Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And A Big "F- You" To You, Too!...

Time Warner Los Angeles is a horrible cable service provider. I want to put that out there not only as a long time customer (six years and still running) but also as someone who works in a service industry that supplies them with a product (Video On Demand) and has to witness the mess that ensues from four dudes stuck in a cramped room somewhere pulling mpgs and summaries down by hand. Our technology has become so advanced I also deliver Video On Demand to mobile devices, and yet Time Warner still chooses to live and work like a bitter old man, too stuck in the "back in my day" storytelling to get on board and even attempt to integrate the new technology that will only continue to get better, faster, and more prominent in our lives; Time Warner, therefore, acts like my parents: still stuck in the rabbit ears and dial-up world, hoping that technology is cyclical. But no, Mom, Dad, Dennis Duffy, and TWC; it is most certainly not.

As if it isn't bad enough that half the time Time Warner's digital guide is incorrect or displays the "No Program Data" message-- or that when you try to actually watch one said On Demand program, more often than not, you get a spinning arrow and an error, "Try Again Later" message, or pixelated mess-- now those good ole' fashioned folks at Time Warner (and not just LA) have announced that they will be reverting even farther back down the evolutionary chart of television and actually removing one of the largest conglomerates from the rotation after midnight tonight if a settlement is not reached. Viacom (owners of all thing MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, etc) probably want Time Warner to carry smaller stations like Logo and are threatening to pull all big moneymakers (like the aforementioned) if they do not comply. By midnight tonight.

Now, I remember the days (okay, well, the nights really) when my seven-channel television would only offer snow after a certain hour, and come tonight, that could be the result again; is this really what we've come to? Time Warner claims that the provider (all sixteen of the channels they want to "go dark" are from Viacom and Viacom alone) wants to increase fees in order to keep them on the air-- an amount that would really only add up to less than a quarter (twenty-five cents, not twenty-five percent) on the monthly bill. Sure, I don't understand why we should have to pay more for continued services (not new ones), and sure, the programming will still be available online, but everyone knows watching programs there is not the same-- talk about pixelation, freezing, and buffering! Until that technology grows a little bit more (and it will; it just hasn't yet), we still want to be able to fall asleep to the sound of the latest Britney Spears autotune or Gary Busey spazzing out on some Celebreality show.

Personally, I think those four dudes in the little room are just tired and in need of a vacation. Time Warner has been working through this holiday break, and they're probably all a little bit cranky and bitter about that (as am I because my day job makes us use vacation or personal days to have time off at this time of year!); it is much easier for them to say "just get rid of it" and therefore have less to do than to be willing to work with the provider to continue the service. After all, sixteen channels adds a lot when everything is done manually; now if Time Warner would consider investing in a few automated servers to yank everything down the way Comcast or Cox or Charter have... well, maybe then we'd also get a few more HD channels because right now the price of renting the HD box is not worth the handful we get-- especially considering we don't even get the good (truly HD worthy) ones like Bravo and HGTV! I would gladly pay a little bit extra for that!

The channels that will be affected if an agreement isn't reached tonight are: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul. So check these out tomorrow at 12:01, and if you have just a black screen, I encourage you to call Time Warner and report an outage. If they get enough consumer complaints, maybe they will realize how stupid this plan is. After all, in a day and age where we can pretty much choose what color our children's eyes will be, we should be able to have all the options for what to watch on our own televisions at any given time of day (or night)!


Kate, Dating in LA said...

What??? I spend over a $100 a month for TMcable. First I don't get the NFL network (which in my world is unforgiveable sin) and now I'm going to be missing The Daily Show??? Will they be significantly lowering my bill to reflect this lunacy? That Direct TV HD dish is huge, but I'm starting to think that I might have to sacrifice my balcony to it.

danielletbd said...

I think either they will come to a last minute agreement tonight or AT&T will have hundreds of new sign-up customers tomorrow morning, including me.


I demand my Bromance and ROL Charm School Reunion (which airs this Sunday)