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Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Statement: No significant changes?

This was from a report done by local radio station Magic 100.5 here. I don't know if they interviewed David Dane or not.

Atlantic Broadband customers should not see any significant changes now that the company has been purchased. Atlantic Broadband was bought by Cogeco Cable Inc. Atlantic Broadband Spokesman David Dane says Cogeco intends to operate Atlantic Broadband as a wholly owned subsidiary. As a result, they don't expect any significant changes to operations or service offerings in the near future. They bought the name and trademarks which they intend to continue to use. Cogeco intends to continue to invest in and improve our products and services, as Atlantic has done for the past eight years. For example, they are as excited as we are about our new super-fast Express and Unleashed Internet services which provide speeds up to 40 meg for residential customers in most markets. This is going to be a good development for customers, employees, and the new owners who are making their first investment in the USA market.

So here's what we know: The company will still be called Atlantic Broadband, only the ownership will change.

I consider it a double-edged sword that significant changes to operations or service offerings might not be happening.

If we avoid UBB and all that garbage, and ABB remains a reliable, competent ISP, that is very good news. I have always been satisfied with my internet service from ABB.

However, I would hope that the TV offerings improve, that analog cable is killed off. This is an 860MHz system here in Cumberland. There would be space to do almost anything when it comes to the lineup. I hope that we can see some new channels added, and that we can receive the HD counterpart of all the networks we currently do receive.

I know ABB reps have posted here before, it would be nice if David Dane, Jason or someone in the know would provide information on when an all-digital conversion might occur here, and what plans, if any are there, to add new channels. Even streamlining the ABB offerings to all markets would improve things a good bit as some channels are featured in some markets, and others are not. Even between Altoona/Johnstown and Cumberland, they have Fuse, we do not.



ddane

@atlanticbb.net

Osravens, there will be a transition period of course, but a digital simulcast and more programming consistency between our headends is high on the priority list. This would have happened with or without the Cogeco new ownership. Having said that, with the sale process behind us, we will be working faster on network and programming issues.

BTW I want to mention that I enjoy your posts because you are obviously very knoweldegable about our industry and you offer up good insights. The fact that others in this forum often think you are an ABB employee is also a great source of amusement to me-- as if it is impossible for a customer to actually think his/her ISP is decent!


Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to Os

David, thank you for the response and the kind words. I have studied the industry pretty extensively.

Is there somewhere specifically that we can make channel requests? I've found such sites for Time Warner Cable/BrightHouse Networks and some other companies.

I know some of the channels carried in some markets, but not others are those that could be featured in an HD pack or a sports & entertainment pack, something that customers who want those additional channels could pay for while helping those concerned with overall costs.

If you'd like to send me a PM to speak of any specific plans in Cumberland in the upcoming months, I'd appreciate it.

Also, does Atlantic Broadband have any plans to add HBO GO streaming service?


ABBJason

join:2010-06-03
Altoona, PA

HBO Go is in testing. Coming soon.



ddane

@atlanticbb.net
reply to Os

email me at ddane@atlanticbb.com


Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to ABBJason

That is excellent news!



EvilByDesire
I Am My Own God
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Grotto
reply to Os

i swear that if they start data caps i will move to a fios area( litterly a few towns over, fios just went online in the last 3 months over there)
--
Sometimes "The Majority" only means all the fools are on the same side.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

This is what worries me. By no means do I download enough consistently have to worry about caps in the hundreds of gigabytes, but the last thing I want to do is have to monitor my usage every month across various devices to be sure I am staying under a certain level.

The story posted in the link below is a prime example of what we would be in for...

»Cogeco Still Can't Meter Their Users Correctly

I'm a fan of Atlantic Broadband internet service. I think the internet service is excellent, and I pay for the top tier available. I've had it since it was available in the days of Charter, and with ping times of 4-5ms and speeds slightly over the rated speed, I can't complain.

Of course the whole metered broadband would destroy this. I do wonder if bandwidth caps would be considered a significant change, since operators always claim it only affects a small percentage of customers... it could be spun as insignificant to most.

Bandwidth is getting cheaper to provide, and from the quality of the product, I don't see a slow-down even during peak times that would warrant applying bandwidth caps, so if it happens, I'd expect it to be just a way to increase profitability.

