Ditching Time-Warner...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Aeolius, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Aeolius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #1
    I am considering getting rid of Time-Warner cable once and for all. First it was consumption-based billing, a battle they lost for now. Then it was a recent 20% rate increase. Not to mention the matter of trying to get them to bury new cable for six weeks, to improve my signal. TW is the only game in town, here, and they know it.

    I have looked at DirecTV for television and Clearwire for internet. Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-Verse are not available in my area (just outside of Greensboro, NC), yet. One problem is that Clearwire only gives me 2 out of 5 bars of signal, though they said a new tower going up next month should fix that. Another problem is that DirecTV does not support standalone TiVo units and my wife likes her TiVo. DirecTV has been attempting to get back together with TiVo for some time, now, but there is no timetable set in stone. I'm sure by the time they work out a deal, Apple will buy TiVo. ;)

    So, what options might I be overlooking?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Being around Raleigh NC myself Fios is not an option and TW is the only game in town for me. Direct and Dish both claim not to get signal though as I look around at all of the Direct and Dish Network dishes hanging off the railings of my complex I wonder if I wasn't stuck with two very incapable people.

    That said, for me I tried the whole ATV as a cable replacement and it was not bad. It was a necessity as my last place didn't offer any cable and to get it was a PITA.

    My advice to you is sit down with your wife and see what shows she is watching and recording. Those will be the ones that you'll likely have to buy or watch via Hulu. Remember though, the ATV must be hacked to run hulu. I personally think that the cost of running the ATV and purchased content on a non-hacked ATV is much higher than cable. I noticed I was paying on average of $30 for a season and there were at least 8 shows I just had to watch. Hulu was ok on my computer but I didn't want to sit in that chair all day and all night. Therefore, I purchased a mac mini. I now get netflix, MLB.com, Hulu and loads of other content right there on my 47" TV.

    The ATV suited me fine but became a huge expense. Again, this was bought before people thought to hack it and sold when the hacking of it became a huge thing. I don't like to bother with stuff like that so the $500 mini was my way to go and I have yet to regret it nearly 6 months later.
     
  3. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #3
    It's sad, TW used to be the hands-down favorite for reliability and customer service. Since their "regionalization", though, they have become like unto AOL.

    On the buried cable, a friend of mine had his PC fried when a near-miss lightning strike caused a spike to travel up his unburied cable. TW just laid the cable on top of the dirt in his back yard:eek:. First storm, zap. He is now fighting with them to pay for the PC.

    In your area, you don't have a lot of options. If I could, I'd have Verizon Fios at home in a heartbeat. At work, I have some TW fiber, and a drop of Verizon Fios. Verizon is not only cheaper, they are 4x faster on the D/L speed. They have become my new favorite, and will be getting more of my business.

    My daughter and her hubby live up there between Burlington and Greensboro. He's a PC guy, but he's wavering on getting an Apple TV, to take the sting out of TW's mess.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #4
    Take another look at DirecTV

    I have been a DirecTV customer for 3 weeks now, and recommend it highly. Their HD is much better than Time Warner's HD ever was. I have an HD/DVR that is simple to use. I have connected my Elgato EyeTV to the HD receiver and can record to my Mac. I am hoping that Santa brings me the Hauppauge HAUP1212 to capture in HD.

    I kept the Time Warner internet connection, as it has been a reliable service with no problems. I am also in a low-population density area with no hope of FIOS anytime soon. I will be interested to know of any other alternatives you discover.

    By the way, I got the whole package from DirecTV - all the premiums, Sunday Ticket, Super Fan, HD, and DVR for an amazing price. The free iPhone App that allows you to program the receiver to record is sweet.

    About the iPhone Apps
    However, the absolute best thing is being able to watch the pro football game on the iPhone. Although the local game was blacked out on the TV broadcast, the iPhone application shows 100% of all the games with nothing blacked out. Sunday, while I waited in a store, I didn't miss a minute of a very fine game.

    For those of you who want perfect video, the app falls short. If you are like me and just want to watch every minute regardless of what the family has planned, it is quite watchable on 3G.

    Moderators, if the following isn't allowed, I apologize. If you are thinking about getting DirecTV, there is a very nice rebate for both of us if I refer you. PM me for details.
     
  5. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #5
    I'm in Greensboro as well. I also ditched TW last year after their consumption based crap. At the time, I could get North State DSL (3 meg), which worked ok , but was slow. We recently moved north of the city, out of North State's area into ATT. ATT does have 6M DSL in the area. I decided to go with Earthlink cable. While they use TW lines, TW only gets a small franchising fee out of my business. Its also cheaper than TW for the first year 29.99 and then 39.99 after that. It also means I'm shielded from TW's pricing crap (no increase for me). Rumor is however, if TW does start consumption based billing here, EL will have to follow suit or drop their service in the area. So it may only be a temporary solution until Uverse gets set up. ATT has been dropping a TON of fiber around the Triad, we SHOULD have Uverse any day now...
     
