By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:49 pm
Did you know that we have a specific section of the Time Warner Cable website for customer feedback — including a place where you can request specific TV channels?
It’s true – just follow this link, scroll down to the “Feedback” section and select “Channel Requests” from the drop-down box.
And actually, I learned several different things about our products and services in these forums in less than half an hour – stuff that I wanted to know, but didn’t want to bother calling in to find out.
For example: if several Output Resolution settings on your cable box are highlighted at once, it can cause the box to take a long time to process channel changes, along with other commands/requests. See more here.
We have a lot of really helpful customers and employees who are happy to share tips, tricks, and information they’ve picked up with a broader community so that we can all benefit.
These forums are managed by TWC’s Online Care Team, but largely operated by our customers. Our people stick their heads in from time to time to help out, but the goal (like with any other community forum) is to get customers to help one another. In a lot of instances, this can save unnecessary phone calls, service appointments — time better spent watching TV or using the Internet service we provide in the first place.
Some of the more popular forum topics include:
If you’ve got something you want to tell us, but you’re not sure how, try posting it in the relevant spot here. We’ll see it, and we’ll pass it along.
The goal here is to grow this community, to not only evolve the space so that customers can help each other, but also to have a consolidated, meaningful feedback tool for our employees to read in order to get a feel for what customers want, what works and what needs fixing.
By: Tara DeGeorges at 12:29 pm
Love a finely articulated jazz hand? Crave period appropriate costumes? Dig perfectly executed diction?
We’ve got the show for you.
Following the success of On Stage, a long-running theater program on our local news network NY1, we’re introducing “On Stage Across America.” This original half-hour program spotlights theater happenings across the country — from the bright lights of Broadway to the lantern-lit town squares home to Summerstock and high school plays. Customers across the country — not just in NYC — can enjoy this show starting May 2013; we’ll debut a new episode in the first week of each month on Video On Demand, select TWC local channels, and online.
In the series premiere, DiLella goes behind-the-scenes of new Broadway acts like “Lucky Guy,” “Matilda,” “Motown,” and more. Plus, he interviews celebs who are currently lighting up Broadway marquees, including Tom Hanks, Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein and Audra McDonald.
In addition to showcasing the latest and greatest from the Great White Way, the inaugural episode will spotlight The American Repertory Theater (ART), which produced the 2012 Tony Award-winning revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess” and the first ever Broadway revival of “Pippin.” Plus, DiLella visits The School of the Arts in Rochester, New York where middle and high school students are putting on “Avenue Q: School Edition.”
By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:24 pm
If you live in Mount Vernon, Staten Island, or Bergen County, N.J., you may have gotten a letter from us announcing that we’re transitioning from analog channels in the Basic TV package to an all-digital TV signal. Over the summer, we’re going to roll these changes out across the New York City region, neighborhood by neighborhood.
This is something we’re doing to eventually convert to an all-digital network, freeing up bandwidth on our network in New York. We did it in Maine a few years ago, and now are rolling it across NYC.
This means, essentially that we can offer a much better picture and sound quality, offer more On Demand programming, and faster Internet speeds. More on that below.
Here’s a short video that will explain more:
By: Jay Gormley at 12:26 pm
By now, you may have read the news about a major breakthrough for our live TV application for tablets and smartphones. The TWC TV App is literally breaking through walls by providing live TV to mobile devices outside the confines of our customers’ homes.
It’s been quite a journey for the TWC TV App, which launched in March, 2011. Untangled recently sat down with the application’s product manager and Director of Video Product Management, Greg Calvert, to talk about the history of the App and where it’s going from here.
Untangled: How successful has the launch and the overall use of the TWC TV App been with the general public?
Greg Calvert: The App has been phenomenally successful for us. We launched the first version of the iPad App just over two years ago with 30 live TV channels. Today, we’re offering 10 times as many live channels and over 4,000 hours of On Demand content.
At first, some customers didn’t quite know what to make of a live TV App because the industry has rightly emphasized our time-shifting products like DVR and On Demand. But the truth remains that the vast majority of TV is still watched live in the home. Consumers have been surprised just how convenient it is to have a 2-pound, 10-inch wireless TV around the house.
In terms of consumer adoption, we got in early with the iPad and rode that wave. Our power users tell us that TWC TV is a core app on their tablets; just like a web browser or email. Not only is that a huge compliment for the incredibly talented team of engineers and designers who build our Apps, it’s also great for Time Warner Cable’s video business. When customers consume more of our product in unconventional ways, our value increases.
Untangled: How many people have downloaded the TWC TV App to date?
Calvert: These Apps are very popular. I’ll put it this way – if TWC TV was a stand-alone cable operator, it would be a top 10 MSO (Multiple System Cable/Satellite Operator). Millions of customers used our Apps last year, and 2013 is showing continued growth. Continue Reading
By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:35 pm
We began deploying TWC WiFi™ in Austin Texas today — a citywide WiFi Hotspot network free to our customers with Standard Internet or above, as well as Business Class subscribers. We’re also offering a free trial and prepaid access starting at $2.95/hour to those not qualifying for free access.
