Time Warner Digital dishonesty

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam Nixon, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    I currently live in Wichita Falls, TX, and I grow tired of seeing advertisements for Time Warner Digital Cable. The reason -- each time they air, one of the talking drones uses the phrase "digital HDTV" in every single version of the commercial.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but NO cable company transmits in HD, right?! These are obviously national ads, so HOW can this company continuously get away with blatant LIES every time I flip on the TV? This is product misrepresentation at its absolute worst -- I'm amazed that there isn't some type of FCC statute in violation.

    Unfortunately, the consequence of this is a local populace living in blissful ignorance of what REAL HDTV is. We all know how difficult it is convincing people about widescreen movies -- God forbid informing any digital cable subscribers that they do NOT have HDTV.
     
  2. George Carlisle

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    Time Warner actually is broadcasting HD in a few select markets. Houston may be one of them. So is Comcast, like in Philadelphia or someplace.
     
  3. Bruce Denman

    Bruce Denman Auditioning

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    Actually there are quite a number of us Time Warner subscribers in different areas that get High Definition as part of their Digital Tier. I get HBO, Showtime and PBS in HD in my part of South Carolina. For the commercial broadcasters, one has to first have the signal locally before it can be on the cable.

    Houston, Tampa, and Charlotte all get several OTA channels in HD or SD (CBS, ABC, NBC, and/or FOX). New York City has a bunch. Austin has HBO and Showtime I believe. Raleigh has some too as does Orlando. TWC normally has two HBO and two Showtime feeds (east and west coast) which is convenient.

    One problem with the TWC rollout is the lack of HD capable cable boxes (typically the SA2000HD). The systems usually consider the program a Beta since they cannot provide many boxes. If your TWC has digital cable then hopefully soon you will have HD as well. I would call and see if they are making a list for the boxes. There should be a number of boxes available this year including a new model (SA3100HD). Another forum has even had a thread with a nationwide list as to who has what HD over cable. It was suprising. Hopefully your TWC will come on board soon.

    Bruce
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    My first cup of coffee hasn't 'kicked' in yet, so bare with me.

    I think what he meant is that a 'true' HDTV signal would go into their CATV box, and exit to the TV via component cables to an HDTV ready TV input.

    The use of super, A/V or coax to the TV wouldn't be digital, and TV inputs don't support that anyway. If the CATV box converts digital to analog, we're losing the definition that we should be getting versus using a 'true' digital signal.

    Until CATV boxes use component outputs, they are 'fooling' most of the people all of the time.

    Glenn
     
  5. Bruce Denman

    Bruce Denman Auditioning

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    Cable has used the term digital cable and that no doubts confuses/misleads the public into thinking that is the same as Digital TV but so do the satellite folks. TWC has indeed implemented a digital distribution system in many areas.

    No one "owns" the term "digital" so everybody uses it. And many folks think of HDTV when they do talk "Digital TV" when in fact Standard Definition is mandatory (replaces NTSC) and HD broadcasts are optional. Admittedly, all ATSC/DTV tuners thus far do all 18 formats of DTV including the two that are HD and HD is what we hear of the most.

    With one limited exception, TWC Cable (and others) do not offer the same type signal over the cable that you get over the air (256QAM vice 8-VSB) so you have to have their set top box to decode it. (NYC had 8-VSB over cable for awhile; I do believe it is going away).

    QAM is a type of signal modulation and is supposedly more efficient over cable than 8-VSB for the cable company so they use it to compress everything into their digital cable system. QAM also gives them control over their programming including premium chanels and PPV. DBS uses something similar too for the same reason.

    Digital TVs only support analog inputs now; that is why you have YPrPb or RGBHV inputs for HD. True digital only displays are like some of the LCD laptop computer monitors in use today and new technologies are being developed/tested/sold as we speak. The copy protection schemes being developed will use digital connections to the display and have the signals converted internally.

    Taping the uncompressed signals can be done but is not feasible for the most part. Taping compressed digital video is easy and the reason we will see copy protection forced on us at some point to avoid the napsterization of HD video.

    Bruce
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Michael - one of the reasons I said that was because I have read other threads about CATV boxes that have labels on the back panels for sockets that are not there, like for 5.1 & S-video. I can easily see them doing that for component too. What cable company do you have?

    Glenn
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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  9. Bruce Denman

    Bruce Denman Auditioning

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    I have the 2000HD box and get HD over TWC (HBO, SHO, PBS). The ouputs include a total five RCA connects (3 for YPrPb or all for RGBHV, selectable with jumpers inside the box) and digital coax out. There are also USB, Data, Ethernet, and Bypass ports (not used here at this time) plus the regular a/v ports.

    As I recall, the standard 2000 backplate does not have the five RCA connects or the audio digital coax out. I have not seen the back of the 2100 box but it is smaller so I would doubt it would have many spare connects. Have not heard anyone mention yet what the new (to be deployed) 3100HD will have.

    There was a major thread over at AVS in the programming forum on who gets HD and what broadcaster/programmer (ABC, HBO, etc). You would have to search for it now.

    Bruce
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    About the middle of last summer, there were only a couple of cable systems doing HD. More will get into it. Yes they do use 'digital' on purpose. They don't want to go out and market their product as the higher cost less quality version vs. DSS.
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I dunno, but the local TWDC commercials do not use the term HDTV, but rather empahsize "CD quality sound."
    So it may be that your market offers HDTV.
     
  13. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I really wish I was in Time-Warner land and could get HD via cable. But I'm in AT&T territory and I don't think HD is even a glimmer in their eye yet.
     

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