Advertisement

Chat with Sunflower Broadband general manager Patrick Knorr about the digital transition

May 30, 2008

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Patrick Knorr, general manager of Sunflower Broadband and chief operating officer of The World Company, will answer questions about Sunflower's digital transition during an online chat at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
People may submit questions in advance or during the live chat.

Moderator:

Hello. This is Mark Fagan, business editor, and I'll be moderating today's chat with Patrick Knorr. He has arrived here at The News Center and we'll be starting the chat in a few minutes.

Moderator:

Thanks to everyone for joining us for today's chat, and to Patrick Knorr for participating.
Now it's time for some questions...

Victoria:

This is a ridiculously simple question, but how do I know if I need to upgrade my tv or get the box or whatever it is we are supposed to do? I keep seeing the information about the change on tv but not what we are suppose to do exactly or how we tell if our tv will work with digital as it is.

Patrick Knorr:

The great news is with Sunflower you do not "have to" upgrade your TV, but HD is worth it if you do. The key thing is to have a digital box from us; if you already have one on your TV you are fine. If you don't have a box on a TV, even an old TV, you will still get channels but not as many us you did before, about 30-40 instead of 70 ish you get today with our expanded basic service.

aero_steve:

Will Sunflower be improving the DVR's it has available for HD recording in the near future?

I am a current satellite subscriber and have been considering switching to Sunflower, but the DVR is holding me back. Sunflower's DVR is only 20% the capacity of the DVR from my satellite provider (10 hours vs. 55 hours). This is a deal breaker since I travel frequently and will routinely have 20+ hours of HD backlogged for later viewing.

Patrick Knorr:

Unlike satellite, our current DVR's support SATA drives which allow you to add as much memory as you would like or need.

Moderator:

We've received a couple questions on this next topic,...

aha:

Why can't there be an "a la carte" chioce of cable channels, or a possibilty of creating a customer choice "tier" package?

Also, why does Sunflower have bandwith limits for internet?

Thank you.

Patrick Knorr:

I understand that customers want to be able to pick their channels. Two issues. First the programming networks prohibit us from offering channels al'la'cart. Second individual channels would cost more, just like buying one soda costs more that buying a 12 pack (on a per-can basis). BUT some people just want one soda and we should be able to that... I hope we will someday. Currently we try provide as many choices as we are able to do and more than most (maybe any) other cable company.

Patrick Knorr:

Bandwidth limits allow us to keep our speeds higher and our rates lower by charging the top 10% of our bandwidth users more money. 90% of our customers are not affected by this policy and we think it is far better than blocking high traffic users or restricting what services they use.

impeach_bush_now:

Please list ANY reasons why we should use your service instead of Direct tv or Dish Network. As far as I can see the cons outweigh the pros................

Patrick Knorr:

We are very close in price (not counting their short-term offers) and we are even cheaper when you take into account all of their extra charges and contract penalties.

We have Channel 6 providing focused coverage on our customers for news, weather, and sports.

Video ON Demand... this is fantastic! 1000's of shows that you can watch whenever you want anytime, pause, rewind... most of them for free.

As of next week we have more HD to offer including HD VOD.

derald:

Thanks for giving lower priced internet access to people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Is that accesss high speed broadband like your regular customers get?

Patrick Knorr:

It is high speed but not quite as fast as what most customers get.

kbmgrdnr:

Why are all of the local channels not carried in HD? Also, why are most of the "bonus" channels not carried (KTWU Enhance or KPXE digital channels)?

Patrick Knorr:

We have limited capacity and we want to focus on providing as much as possible. We do not think it is the best value to provide a second NBC or ABC when the HD proramming is the same. The syndicated shows are not in HD and the news in Topeka is not in HD. We should have more bonus channels later this year.

Moderator:

We have a follow up question to an earlier answer...

impeach_bush_now:

Current we try provide as many choices as we are able to do and more that most (maybe any) other cable company.

pa-lease!!!!!!!!!! get real................this is not true.......

Patrick Knorr:

We have Broadcast only, expanded basic, a movie, sports, and variety digital tiers. We are looking at adding more if we can. Let me know who has more options?

oscarfactor:

When are you going to get the Big 10 network on? I was told late last year that it would be here in Feb. 2008.

Patrick Knorr:

Still working on it... Fox currently is not allowing anyone outside of the Big 10 markets to offer it. We are hopeful though.

SWGlassPit:

What bitrate will the digital video be compressed to? I noticed a significant *drop* in picture quality when I switched from analog to digital video--compression artifacts on fast-moving images like football games were nasty. By comparing the video side-by-side, I know the compression isn't happening upstream as I was told by one CSR, as the analog picture was crystal-clear. What steps will be taken to ensure that the digital video will be clean and clear and not look like an overcompressed youtube video?

