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It isn't as easy as advertised adjusting to TWC lineup changes

By Alan Pergament 

I hate change.

Anybody who knows me knows that.

That's one reason I've been covering television for more than 30 years rather than finding something else to annoy me.

So you're probably not surprised that I'm having a little trouble adjusting to the new Time Warner Channel lineup.

I was surprised to read a TWC spokesman's comment last week about the reaction in other markets to the changes.

"The reception has been fantastic," TWC’s Scott Pryzwansky told The News. "Typically, people don't watch a certain channel as much as a certain program. By grouping together channels that offer similar content and theme, navigation is simpler and easier."

Did I mention he is in public relations?

I guess I’m not typical. Navigation hasn’t been simpler and easier for me because I like a variety of genres and wish all the stations I watch were near each other. 

For the past few days since TWC made the switch, I instinctively keep hitting the 700 channels looking for the local affiliates and the cable channels I regularly watch as I did before the switch.

That takes me to sports packages that I don't have that are now in the 700s. I usually laugh at myself and think how much funnier it would have been if TWC had made the 700 tier the Adult tier instead of the sports package tier. I would have loved to have written about the outrage.

When I land in the sports package tier, I quickly  realize that my TV world has changed. If I'm looking for a local network affiliate, I hit Channel 2, Channel 4, or Channel 7 on the under 100 standard definition tier and am immediately sent to their high definition channels.

TWC calls the practice AutoHD and it has been a godsend so far. I've given up using the 1200 tier, where all the American network affiliates also are in HD because I’m finding it tough to wrap my mind around the idea that Channel 7 is on 1200, Channel 2 is on 1203 and Channel 4 is on 1209.

At least WUTV is on Channel 1206, which is pretty similar to its old place on 706. WNED, which used to be on 703, isn't so fortunate. It is on 1221. So I just hit Channel 3 for WNED and AutoHD sends me there.

Like most people, I knew where my favorite channels were on the 700 tier and I found it easier to find ESPN, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, AMC, USA Network and HBO on that tier than I do now trying to remember that all the ESPNs are on the 300 tier with all sports channels, CNN and Fox News are on the 200 tier with all news channels and HBO is on the 500 tier with all premium channels.

It also used to be easier to find those channels on the TWC's channel guide, which typically only allows you to see a few channels before you move the remote to see more. It isn't as easy finding them when you have to jump from the 200 tier to the 300 or 500 tiers.

I'm sure I'll eventually adjust or figure out how to make all those channels in the different groupings my "favorites" and not have to take a tier test every time I want to change a channel.

There have been other disappointments.

The CTV and CBC affiliates out of Toronto are carried both on the standard definition tier under channel 100 and on the 1200 tier, where American networks are carried in HD. But the 1200 tier isn't all in HD and the Canadian channels are among those that still show the standard definition feed.

TWC has been promising for years that the Canadian channels will eventually be in HD and it hasn't happened. It would be nice if it happened in time for the Canadian coverage of the Sochi Olympics.

But I wouldn't bet on it. I figure I'll have adjusted and be writing that the new TWC channel lineup is “fantastic” well before we see Hockey Night in Canada in HD on TWC.

And by then, TWC probably will either be sold or change its channel lineup again to annoy me.


Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |