Those Cable Boxes Have To Go

Many Time Warner Cable customers in the company’s areas formerly serviced by Comcast have been E-mailing us over the past two months or so…with one question. “When are we going to get the same HDTV offerings now available elsewhere on Time Warner?”

Some have speculated that the cable boxes Comcast used – manufactured by Motorola and General Instrument – have been an obstacle that slowed down the HDTV rollout in the areas that used to be served by that company.

Those boxes…are being shoved out the door in a big promotion by Time Warner Cable, aimed at former Comcast customers in the Elyria/Lorain area.

Time Warner tells us that they’re aiming to get some 14,000 Motorola and General Instrument boxes replaced, so letters are going out to those 12,000 customers starting on Monday.

The affected customers will have 30 days after the receipt of the letter to either go to TWC’s service centers in Elyria or North Olmsted, and get a free swap for a new box (presumably a Scientific Atlanta model). Customers who do the swap themselves will also get $25 worth of coupons for “On Demand” movies.

The other option is to call 877-77-CABLE to set up an all-day appointment with a technician to come out and swap the box for you. TWC is asking that you use the special code ELYRIAMOTO when going this route, and you won’t get the “On Demand” coupons. The swap itself will still be free.

The new boxes will provide “several enhancements”, TWC tells us, including “an enhanced on-screen guide, caller-ID on TV, larger DVR storage capacity, and over 15 new HD channels within 30 days.”

That will presumably bring the Elyria/Lorain lineup into line with the HDTV lineup in the rest of the Time Warner Northeast Ohio system, with channels like ESPNews HD, Bravo HD, Animal Planet HD, CNN HD, Fox News HD, Golf HD, and FX HD, plus others, that are not seen yet in the former Comcast system.

We’re told that the new HD channels won’t show up immediately when the box swap is made, but should appear within 30 days of the receipt of the letter…and if you get the letter and your box hasn’t been swapped, it’ll be the proverbial toast after that 30 day period.

The exchange will take place in stages through November, so if you’re an ex-Comcaster in Lorain County and you don’t get a letter on Monday, hang in…it’ll come, eventually. Monday’s only the start of the effort.

Here’s a list of the affected communities, in case you’re not sure if you’re a former Comcast area customer:

AMHERST CITY
AMHERST TWP
AVON CITY
AVON LAKE
BAY VILLAGE
CARLISLE TWP
EATON TWP
ELYRIA CITY
ELYRIA TWP
NEW RUSSIA TWP
NORTH RIDGEVILLE CITY
SOUTH AMHERST VILLAGE

And no, we don’t know how or if this affects the former Comcast area in and around Mentor that’s now part of the TWC Northeast Ohio empire, or if the swap is even needed in that area.

More details are in this article from the Elyria Chronicle Telegram…

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