Customers can already access hotspots around the Barton Springs/Zilker Park area with hundreds more on the way in 2013 as we build out the network. TWC WiFi™ will be introduced at popular locations where residents eat, live and play like Lamar, Congress, 5th and 6th Streets.
Users should look for the TWC WiFi™ network name and then follow prompts to connect. All you need is the same username/password combo that you use sign log into MyServices to manage your TWC account.
To easily locate and access TWC WiFi™ Hotspots, customers are encouraged to download the free TWC WiFi™ Finder app available in Google Play and the Apple App Store or check out this hotspot coverage map.
We’ve been rolling out our free WiFi network across our footprint for some time now, as part of our larger strategy to offer significantly more value to our Internet subscribers. Austin was in the game plan for 2013. But Google’s recent announcement encouraged us to deploy our network more aggressively now. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we’re ready to compete.
Even more good news: our Internet customers also have access to the nation’s largest free WiFi Hotspot network, with over 100,000 hotspots, through the CableWiFi network name. The network enables TWC Internet customers to access the hotspots operated by TWC and other cable companies in major cities across the country including New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Orlando; Tampa, Kansas City, Charlotte and more.
By: Tara DeGeorges at 04:17 pm
Today was one for the CAMM Hall of Fame.
We attended the 3rd annual White House Science Fair. Part of President Obama’s Educate to Innovate commitment, this event brings together winners of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country to showcase their blue ribbon inventions (think exploding volcanoes, kicked up a notch) to the President, media and more.
Held on the White House grounds and in the building’s East Room, the fair had a wealth of tweetable and pinnable moments, from Bill Nye and LeVar Burton mc-ing the livestream (my heart exploded with Reading Rainbows at the sight of these two) to POTUS pedaling a water-powered bike filtration system designed by one of the kid exhibitors. Plus, a watercolor painting robot and a cancer detecting computer program, to name a few other wish-I-had-thought-of-that science projects.
We were lucky enough to enjoy the presidential field trip with pro football player Victor Cruz by our side. America’s favorite salsa-dancing wide receiver was in the house to help us kick off “STEM in Sports,” a new Connect a Million Minds campaign that gives parents, coaches and other adults the opportunity to get kids pumped about STEM by showing them the connection these subjects have to sports. In addition to Victor, athletes that have agreed to participate in “STEM in Sports” include golfer Ian Poulter and Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon.
Victor headlines our new “STEM in Sports” public service announcement, sharing how math and science are a “winning combination” both on and off the field:
By: Jay Gormley at 12:32 pm
How does a company, with its roots firmly planted in the cable, Internet and phone industry, find itself in the home management and security business? For starters, how about a good old fashioned opportunity?
“When people move, one of the first companies they call is the cable company,” explains Adam Mayer, Vice President of IntelligentHome for Time Warner Cable. “Those same customers often find themselves in need of home security as well, and now we can offer both in one call.”
Time Warner Cable launched IntelligentHome back in 2011, and with it, launched itself into the brave new world of home security and energy management. Today, Dallas becomes the latest city to welcome IntelligentHome technology as part of the company’s on-going plan to expand the service throughout its U.S. markets. The service is already available in TWC markets in Upstate New York, Maine, New Hampshire, the Carolinas, Southern California, Hawaii, Kansas City and other parts of Texas, including Austin and San Antonio.
IntelligentHome is TWC’s next-generation home management service that puts customers in control of their home security and comfort from just about anywhere, via an in-home touchscreen, laptop or mobile device. Wireless technology allows users to remotely adjust their thermostat and lights, while providing the freedom to monitor surveillance cameras when they’re not home. You’ll find much more on IntelligentHome, including product-demonstration videos on the TWC website.
The idea that a video, Internet and phone provider could actually take the leap into the business of securing and managing homes is nothing new to Time Warner Cable. The company started providing home security in 1981 to customers in Syracuse, N.Y. Time Warner Cable then expanded those operations to other parts of New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. This original system, which is still up and running, utilizes traditional wiring throughout the house.
On the other hand, IntelligentHome seizes the power of easy-to-use broadband technology to control the home’s comfort and combines it with professional, 24/7 security monitoring. “IntelligentHome is a wireless platform with endless possibilities,” Mayer says. The eventual goal is to expand that platform by providing home health care, elderly care and other services that will help make life simpler and easier.
“Imagine being able to check your vital signs at home and then send them to your doctor,” Mayer says. “What if an elderly relative fell and no one was there? An IntelligentHome may someday alert paramedics to come help.”
According to TWC research, roughly 80 percent of American homes do not have a security system. It’s one reason why the company plans to continue its roll out of IntelligentHome later this year, including New York City and parts of Ohio and Wisconsin.
For Time Warner Cable, opportunity is knocking at the door, and more than ever, the company is aggressively competing to make sure that door is safe, comfortable and secure.
