May 02, 2011

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Get to Know Our Free On Demand Channels

Welcome to our first installment of What You May Not Know About Your Time Warner Cable Service, where we’ll try to bring you worthwhile insights, hints and shortcuts about any and all of the services we currently offer.

Free to all Digital TV subscribers, Free On Demand (FOD) allows our customers access to a treasure trove of programming content that can be paused, fast-forwarded and rewound, just like anything else On Demand. Calling it a treasure trove is apt: FOD feels like a secret, but it’s not one we want to keep to ourselves. Recently I went through the more than 25 FOD channels in New York City (note: channels do vary by area). What I found surprised even me. Here’s a sampling of eight.

Primetime On Demand & Entertainment On Demand – A veritable A-to-Z of popular programmers. Their names alone tell you what to expect: A&E, ABC, Bravo, CBS, Discovery, FX, NBC, SyFy, and USA. Catch up on missed episodes (30 Rock, Community) or give new ones (The Killing) a stab.

BBC America On Demand – Many of us already know there are something like 16 Law & Orders shows out there. OK, there’s currently only three, but there’s a fourth that I didn’t know existed – Law & Order: UK – and BBC America has it, along with past episodes of Top Gear and Doctor Who as well as a category for Royal Wedding (Diana’s Dresses, How to be a Prince). It’s all right to be a little curious.

Answers On Demand – AOD is a great channel for both those new to Time Warner Cable and even those who’ve been around the box. Short tutorials introduce you to the very basics of enjoying Digital TV: finding shows, accessing HD and On Demand programming and enabling Parental Controls. Though some of the videos are several years old, the category for 411 for Parents couldn’t be timelier: Facebook Privacy, Online Learning Tips, Sexting & Kids and Cyberbullying, just to name a few.

Exercise TV On Demand – It’s hard to dispute the science: exercise is helps us reduce stress, combat chronic diseases and control our weight. But gyms can be expensive and not everyone feels comfortable grunting and sweating in front of strangers. Exercise TV solves that problem with segments led by popular fitness buff Jillian Michaels and Billy Blanks Jr. plus some other attractive people that won’t judge you. Check out 10 Minute Workouts, Bellydancing, Meditation or Kickboxing. Select Kids For Fitness to involve the whole family.

HD Showcase On Demand – Sort of a hodgepodge of superior-than-SD content, HD Showcase carries programming categories for everyone (3D, A&E, History, Music Choice) and my mother (DiY, Food Network). Depending on where you live, there may also be local treats like Mets HD with recent wins, some losses.

Kids On Demand – Kids On Demand isn’t just for kids. As someone who recently fell asleep to an episode of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (you know the one where all the bad guys get released from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s airship prison…), you don’t have to be a under 10 to appreciate animation like the relatively new Phineas and Ferb or rehashes of shows you grew up with like Fraggle Rock, G.I. Joe: Resolute and Transformers Animated.

Lo Mejor On Demand – Late in 2009, we launched Lo Mejor On Demand, our first Hispanic FOD channel. Through research we understood that more than 60 percent of Hispanic customers preferred Spanish-language content but only about half watched FOD shows or movies within the last month. By partnering with networks like Univision, Telefutura and Galavision, we were able to help fill in that gap. Also included: CNN en Español, ESPN Deportes and mun2.

…And the list goes on. There’s still Automotive On Demand, Free Movies On Demand, History & Nature On Demand, Local On Demand, Movie Trailers On Demand, Sports On Demand and more. Some channels are more obvious than others. All are worth exploring. Find out what FOD channels are available in your area here.

Do you watch Free On Demand? What type of programming do you like to access for free on demand?

+- 12 Comments

  1. Al's reply

    finding/watching them would be a lot easier if the DVR wasn’t a mess of a box. i think instead of explaining how it works on this shiny blog, maybe pushing the powers that be to actually update the DVR to something in that looks like it came from at least the last decade is time better spent.

