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Os

join:2011-01-26
US

OWN to Digital Value in Cumberland

Noticed on the guide tonight that OWN has been added to Digital Value on channel 37, the former location of Comcast SportsNet here. It remains at its original location of channel 301.

We got new HD channels this time last year, 12 of them. I've been checking hoping for something more. A new analog channel is not exactly what I was hoping to find. No sign of an HD feed of OWN either being added. Hopefully it will follow soon on 737.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

said by Os:

Noticed on the guide tonight that OWN has been added to Digital Value on channel 37, the former location of Comcast SportsNet here. It remains at its original location of channel 301.

We got new HD channels this time last year, 12 of them. I've been checking hoping for something more. A new analog channel is not exactly what I was hoping to find. No sign of an HD feed of OWN either being added. Hopefully it will follow soon on 737.

I wonder how we can go about getting some sort of official word on what if anything is to come soon. There has to be a better way for the company to do business than just remain in complete silence about future upgrades to services.

Even some sort of "We're working on bringing you even better HD service in coming months..." or at least something vague.

The silence for years on this HD thing is really to a boiling point since it's been 3-4 years since we've had any improvement in this area.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US

I've never seen any sort of notice from Atlantic Broadband like other companies do. I've seen plenty of Comcast notices in the local paper for Garrett County.

Even when we got those channels, they didn't announce them in the bills, and they did so a month after I received them. I found them first on the guide.

I think there's complete silence because there really isn't any plan to upgrade. Adding an analog channel in December of 2012 I think pretty much proves they don't get it.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

1 edit

said by Os:

I've never seen any sort of notice from Atlantic Broadband like other companies do. I've seen plenty of Comcast notices in the local paper for Garrett County.

Even when we got those channels, they didn't announce them in the bills, and they did so a month after I received them. I found them first on the guide.

I think there's complete silence because there really isn't any plan to upgrade. Adding an analog channel in December of 2012 I think pretty much proves they don't get it.

One thing that is curious to me, is how rights to channels are negotiated. If they have all of these HD channels in various other markets, does that mean that they have to negotiate rates for individual markets, or a company as a whole? If they have to negotiate as a whole, then that means they could give us those channels without any increased programmings costs, but choose not to because of technical reasons, or just because that haven't wanted to do it.

I'm not sure if Altoona has enough bandwidth for more channels or not. The highest frequency I see running any channels is 747Mhz on the PC tuner. Maybe 750Mhz is the maximum in the area, although I thought it was upgraded to 1Ghz with Charter.

If there is no more headroom, then I fear we will have nothing until they do an analog to digital conversion... which is likely years away. It would be sad, if they sat all of these years and didn't do any planning on the video side.

There's always MPEG4 to save the day, but only their newer STB's support that, and they're still to this day handing out the old boxes from 2000. My father in-law signed up for cable and got an Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3000 that is 12 years old.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to Os

We're a 860MHz Motorola system. We have plenty of room to do stuff, but with 77 analog channels now since OWN was added, this is taking up a ton of space, especially since there is a digital simulcast of all these analog channels.

From what I've gathered, ABB wants to make the negotiating more regionalized, but at the moment it's entirely regional. Most of the programming decisions I gather are made locally or at the regional level, as you can see most of the same things between Uniontown, Altoona/Johnstown and Cumberland. But Altoona/Johnstown has Fuse, Uniontown has NatGeo Wild, we have neither. But the Eastern Shore has Cooking Channel but not ESPNU.

What doesn't make sense to me is since there is some bandwidth there, why all the Viacom HD channels weren't added. We got Spike, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central but not VH1, CMT or BET. MTV2 and TV Land HD would have been around then. And nobody in ABB has Palladia in HD. Something like Palladia, as well as channels like MGM HD, AXS TV, HDNet Movies and Universal HD, could be featured in an HD pack that only those customers who want it would have to receive, or could be included with the box fee. Some of these channels are featured in South Florida and South Carolina. The same could be done for many sports channels in a Sports Pack combined with NFL RedZone for those of us who would want such programming. By breaking down the Digital Plus package into packages the way Cox and Mediacom have, you could even build some price increases into it, and have programming more in tune with what customers are looking for. It is one thing to force all customers to pay for programming, it is another to deny willing customers from a lot of the modern programming. Our lineup as it stands basically has less channels than when Charter left it in 2005. If you'll look at a Comcast lineup from 2005 (I found one somewhere), it's basically what we have today. The moral of the story is we've received little new in 7 years as everyone else got all the new offerings.

