Time Warner Cable Small Upgrade, Big Ad Missteps

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In my other blog, I write about the scams that companies like Staples produce and have produced.  Now it seems that Time Warner Cable are becoming liars and scammers as well.

However, before I discuss that, let me say that last night TWC pushed through a mini update to their navigator system.  Not much changed with this minor upgrade except that DVR Compensation is now gone.  I am very thankful for that because this feature was more confusing than helpful.  In case you never heard of it, the feature basically controlled how far the DVR would advance when going from fast-forward to play.  The choices were normal, more, less, and none.  No indication was ever given how much time these times actually were which led to the confusion of this awkward feature.  I will not miss this feature whatsoever.  However, now going from fast-forward to play could either be a sudden change or put your position a little further ahead from where you want it.  I have seen both of these scenarios happen in the last few hours since this update.  It also appears that the phantom recording bug has been fixed as well.


Now onto the scams and lies:

Besides being nickel and dimed to death with charges for modems, cable boxes, and now even the simple remote control, it seem that TWC has now introduced some misleading and false advertising.

The first television ad features Emily VanCamp from the ABC show “Revenge”.  It is promoting the “Start Over” feature of their system.  The problem is that ABC television DOES NOT SUPPORT the “Start Over” feature and neither do any of the other major networks.  In fact, only a handful of cable channels support this feature.

Another ad touts the “Look Back” feature.  However, like the previously mentioned feature, it only works on some cable channels, but their website states that NBC supports it, but here in Maine it is not supported.  In fact, many of the channels on this list don’t have the feature enabled.  Is this a scam or just misinformation? It could be possibly a little of both or maybe jumping ahead in anticipation of future support.  I don’t think TWC should announce features until they have been firmly implemented because changes seem to put TWC further behind the competition all the time.


So, overall is TWC working in the best interest of the customer?  My answer as with Staples is overwhelmingly NO!  What should be real isn’t in any way real, but instead is based on speculation on hopes that the customer won’t notice the difference.  problem is that this customer knows the difference and is getting good at spotting the scams.





G4 Cancels 2 Long Time Programs (and Itself?)

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It’s official.  G4 has cancelled two of its iconic shows “Attack of the Show” (AOTS) and “X Play”.  All indications now point that the network itself will soon be history as well.

“X Play” lasted about 10 years and AOTS lasted about 7 years, but actually existed since 1998.

I didn’t watch “”X Play” that much so my focus of this post will be on AOTS instead.  For those who remember way back when, AOTS started out as “The Screen Savers” on the then TechTV cable channel.  The hosts of the show were Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton.  It was a tech show helping viewers with computer and technology related questions.  This show along with “Call For Help” was the go-to places for any tech questions at all.  In fact, I used to recommend both of these shows to people when they wanted to get great free tech help.  Many people thanked me for this over the years.  However, in 2005, all that changed when TechTV was merged with competitor channel G4.  The new channel called G4TechTV was too much of a mouthful and soon shortened to G4.  Along with this change came the format of the show itself.  No longer a computer show, it was basically anything except computer related.  New hosts, Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn, were added and the old ones were given the boot.  While new interesting segments like celebrity interviews, DVD reviews, comic book reviews, and numerous other things were added; it was never quite the same.  Sometimes, the show seemed to push the envelope of good taste and sometimes just crossed the line.

Many times I use to just fast-forward through this show on my VCR and not even care about it at all.  Occasionally, I would watch if there was something interesting, but most times there wasn’t anything interesting.

In the middle of 2011, Olivia Munn quit the show and after a couple of months was replaced by an equally spunky Candace Bailey.  Last summer, Kevin Pereira left the show and was never replaced by a permanent host, which may have been done purposely as if the network knew eventually the show would end, much sooner than later.

Fast forward to the finale, which aired Wednesday night 1/23/2012, was your standard clip show and wave goodbye and intros of everyone behind the scenes.  What made this different was that the show was presented by musician/comedy genius “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Since I am a huge fan of Al, this was a real treat.  However the REAL treat came at the end, when (*SPOILER ALERT*) original hosts Leo and Patrick appeared at what was a coffee shop and Leo wakes up from a bad dream of what the show had become.  This was the same approach Bob Newhart had when the “Newhart” show ended a few years ago.  The 2 of them then strap on jetpacks and launch themselves into the old TechTV studios, while the old “Screen Savers” theme was playing in the background.  Then the show scrolls a final goodbye message and then fades into the history books.

It was nice to see that both of the old hosts were still looking pretty good despite being about 7 years older.  Could this be a sign of things to come?  One can only hope as G4 rides into the history books.

Both finales will air on G4 several times over the next week, beyond that is unknown.  I will not give either show a review grade, as it would not be fair given the longevity of both shows and the variety of changes each faced over the years.