As a customer who already subscribes to pretty much every available ABB service, this would be a huge negative to me and would change my outlook entirely.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
reply to ddane

Personally, I am looking forward to this. The more consistent programming sounds good, as that may mean we would receive a lot of the HD channels that Uniontown has, here in Altoona.

I find myself spending a lot of time tweaking the picture when watching standard channels on an HDTV. I have to admit the analog signal is still better than the DBS satellite equivalent SD channels that are over-compressed. I also appreciate the true 1920x1080 HD feeds vs. the HD lite of the satellite providers. Hopefully that will hold true once more channels are added and analog is diminished. I noticed the newer STBs have H.264 MPEG-4 support, but I'm guessing that would require a swap out of older equipment for everyone who would have services that would make use of it - most likely HD. Of course, that may be small in comparison to the DTA handouts. SDV sounds like it would add complexity to CableCard type setups, but ultimately provide more bandwidth for more channels and other things.

It would also be nice to have the current analog channels in Clear QAM so that any digital TV tuner will do, and not require a box or cable card along with that $9-13 fee.

I too spend a lot of time looking at the cable industry and find the technology interesting. As an IT/programmer guy, I've often thought of looking for a job in the cable industry, just out of my interest in all of the different areas. I have been working with networking, VOIP, and video encoding/streaming nearly for a decade.

More HD and keeping the CAPS away has me as a customer for life - even if I hate the bill every month! I'll be interested to see what the future brings.

Jim


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Dish is the only satellite provider downconverting 1080i feeds to 1440x900. DirecTV, to my knowledge, has theirs at the native resolutions. As a former Dish subscriber, I can tell you they're an absolute joke.

I will say I've watched enough MASN (Orioles Sports Network) and it looks better than DirecTV does in the bars, although I'm sure my Samsung is better than their Vizio TV's.

Altoona/Johnstown still having such a meager HD offering is really sad. Dish, DirecTV and Comcast are running laps around them. Our offerings are pretty meager too in Cumberland and we have 16 more HD channels than you guys at my last check. I think we have 67 HD channels counting all our duplicate local stations (since we have all DC stations in HD, CBS Baltimore in HD and the Altoona/Johnstown stations in HD), Root Sports Pittsburgh and MASN/MASN2.

This free Sunday Ticket promotion of DirecTV is really starting to tempt me because the HD differences are just so drastic (and getting even more stark as DirecTV adds 5 more HD channels). If I dropped my landline and went with DirecTV Premier, I'd basically have about 100+ more channels, still have access to Ravens games, and pay less. If DirecTV added H2 HD, GSN HD, IFC HD and TV Land HD, I'd probably do it.

I'm paying $152 right now, I don't have a DVR, I don't have any additional premium movie channels other than the Starz/Encore that comes with Digital Plus and I only have 10/1 internet.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to Os

Just in the last week:

DirecTV adds 5 HD channels (ION, BBC America, NatGeo Wild, Disney Jr., beIN Sports)

Verizon FiOS gets BBC America HD

Comcast Baltimore adds 12 new HD channels (NatGeo Wild, Smithsonian, Hub, Sprout, C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, TV Guide, BBC America, Oxygen, GSN, Bloomberg, The Movie Channel)

Cablevision gets the NFL Network, TWC and Cox add the Pac-12 Network.

It would be nice to see something new from ABB. I'm not even asking for anything specific, just a show of action.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

1 edit

ABB is tight usually insanely tight-lipped about future channel additions. I'm not sure if for competitive reasons, or otherwise.

Back in January I had called in to the general customer service line, and was told by someone with some technical knowledge that they did a massive realignment within the QAMs to make more room for new HD channels in March whenever contracts renew with the providers. In April, I called back and no one knew what I was talking about, saying there are no plans for any additional HD in our area anytime soon. Talk about false hope!

Since we're in August and nothing has changed... I guess that's true. One of the biggest complaints I hear from friends and coworkers, is you never hear anything about planned additions until they're available. So you wait for months or years wondering if there is anything in the works that may or may not ever come.

Something simple like, "we hope to have more HD channel additions before the end of the year," would be great rather than the silence and crickets chirping that makes one think there really is nothing ahead.

Again, ABB has been doing a lot, with the D3 upgrades and such and as a customer I appreciate that a lot. But on the TV front, it would be nice to know something!