  6. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #6
    Time-Warner pissed us off a long, long time ago. For the past 15 years we've had Directv and have been quite happy with the service. About a year ago we got the hard sell for u-verse, but we were not really all that impressed with the image quality. U-Verse is not true fiber to the house (FTTH) but rather fiber to the node (FTTN) then regular copper phone line to the house. If FIOS ever came to town, I'd jump at that in a heartbeat.
     
  7. Aeolius thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #7
    Here is the rant that inspired the thread:

    I’ve had issues with slow internet speed and bad cable TV reception for some time. Six weeks ago, I called Time-Warner about it.

    They sent Cable Dude #1 out, who informed me that I needed two Flex cables buried instead of the one I currently had, so that I could have a dedicated line for TV and another for internet. He put in a work order for the cables to be buried. After a few days I called TW, who was unable to find any such work order, so they sent out Cable Dude #2, who had to start from scratch. He put a few “boosters” on the coax jacks that had cable boxes on them, which didn’t improve anything at all. Again, the call was made to bury cables.

    After a few days I called TW, who was unable to find any such work order, so they sent out Cable Dude #3, who had to start from scratch (sensing a pattern, here?). He said my Flex should be fine, as it was roughly 400 feet from the pole to the house, but the junction on the utility pole should be checked. He put in a work order for that, and rescheduled burying the two Flex cables, just in case.

    After a few days I called TW, who was unable to find any such work order, so they sent out Cable Dude #4, who ran a temporary cable on the ground, to test the signal. He put in a work order to bury two Flex cables.

    I was beginning to think that all of those calls I had placed, protesting the proposed consumption-based billing model, had blacklisted me in TW’s database. For the record, though consumption-based billing was abandoned due to customer dissatisfaction, I blew through their their proposed “Pro” tier of 50 GB/month in under four days.

    Days later, out comes Cable Dude #5, who was to bury the cable. A pity that he wasn’t told to bring Flex cable, so he left. After a few days I called TW, who assured me that Cable Dudes #6 and #7 would arrive in a few days, to bury the cables.

    A few rainy days later, Cable Dudes #6 and #7 buried two Flex cables, inadvertently cutting through the temporary cable that Cable Dude #4 had laid. Of course it was not their job to hook up the cable, only to bury it, so they put in a call to have a technician come out and fix the cable that same day, as the regular technician was coming the next day to hook up the new Flex cables.

    At 6:10pm (they close at 6pm) I called TW to ask where the technician was. I called four times, speaking with countless operators, before a technician was dispatched. Cable Dude #8 came out at 10pm, to fix the temporary cable.


    The next day, Cable Dude #8 returned, to hook up the two Flex cables. Three different supervisors showed up that day, to insure the work had been completed.

    The following day, having noticed no improvement in my internet speed or TV reception, I examined the closet where the cable feeders run from the side of the house to the interior. There are two Flex cables running to the house, now. The house has four Feeder cables running from the cable box on the side of the house to the “media closet” inside the house. Each Flex cable should have been connected to an independent Feeder cable, one for internet, one for television. Alas, one feeder cable was hooked to a splitter, split between the cable modem and a powered 8-way coax amplifier. The remaining 3 Feeder cables, (inputs, two of which are unused) were hooked into the powered 8-way amplifier outputs with 2-way and 3-way splitters. Ouch.

    I noticed a marked improvement in internet speed, however, when I plugged a laptop directly into the cable modem. I got a much slower speed through the Airport WiFi. A bit of experimenting, involving moving my Mac Pro physically to five or six different locations, revealed that I had placed the desktop Macs in the one “dead zone” in my house; presumably blocked by interference from nearby HVAC ductwork. By moving my Mac Pro two feet to the left, I improved my internet speed threefold.

    On my own initiative, I ordered a 1x16 powered bi-directional coax amplifier. Now I have to find the time to connect one feeder cable to the cable modem and the other to the new amplifier. Granted, none of the cables are labeled, so I’ll have to test each one, to see which room it goes to.

    Thanks loads, Time-Warner. During the past six weeks, spurred by a recent 20% rate hike by TW, I looked at a few alternatives; DirecTV for television and Clearwire for internet. Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-Verse are not available in my area (just outside of Greensboro, NC) and the local DSL is too slow. One problem is that Clearwire only gives me 2 out of 5 bars of signal, though they said a new tower going up next month should fix that. Another problem is that DirecTV does not support standalone TiVo units and my wife likes her TiVo. DirecTV has been attempting to get back together with TiVo for some time, now, but there is no timetable set in stone. I'm sure by the time they work out a deal, Apple would have purchased TiVo.
     

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