Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So, that's gonna be weird. O_0 (A post about the ABC/Hearst/Time Warner "impasse" that went into play on July 9, 2012)

I turned on my TV in the bathroom this morning after my shower to see if my ABC affiliate had officially been dropped from my Time Warner Cable distribution. After a random commercial for "Stretch Genie", which should have been my first clue, the end of an episode of Matlock popped on, and I had my answer.

How odd is it that we simply don't have ABC as an option anymore in the entire Kansas City area, if we are Time Warner customers? How long before we get it back? I HATE going without my mindless GMA in the morning, but I'm going to hate it even more if I can't watch Modern Family, The Middle, and Happy Endings (yes, we're one of the few households that watch it) when they're back with new episodes in the Fall, or whenever.

What do we do about this? Change our cable provider? Do we even have another cable option in this town? I'm not switching to a dish method...I can't go without TV in a thunderstorm. I'd lose my mind. So what happens now? Call the station? Call Time Warner? Call Hearst and ask them to be more reasonable? Or is it Time Warner that's at fault for this?

Is AT&T Uverse a good idea? I don't like AT&T. Not at all. So that doesn't help. But I don't like Time Warner very much right now, either, to be fair.

On the KMBC website, it says, "Our signal remains available over the air for free and also on other cable systems," but what the hell does the "over the air for free" thing mean? I don't understand old technology anymore. They have a link to something called "antennaweb" on the site, so I can determine what kind of antenna we'll need, but come on. What am I gonna do, unhook my cable every morning and hook up the antenna so I can watch GMA, and then unhook it and rehook up to cable so we can watch other cable programming the rest of the day/night?

No. No I will not.

Instead, I watched NBC for news this morning. And almost punched my TV when Al Roker got all jokey on the couch at the end of the 1st hour.

So, they need to come to an agreement. This sort of thing can't possibly fly for a very long period of time. Any suggestions on what I can do as an effected consumer are welcome. (Any commentary on my level of TV watching is not. I like TV. I'm not ashamed of that. So if you wanna judge me, you can fuck right off.)


Christy said...

If you have a newer TV, you don't need to do anything special to pick up over the air channels.

Use your remote to switch to TV and then go into the menu and choose scan channels. Your TV will then look for over the air channels. Once it's done, exit out of the menu function and you should have OTA TV. The channel numbers may look weird, depending on how your TV views them. I ended up just writing down the channels I can view & then watching them long enough to write down the station IDs.

Faith said...

Ok, and in the case where a TV is hooked directly to cable, like in my bathroom (I don't have a box or DVR in there), can I do the same thing?

Old Fart said...

I'm certainly not a fan of cable companies (I've been a DirecTV customer for over 10 years), but in this case, TWC is actually on your side.

Hearst is demanding a 300% increase in the amount of money that TWC has to pay for the content... and who do you think would ultimately have to pay for THAT?

This is almost the same thing DirecTV went through with FOX last year. Eventually, FOX had to cave in and lower their demands. Right now, Hearst is getting squat from TWC in the blacked out markets. I give it a week at most before your local channel lineup is back on TWC.

thedirtyknitter said...

We've been "cable-less" for several years, what christy said is true! Ours is hooked into our old cable line, not through an antennae. You just have to autosearch through the ota stations. In opks abc is like 111.1, I think. We get a ton of stations w/out any cable at all! Bravo, TLC, fx, usa, etc. plus the local channels.

Nuke said...

Christy and Knitter are right to a point. You can get over the air channels without paying for a new antenna. But, this assumes your TV has a tuner able to receive them. Some companies save mony by not including an over the air tuner and figure you will be using a connected digital source such as DVD player/cable/satellite. If you do have a tuner, change your source from cable to antenna (or air) and do a scan for available channels, but leave your cable hooked up, all the copper in the coax subs as a cheap ass antenna of sorts.

As for another part of your question, I freakin love my U-verse. It is available as phone, Internet, TV or any combination. If you cannot tell from the website (just put in address or phone info) if y.our house is eligible, ask Meesha if he can find out.

faithstwin said...

I looked into uverse for my house and unfortunately I'm out of their servicable area- which is completely dumb because this is such an afluent area I would think they would get their service available in areas like this as soon as possible.

But Cox Cable (my provider) prob has something to do with all that, I'm sure.

That's a good option for my Reno, project though... gonna go see if they service that area. Nice call, Nuke!

Faith said...

The people who lived in our house previously were AT&T Uverse customers, and they loved it, apparently.

But they also had an antler chandelier, and did that crazy-ass faux finish on the island in the kitchen, too. So do I trust their judgement on everything? Not necessarily...

This is great feedback, though, all! I thought this was an interesting part of the update that KMBC has on their website today, though: "
Time Warner’s characterization of the percentage increase in carriage fees we are seeking is inaccurate...
The fees we are asking from Time Warner are based on the fees we are being paid by other cable companies under our recent deals, which is the real measure—not Time Warner’s exaggerated and distorted claims—of the fairness of our proposal."

I still don't know what the hell to think about it all, but I figure I'll give it about a week, and then look into options.

Old Fart said...

Funny thing is Viacom just did the same thing with DirecTV today. MTV, VH1, and 15 other Viacom owned channels are now dark until a new deal is reached. Of course, when that happens, my DTV bill will probably go up.
You can get local channels, but any specialty channel (like Food Network, CNN, MTV, Bravo.. etc, are at the whims of the provider and carrier working out a deal for compensation.

faithstwin said...

...and a wolf painting, dude. Do not forget about the wolf room. =D

Faith said...

Well, I tried the antenna channel search thing last night on our TV in the basement (which is our main living space, and where we have our DVR and stuff, so I'm not sure if that affected it), and it didn't work.

I'm going to try it with the TV in the bathroom tonight. Crossing fingers that it works!