Another oddity in Altoona with the HD channels are the couple of non-HD channels in the HD range. QVC in the 700's (711 I think) is a re-map to the analog version of the normal channel and it not HD or digital at all. 705 is WKBS which doesn't have an HD feed in existence.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

We have QVC like that down here as well on 714. I believe it's a digital version, but it's not like I actually watch it. Charter and Mediacom did that as well. It really should be upgraded to the HD feed, which it has in Uniontown, the Eastern Shore and South Florida.

I think if there was something to know, we'd know. Unfortunately, I think the Cogeco transition is going to prolong anything changing with the lineup. And by that point, it might be too late to save certain customers who care about HD.

I've said this before, but there needs to be some attempt to improve HD packs and sports and entertainment packs to increase the offerings, also to be able to make sure that only those customers who want to pay for such services receive them. Every other provider out there is able to do this, so it wouldn't be a roadblock to the negotiations for those channels. ABB themselves offer such packages in South Carolina (Sports pack) and South Florida (HD pack).

A standard Comcast lineup has about 50-60 linear channels in SD (many of those in HD) that we lack access to, that's just counting the English channels. It gets a little worse if you pull up Time Warner. The little guys can offer similar packages, Blue Ridge cable, a provider in PA smaller than ABB, is over 120 HD channels.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

I try to stay optimistic. Yes, Cogeco has a bad reputation and they seem to be hated by their Canadian consumers, but who is to say they won't learn some "manners" from the people at ABB as far as forcing bandwidth caps and overage charges down peoples throats.

Maybe a combined Cogeco and ABB with a larger customer base will be able to negotiate better deals for HD channels that a lot of us want without significant rate increases.

It could all go down the toilet per say, but maybe it won't, ya know?

I think a little effort to let the consumers know about whats in the works, and what the future may bring would go a long way to make people stick around and stop customers from fleeing. I've contemplated DirecTV and Dish on different occasions, but I would never want to give up the internet service since the D3 upgrades are a reality now.

I sell VOIP services to business myself, but I have two lines of ABB's phone service because it's simple and affordable as part of a bundle.

The HD end of the video service is my only complaint aside from the pricing structure that is always changing to favor new customers, and leave the seasoned customers paying a lot more.

I'm at $260 or better, but that's with nearly every service available. If I were to go out and buy Premium TV, phone, and internet service separately, I wouldn't be much ahead, except for maybe in the first year of a DTV contract.

Compared to my $260, I know someone who just signed up who has everything that I do minus the 2nd phone line, for $154 + tax with the promise of only $20 increases for 2 years.

If I could pay that, I would shut up and love the limited HD lineup.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
reply to Os

Here's some "food for thought" ...

What happens when AMC networks tries to price gouge ABB for access to the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc... like they did with Dish (maybe) and AT&T.

I wonder if we'll see those channels go away... I've been hoping for AMC in HD, but would hate to lose it all together!


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Jimmy, we have AMC HD down here. It's one of those 16 additional HD channels we have in Cumberland


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

Yeah.. I noticed that in your awesome but depressing "ABB Ultimate HD Channel Thread" a while back.

Maybe one day!


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

When I get bored, I work on a national database I have not just for ABB, but for the other guys too.

100 HD channels (not counting your locals, RSN's or PPV channels) seems to be the new standard benchmark. At least we have HD, my poor friends in the western half of the county have Comcast, and they've got nothing. They don't even have phone service yet.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA
reply to ABBJason

Jason,

Thanks for your help recently. I'm enjoying the HBO and Max GO apps. Just wondered if you heard anything about the SHOWTIME ANYTIME app that is similar to the other two, but for Showtime?

Jim


ABBJason

join:2010-06-03
Altoona, PA

I wasn't aware Showtime had their own app. I haven't heard of any plans for it. I can't claim to know how decisions like these get made within the company, but I can say this, we had a lot of interest from customer for HBO Go. Showtime, well like I said this is the first I even heard they had a similar service. I wouldn't mind it personally, could watch some Sparticus!


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

I was hoping that we'd have AMC in HD by the time the walking dead hit this fall! Sadly no news!


ABBJason

join:2010-06-03
Altoona, PA

Me too. I have some optimism for some shake up in HD in 2013.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

I really hope you guys in Altoona/Johnstown can at least get the 16 additional HD channels that we have in Cumberland.

I wouldn't mind having your BTN though.