Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time Warner Cable Sucks

A few of us were discussing this over email the other day, and it merits discussion in this larger forum.

First, a little background. Cable, phone and Internet are all packaged together in New York City. If you want all three, you pay Time Warner Cable about $200 a month (give or take a few bucks depending on whether you buy any premium channels, go without a phone, get an extra cable box for the bedroom, etc.). This is the only non-satellite option that is generally available to most New York City residents. And given that battling with a landlord over satellite installation would be about as much fun as jamming a PEZ dispenser into your eye, most people just go with Time Warner.

But here's the thing. Time Warner Cable sucks.

It is fucking terrible.

One of the contributors to this blog recently observed that "I hate [my cable box] more than anything else including terrorism." It's not big things. They don't superimpose turtlenecks over Emmanuelle Chiriqui (scwhing!schwing!) during episodes of Entourage or anything like that. But the little stuff adds up. The sound cuts out for no particular reason sometimes. If you tape one football game for more than ten minutes you lose every episode of the Daily Show that you taped last week. It costs a fucking fortune, etc. But such is life, right? You deal with it or you shop elsewhere. Well that's all well and good, but now they are just trying to piss me off. Because of the aforementioned problem of keeping a five-hour Superbowl on tape, my old cable box crashed. You remember the one:

Who would have thought I would ever miss you?

So we had to get a new one. I cannot find a picture of it on the web, but it is (a) bigger, (b) uglier, and (c) about a thousand fucking times worse than the old one. Micro League Baseball on Mike Gray's Commodore 64 had a better graphics array than the display on this fucking thing (side note: someone told me that the software changed regardless of the cable box; seems odd that it happened the day we got the new box, but whatever). The machine is about as responsive to the remote control as Mrs. Side Bar is to me on a Tuesday morning (zing!). And the fast forwarding. Dear god the fast forwarding. Like the old model, this cable box offers the user a choice between several different speeds of fast-forward. But it's really no choice at all. It either goes so slowly that you might as well watch the commercials, or so quickly that you jump 5-10 minutes into the program before you can get it to play at a normal speed again. How the fuck are the Mets already losing, the Phillies haven't batted yet? Oh wait, I just fast-forwarded into the middle of the 6th. Neat.

I think it's on pause.

I know this may seem like it is not a big deal, but I would be the first to admit that I watch a lot of television. And when DVR technology first came out, it was pretty amazing. But Time Warner has managed to make it so fucking tedious to use it that it just amounts to a huge step backwards.


Side Bar said...

Why did this come up under the Jay-Z post if I just put it on the site?

Open Bar said...

All fixed.

If you start something, then save it as a draft, then publish it later on, it will publish according to when you first saved the draft. But you can switch the post date in the editor.

I notice you started it on Sept. 11. What, you think referencing a toss-away terrorism joke would be too much for our virgin ears?

Open Bar said...


I would like to sodomize Time Warner in the peehole (just go with me) with a broadsword dipped in the venom of an AIDS-ridden cobra.

Amanda said...

This sounds like a reason to move to New Jersey.

ChuckJerry said...

First of all, Amanda, if that's your real name, the cable system in New Jersey is even worse. If you think James Dolan and Cablevision are pioneers in the cable business, then you have another think coming. (I always thought that was a strange phrase.)

Secondly, there are a whole host of things that suck about this new cable box. One of them is that they changed the whole use interface to a java based system. The box takes literally 4 to 5 seconds to respond to the remote control in some cases. Java sucked ass in 1998 and it sucks ass still today.

If you have to reboot the box it used to take about one minute with the old system and now it takes 10 minutes.

As Open pointed out, the picture in picture sucks beyond suck. In the old system you could have a smaller PIP box and you could pause inside the box. The new system the PIP box takes up like 25% of the screen and it's not in a corner, it's directly in the middle of the screen.

If you watch something on the DVR it used to continue taping the channel you were watching and then you could rewind it. The new system doesn't do that. This new system also has something called "DVR sleep mode" where the DVR functions stop working for no reason whatsoever.

I don't understand who the fuck at Time Warner cable decided to switch from a system that had one or two minor flaws but was otherwise perfect to a system that now sucks beyond belief. I fucking hate that person.

Open Bar said...

"then you have another think coming. (I always thought that was a strange phrase.)"

Possibly because the phrase is "you have another thing coming."

Though I can't really explain that one either.

ChuckJerry said...

That doesn't sound right. It makes even less sense.

ChuckJerry said...

"If you think that, you have another think coming" means "You are mistaken and will soon have to alter your opinion". This is now
sometimes heard with "thing" in place of "think", but "think" is the older version. Eric Partridge, in A Dictionary of Catch Phrases,
gives the phrase as "you have another guess coming", "US: since the 1920s, if not a decade or two earlier". Clearly "think" is closer to "guess" than "thing" is. The OED gives a citation with "think" from 1937, and no evidence for "thing". Merriam-Webster Editorial Department writes: "When an informal poll was conducted here at Merriam-Webster, about 60% of our editors favored 'thing' over
'think,' a result that runs counter to our written evidence."

ChuckJerry said...

Anonymous said...

Did you just save your misspelling, or did you really know it as "think"? I'd always heard "thing".

ChuckJerry said...

I meant to write think. That's what I always thought it was. I didn't even know there was a debate about it.

Just like when I used to say "for all intensive purposes" rather than "intents and purposes".

Kathy said...

I HATE the new DVR system so so much. I also always thought it was "thing" not "think". That is my contribution.