels versus 4 digit numbers for the HD channels on TW
What I don't like so far:
- HD picture quality seems like it isn't as good as TW's
- I tried to call the WOW CS number before the install date to give them the MAC address of my modem. I was prompted to enter my phone number, then asked to confirm or reschedule the appointment, then it hung up on me!
Bottom line: For about the same price (within a buck), I'm getting much lower speeds (2/1 versus 10/1) then I did with TW and fewer channels (but not missing any I really care about), but WOW's HD boxes work much better, even if they have fewer features than TW's HD boxes.
I'll update this review if anything changes.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that I hooked up my Motorola SB4200 modem the night before the switchover from TW -> WOW. It synced up and I saw "DOCSIS 1.1 registration complete" in the modem's log. TW supports DOCSIS 1.1 for this old modem, why can't WOW?
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updated 36 days ago