    I mean, the Tivo was doing this better than the Motorola thing in my living room 8 years ago. the Time Warner DVR is the gateway to your content, it needs to be better (or at least competent) at getting people their content. Digging through “channels” (a term that barely applies anymore) for on demand content, anemic search, no discovery, and a horrible graphic UI does not make one want to use the DVR’s features.

    It is just crazy to me that someone at Time Warner looks at Navigator and finds it somehow acceptable….The content is there, it is the grey box under everyone’s TV holding back. Give us options or give us the real ability to go out into the market and find what we want.

  2. Juan Garcia's reply

    I dont have DVR but I agree the box tech is old and poorly done. Its work to find a show worth watching, very time consuming to setup your favorites , way to many menu levels to get through to find what you want. Someone has to have a better system or an idea how to make it easier. There are at least four buttons on the remote that could be shortcuts to search and for setting up favorites. Do I really have to work through all the channels I dont get? Why not display the channels your customer is subscribe to. Dont be so greedy and scheming “oh show them all the channels that way they will want them and end up ordering more more more bo haha!” It worse than the grocery stores butting the milk and eggs in the very back even though customer would prefer that they were in the front of the store. Greed sucks. While I’m on the topic the commercials are way out of control. You now spend more time broadcasting commercials than actual entertainment. Again greed sucks. Cable was supposed to have less commercials since you pay for it every single month, what happened oh ya greed. I wonder if this will actual be allowed on your website.

  3. Whoever20022's reply

    I just clicked on the yellow “a” button to find Free Movies on Demand and it has disappeared. The new menu is awful, as well. why not simplify things?

  4. Chad's reply

    I agree with the comments here, my Tivo’s been a pain lately so decided to get a twc dvr to try out and man it’s program guide is junk. I was disgusted that setting my favorites had no interaction with guide. Also amazed at how few channels the guide shows at once as well, I mean this is an HD DVR after all so come one get some HD in the guide. For the fee you charge it should be FAR ahead of where it is, can’t imagine keeping this when my trial’s up (if I can stand to even use it for free). Guess you’re lucky the Tivo needs adapter for sdv and can’t do on demand (course actually luck has nothing to do with that). I’m completely disappointed, this seems worse than I remembered it being 4 years ago when I last saw one certainly no improvement in that time.

  5. Susan Pratt's reply

    I grew up in the 50s with 3 channels and no remote. Now I am computer-literate. In fact, I make my living designing on a Mac.

    When I switched from VCR recording to Tim Warner DVR, there was a brief learning curve. But, overall, I am satisfied with the functionality and ease-of-use of this system. Since I am a visual person and have good hand-eye coordination, this system is perfect for me.

    When I run into a problem or have a question, I call tech support to get info and answers.

    I’m all for making improvements, but… I have no problem with the way things are.

  6. James's reply

    This system is a nightmare. We used on demand all the time on comcast but This is worthless. One more reason to cut the cord I guess.

  7. Sam's reply

    Don’t have DVR, can’t afford DVR and why can’t ALL the networks offer ALL their shows ON DEMAND? Pain in the behind trying to figure out who has Look Back/On Demand, etc. so I know if I need to watch. Don’t understand how hard it can be for them all to have ON DEMAND, sure don’t mention that in their advertising promoting they have ON DEMAND?????

  8. Lisa warren's reply

    I want to watch missed episodes on abc ,twc no longer supports this app, can I watch them on demand?

  9. Robert oxford's reply

    why is the weather local on the 8′s ch 40 work on old tv but not on the new

    when local on 8′s comes on the new tv the weather is just regional

  10. Cyndi's reply

    Please I just want to know what channels I have free on demand with my cable

  11. Jean's reply

    I am currently house sitting and watching TV. I have been watching shows on demand from the ABC network. Are there charges for this and if so, how much per episode?

  12. Andrew Russell's reply

    Jean – Primetime On Demand programming (which includes ABC) is free as part of your digital cable subscription.

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