Sorry folks, but Time Warner Cable is once again changing their channel lineup. And this one is a doozy.
The cable company, recently purchased by Comcast, reorganized standard and high-definition channels into category blocks back in June 2010, and the result was fairly painless. In fact, it made a lot of sense once you got used to it. Music channels were grouped together, movie channels together, science channels together, etc. Local HD channel numbers made sense, too. WRAL (channel 5) was 1105, WTVD (channel 11) was 1111 and WNCN (channel 17) was 1117.
This latest change, which takes effect on Tuesday (March 11) and is meant to consolidate HD and SD channels, feels like a sorta-organized-but-not-really scramble that is sure to aggravate customers for quite awhile.
For the record, Scott Pryzwansky, public relations director for TWC, says the update will “organize every digital channel into themes” and “deliver the best available picture based on whether a customer has an HD box or standard-definition box.”
Going by the Raleigh Channel Lineup Guide, here’s what I’m seeing:
Channels 1-99 don’t change, but essentially everything else does – and channels 100-145 (called Entertainment) seem to have absolutely nothing in common. Those channels – TWC’s most popular, maybe? – include channels like USA, Syfy, MTV, VH1, Hallmark, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, Comedy Central and El Rey.
But then there is a Music block (285-297) that has MTV Jams and CMT, but not MTV or VH1. And the Life & Style block (160-187) has channels like HGTV, Food and Travel (that makes sense), but also Lifetime, BET, GSN (Game Show Network) and Ovation (arts programming).
The sections that do make sense: Sports, Shopping, Movies, Premiums and News. Thankfully, none of those channels are scattered about in other blocks.
And the local programming – and broadcast network affiliates – are all either channels 2-22 or channels 1200-1304 (WTVD is at 1200, WNCN is at 1203, WRAZ is at 1206, WRAL is at 1209, CW is at 1212 and UNC-TV is at 1221). Got it??
One bright spot is that the TWC website does say that you WILL NOT have to change any of your scheduled recordings – but you’d be wise to double-check them after the switch.
The best advice I can give you is to to go timewarnercable.com and click on TV and My Channels and follow the prompts to download the channel lineup for your area.
Print it out and keep it close by.
Update: TWC spokesperson clarifies that the update will “organize every digital channel into themes” and “deliver the best available picture based on whether a customer has an HD box or standard-definition box.”
· It will ultimately enable us to serve and communicate with customers more effectively because channels will have a consistent number across all Time Warner Cable service areas. More and more TWC markets are adopting the same theme-based channel groupings and this will help ensure the transition.