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Altoona, PA

1 edit
reply to Os

Re: Statement: No significant changes?

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.


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.


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.