By: Jay Gormley at 05:07 pm
If you ask most people what a bank is known for, they’re likely to tell you, it’s a safe and secure place to stash their cash. Besides, not too many people are willing to stuff their life savings under a mattress and risk losing it to the hands of a thief or the flames of a fire.
Time Warner Cable Business Class’ new data center in New York City may not be a bank, but in many ways, the 17,000-square-foot center provides business customers with that same sense of security. Instead of cash, however, companies can safely and securely store another precious commodity – their critical supply of electronic data.
“Information technology is the lifeblood of any business and protecting these assets in a secure data center is a high priority in today’s business world,” says Ken Fitzpatrick, President of Time Warner Cable Business Class, East Region. “Our data facility gives IT managers the peace of mind that their assets are safe, accessible and available to ensure their businesses operate optimally.”
Every year, companies produce, collect and distribute massive amounts of files, documents and software that make up their IT infrastructures. More and more of these businesses are looking for a back-up or a safe haven to guard against threats, ranging from the forces of nature to a power outage to even a cyber-attack.
Which brings us back to our data center in Lower Manhattan. Last month, TWC held a grand opening ceremony and you can check it out in the following video:
A TWC data center helps ensure that a company’s vital data operations perform without interruptions by providing a safety net. For instance, the New York center is powered by two separate sources from Con Edison and is equipped with dual back-up generators. It’s also guarded 24/7 by security personnel and by the latest technology in security monitoring.
The New York facility joins nine other TWC data centers in both the United States and the United Kingdom:
By: Jeff Simmermon at 04:37 pm
I read an incredibly fascinating interview in BoingBoing this week, an interview that explained why cell and wireless networks get swamped during a huge crisis. Network access is tough at SXSW, when thousands of people are hitting a relatively small area with request from their smartphones – but during a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, the whole network can jam.
BoingBoing‘s Maggie Koerth-Baker spoke with Brough Turner, an engineer, and writerwho specializes in phone systems of all kinds. He has some really accessible, fascinating stuff to say about cellular network infrastructure, and what the tradeoffs are between reliability and competitive pricing.
There’s an except below but I recommend reading the entire piece here: Why is it so hard to make a phone call in emergency situations?
In the end, it does come down to trade-offs. That’s true of any network. You’re interested in coverage first and then capacity. If you wanted to guarantee that a network never had an outage your capital investment would have to go up orders of magnitude beyond anything that is rational. So each network is trying to invest their budget in ways that make network appear to perform better.
The cost of providing temporary extra capacity for the Boston Marathon, that’s something that’s in the budget and they plan for that event. But when you get something unexpected like a terrorist event, or an earthquake, or damage from a hurricane or tornado, then you have trade offs between capital and how robust your network is.
Every time you have an event people say, “Oh, they didn’t invest enough.” But you look at New York City after Hurricane Sandy and Southern Manhattan was under 6 feet of water — all the buried infrastructure was lost. Meanwhile, in other places, a significant number of cell sites were knocked out because connections ran on overhead poles and got knocked down by trees. The antenna site literally got destroyed. Interestingly, you can lose 30% of your cells and stil get coverage. Coverage was there in New Jersey after Sandy, even with 1/3 of the network out. The catch is there wasn’t much capacity.
By: Jeff Simmermon at 04:53 pm
The new TWC TV app for iOS went live in the Apple store this morning, and has been propagating across Apple’s servers all day. In order to see the new out-of-home content, you’ll need to download the updated version of the TWC TV app, which may take a while to show up on the Apple store’s servers. This is nothing that we can control, it’s simply the Apple servers talking to one another and making copies of the app available across the store.
By this evening, you should be able to update the app and watch On Demand and some live streaming content
And look, I heard you the first time: we didn’t forget about Android. App updates are coming to Android, too, soon. Just not today.
We shot a few short Q&A videos about the app with Mike Angus, our SVP and GM of Programming – you may find these interesting:
“Are more programmers coming on board?”
“How does upgrade put us ahead of competition?”
By: Jeff Simmermon at 12:28 pm
Those long waits at the DMV are about to get better: as of tomorrow morning, our TWC TV app for Apple iOS will enable customers to view select On Demand and live programming outside of the home.
On top of that, we’re improving our live TV mini-guide by introducing convenient guide sorting and genre filtering. And naturally, we plan to update the app for Android and PC/Mac in the near future as well.
This is the biggest news for the TWC TV app since we first launched!
Our initial out-of-home On Demand library offers over 1,100 hours of programming from the following providers:
TV Guide Network
We’re also offering live TV from the following national networks:
beIN Sports (English/Spanish)
Additionally, all Time Warner Cable local news channels will eventually be available out of home, though all local news, traffic and weather channels may not be available immediately. The following news channels will be available at launch:
News 14 Carolina
YNN (New York and Texas)
This is just the beginning of an expanding channel lineup and content library to come.