5 On Your Side

Time running out for TWC customers to prepare for digital transition

Posted April 29, 2015

— In less than a week, some channels will disappear for Time Warner Cable customers as part of the company’s move to an all-digital service called TWC Maxx.

“Beginning on May 5th, we'll do a series of channel cuts which will run May through the end of June," TWC spokesman Scott Pryzwansky said.

The transition will be in stages, a few channels at a time.

To be able to watch TV, each set will need to be connected to a cable box or a digital adapter.

"For those customers that are affected - meaning they have a cable that comes directly from their wall and runs into the back of their TVv or VCR or similar device - they will need a form of digital equipment,” Pryzwansky said.

For most customers, that applies to extra TVs in the bedroom, for example. Those sets will need an adapter.

Because Time Warner's cable signal will be encrypted, subscribers cannot buy an adapter. They must get it from the company.

They are free until June 2016, then they will cost. Currently, that rate will be $2.75 each, per month. To qualify for the free adapters, customers must place their orders by Oct. 29.

There is a limit of two free adapters for customers who have no digital equipment. For those with some digital equipment, such as a cable box, there is no limit to the number of free adapters they can request.

Customers who receive Medicaid and currently have no digital equipment can get two free adapters through June 30, 2020.

Time Warner Cable said the change will free up bandwidth to provide faster Internet service.

"That will mean three to six times faster speeds for every Time Warner Cable customer, up to 300 mbps per second,” Pryzwansky said.

Order the adapters online, by phone or at a TWC location listed below. Offices will stay open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to accommodate customers.

  • Raleigh, 2505 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 101
  • Cary 1307 NW Maynard Road
  • Durham, 1515 N. Pointe Drive, Suite 103
  • Goldsboro, 910 Seventh St.

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  • Sally Hampton-Brzescinski Sep 21, 2015
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    TV air waves used to be FREE (owned by the PUBLIC) because access to information is critical. We now rely on cable TV and internet just like we do telephone and electrical service and the infrastructure should be treated as the critical utility that it has become and managed for the public good. 

    My husband's cousin lives in a town that just fought for the right to build it's own tax funded, publicly managed, not for profit "socialized" fiber to the door. His new socialized TV and internet services are infinitely better and faster and he is paying just 1/3rd what he was paying for his capitalized "free" market inferior cable services. EVERY town should be doing across America if the FCC can't regulate the greed of this industry. Beware that the cable industry is lobbying the corrupt legislators in states to pass laws to prevent local communities from doing this. They don't want to invest the monies they were already given to build out the fiber but trying to prevent towns from

  • Sally Hampton-Brzescinski Sep 21, 2015
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    It's bad enough that #TimeWarner has made it impossible to use "cable ready" TV sets without THEIR #digitalconverter to unscramble the signals. But I just learned they have raised the monthly fees in our area for these converters from $1.50 to $2.75, which is nearly double. 

    This kind of price gouging for services that Americans rely on, especially at time when most Americans have not seen - in decades - any increase in wages to in order to keep up with the rising costs of services managed for the profits of Corporate America, is unconscionable. 

    The Time Warner representative also repeated the companies false claim that the FCC is to blame for the huge spikes, which I know it is actually the greed of the industry not regulated enough to protect the consumers. 
I urge everyone to file complaints online with the FCC and request that they take action to prevent Time Warner and other cable monopolies from taking advantage of consumers. 

    TV air waves used to be FREE (owned by th

  • Edward Anderson Apr 30, 2015
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    Interesting that the article states the charges won't be effective until January 2016, but the TWC page where you order the adapters says the charge is effective January 2015. Betcha the TWC date is the correct one.

  • Russ Mason Apr 30, 2015
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    Finishing up my post . . . if I do, indeed, lose my picture next month, I will be terminating my TV service with TWC, as I have no intention of renting equipment from them. You can probably purchase the digital adapter for an amount equal to six months of rental charges, but TWC won't allow you to buy your own adapter. Too bad for them.

    I intend to get myself an antenna for my HDTV. WRAL has been [i]extremely[i] helpful in helping me pick out an antenna that will work well, based on my distance from their transmission tower.

  • Russ Mason Apr 30, 2015
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    Continuing with my previous post . . . one of the representatives that I spoke with identified herself as a supervisor. She told me that if I have "Starter TV", and my cable connects directly to the back of my HDTV, that there was no way possible that I could have been receiving a digital signal of the local broadcast stations, because TWC has never transmitted a digital signal that my ClearQAM television could display. This leaves me wondering if she is intentionally lying, or she is so uninformed that she does not know about the technology.

    My 20 year experience with TWC cable TV leaves me with the opinion that the company has an internal culture of deceit, deception and greed. These "digital adapters" are merely "seeds of revenue" that they are sowing . . . they are distributing these seeds now, which will bloom into a revenue stream for them in a couple of years.

  • Russ Mason Apr 30, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I have had Time Warner Cable television service for 20 years, and have NEVER had a need, or want, for any of their equipment. I subscribe to their "Starter TV", because all I want is local broadcast channels. My HDTV's ClearQAM has allowed me tune in their digital signals of all the local broadcast stations.

    Three days ago, I made the mistake of calling TWC customer service. I spoke with three different representatives that day, and all three of them began by telling me I was going to lose my picture if I did not acquire the "digital adapter". One of those three ended up back-pedaling, saying that if I have ClearQAM, then I will not need the adapter. The other two representatives were adamant that I would lose my picture. Which rep is correct? Someone at TWC does not know what they are talking about, but that is not a surprise, because I have always gotten conflicting information from TWC, depending on who I talk to.

  • Angie Cox Apr 30, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    yea they are all about the money for sure....

  • Brian Hill Apr 29, 2015
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    Pretty much any HDTV made within the last ten years will have a ClearQAM tuner that is capable of decoding the digital channels. The only reason a box is required is because Time Warner has chosen to unnecessarily encrypt basic channels in order to force you to pay them a monthly fee.