What I do know is that the HD offerings are well behind every other provider, and in terms of what we're paying, we have rates either at or above the retail prices of Comcast/TWC/Charter with significantly less channels overall. ABB channel lineups are basically the weakest of any cable company that I've seen. There is a reason there are so many Dish and DirecTV customers here in Western MD.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

Honestly, the only thing that annoys me is silence and secrecy.

I know in this area, there really isn't any competition aside from DirectTV and Dish. They're already ahead in terms of video service channel selection. Often providers don't like to spill what they have in store in fear the competition may 1-up them, but here it would be a bonus to let people know.

I call in periodically, maybe once every few months to ask if there is anything new coming, and I'm told... "we don't really know until maybe a week before something is about to come out" or "they don't tell us anything either" or "we're always looking to improve our services, but I can't tell you anything specific at this time"

I'm optimistic that 2013 may bring something, but if it does, we'll never know until something new appears on the guide and a note is in the following months bill.

I think ABB has the opportunity to stop some of the cord cutting that's going on in regards to video service if they just step up and say that they're working on something. With the silence, a lot of the people are easily convinced to switch to something else. Walk into Sam's Club or Best Buy and see how the DirecTV cult will go out of their way to tell you how bad ABB sucks compared to what they have.

They go on to tell you how cable's HDTV is really 480p when the neighbors turn on their TV's and a bunch of other lies, but when it comes to channel selection, and they hand you the comparison chart, it's pretty honest.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

In my experience, the picture quality for ABB HD is better than DirecTV HD. I've had the chance to compare the quality of Orioles broadcasts on MASN, which are a very crisp 1080i. The clarity has always been better on ABB.

I pulled up Comcast's State College lineup to compare, and this is what they receive that ABB does not.

ShopNBC (Altoona/Johnstown has this, we do not)
C-SPAN 3
Current
NatGeo Wild
Cooking Channel
PBS Kids Sprout
Smithsonian Channel
Aspire
Ovation
Fuse (Altoona/Johnstown has this, we do not)
Hallmark Movie Channel
Reelz Channel
G4
Logo
Sundance
Fox Movie Channel
TV One
Centric
RLTV
GMC
Pac 12 Network
ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater
FCS Atlantic
FCS Central
FCS Pacific
Fox Soccer
beIn Sports
NBA TV
CBS Sports Network
Tennis Channel
MLB Network
NHL Network
Outside Channel
Daystar
Halogen
HBO West
HBO Comedy (Altoona/Johnstown has this, we do not)
HBO Zone (Altoona/Johnstown has this, we do not)
Cinemax West
ThrillerMax (Altoona/Johnstown has this, we do not)
WomanMax
@Max
5StarMax
OuterMax

39 additional channels from Altoona/Johnstown, 44 from Cumberland.

Channels ABB has that Comcast doesn't:
Chiller (which NBC Universal, parent of Comcast, owns)
Lifetime Real Women
MTV U (We have this here, Altoona/Johnstown does not)

And that's only touching SD.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

I agree. The HD quality on ABB is much better than DirecTV or Dish. It's still true HD, and not the "HD Lite" everyone complains about.

That's quite the list. Some of those channels would be nice to have, as well as HD versions, and HD versions of existing channels.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to Os

This is the kind of lineup I'd like to see from ABB. This is an awesome lineup.

»www.brctv.com/print/tv/channels/346

I'd add that Blue Ridge is a smaller company than ABB.


JimmyK814

join:2010-12-29
Altoona, PA

Yeah, I know someone who lives in this area. I was surfing channels late at night and I was amazed at what they had for a no-name/never heard of before cable company.

I think really what has happened is ABB came into the picture when channel selection was already determined by the previous company. They made some minor tweaks, brought in the HD versions of the same channels, and never really focused on staying up to date on new channels that came on the market in the last decade. (aside from a couple here and there)

If I compare an old Channel card from 2000 with one from today, it's 90% the same.

In 2008 they were great with early HD selections. The rearranging of HD channels in the 700's to match the corresponding SD channels was a good move, but that was 3-4 years ago, and we've basically had next to no additions since then.

I always like to point out that I'm happy with the internet service. They've made some strides in that area. The speed/price and bundles are reasonable.

I don't like to be the basher always pointing out the bad things!