Patrick Knorr:

Our bits rates are higher than satellite but I am not sure exactly what they are... I texted my engineer and I am waiting on an answer... they should be clear... but compared to HD they will look worse.

macon47:

do you think sunflower will ever add any equipment so users
on broadband dont have the afternoon slow down
that grinds usage to a halt, and makes it impossible
to naviagate?. for the last few years all we get
is the runaround and alot of verbage.
like unplug your modem? other servers
dont have this problem,why do we
have to endure it? the rest of the time
of day service is acceptable. should i just
discount my broadband bill when i get it ?
i hardly use my computor from 10 pm to 6 am
so do you thing it would be better if i slept
days and worked online at nite to better
untilize my connection?

Patrick Knorr:

That should not happen, send me an email and I will make sure someone looks into it... talktous@sunflowerbroadband.com

50YearResident:

Our cable box is only showing the Program Menu but will not display the program. We can get the programs by by-passing the cable box. Will service be restored to the cable box when the transition is made on Monday?

Patrick Knorr:

That should not happen. Please call us at 841-2100 or email us at talktous@sunflowerbroadband.com... the problem you are describing should not be related to our transition.

jennatto:

I'd really like AMC on Demand. on the AMC website, it says it's available, but I haven't seen it on sunflower

Patrick Knorr:

We do carry AMC on Demand (Mad Men is coming soon) but they do not always make VOD programs available every month. Whenever AMC does have VOD we will have it, no extra charge.

Moderator:

Thanks for participating in today's chat, Patrick, and to all the people who sent in questions.
I'm sure you're getting more questions in the office. Are there any other topics you think people might want to know about?

Patrick Knorr:

First the correct email is... talktous@sunflowerbroadband.com I fat fingered it above...

Patrick Knorr:

Something that a lot of people have asked about is... is this change FCC mandated? The FCC has mandated that broadcasters move to digital February, 2009. For the record the FCC has NOT mandated that we as cable operator make this change or make it on June 2nd. However the FCC has mandated that we carry broadcast HD channels. They have told cable operators that want them to move to digital. The same companies that own the broadcast networks like NBC and ABC also own cable program networks like ESPN and Sci-Fi and they are moving cable networks to Digital and HD without a mandate. Customers because of all this are buying HD TV's at a very high rate and so for all of these reasons we are moving to digital and HD. We will be able to offer more to our customers because of this transition.

Patrick Knorr:

Bit rate follow-up... I am told 4-6 MBs is our average bit rate for standard definition digital channels.

Patrick Knorr:

If you need a box from us please check our web site at www.sunflower.com for digital box pick up location information and for extended lobby hours information.

Moderator:

Thanks again to all who participated, either by sending in questions or just following along. And thanks to Patrick for his answers.
A note about another chat coming up: Michael Johnston, president of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, joins us at www.ljworld.com/chats at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The authority, you'll recall, is busy with plenty of road work -- both occurring and on the drawing board. If you have questions, log on and send them in...

Comments

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says: "Whoa, there! Re-read what you quoted me saying. I think you owe me an apology."Yep I caught my mistake (see above, I do wish I could edit my posts). Again, sorry and I don't mean to be nasty. I appreciate both your comments and the fact that The World Company allows me to both praise and criticize their employees and policies. I applaud them for that and I do give them credit where it is due. I still wish Patrick Knorr had handled the price increase in a more straight forward manner and without all the obfuscation.

0

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says:"To even view off-air broadcasters after Feb 2009, without cable or satellite service or a digital TV with the proper tuner, you'll need to purchase a converter box."Sigmund replied..."NO you won't! All you will need is a TV with a digital tuner. More half truths and misinformation."Whoa, there! Re-read what you quoted me saying. I think you owe me an apology.You know, this discussion is starting to turn a little nasty. If you think I'm out to misinform you, then I must say good day, good luck and go find out for yourself. I was only trying to help. Geez.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says:"To even view off-air broadcasters after Feb 2009, without cable or satellite service or a digital TV with the proper tuner, you'll need to purchase a converter box."Ooops, I misread. Correct, a TV with digital tuner will NOT require a converter to receive Over The Air broadcasts.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says: "Up until this point, Time Warner Cable has also used filters (traps) to prevent theft, especially for services in their analog tier. In the near future, that will likely change. As a trend, programmers do appear to favor digital delivery as far as security goes. In addition, the box allows access to quite a few features and services, many at no additional charge."TWC does not require every TV to have a trap and I have no problem with digital delivery, most TV's come with both analog and digital tuners. As a result TWC and every other cable company I am aware of do not require every TV to have a set top box to receive basic cable service (not premium, not pay for view, not Video on Demand), basic tier channels.a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says:"To even view off-air broadcasters after Feb 2009, without cable or satellite service or a digital TV with the proper tuner, you'll need to purchase a converter box."NO you won't! All you will need is a TV with a digital tuner. More half truths and misinformation. If your TV does not have a digital tuner you will need a converter (one time purchase, no monthly fee). If you have a digital tuner your good to go without a convertera_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says: "So, for the most part, the future of TV viewing involves either a new TV, converter box, or both. So, it really does boil down to a consumer choice. New TV and/or converter box. You can choose to own, upgrade, and maintain (and understand) the technologies or you can choose to leave all of that to a service provider."True, but Sunflowers Cablevision rate increase (lets call it what it REALLY is) was somehow required by the FCC Feb 2009 cut over for broadcasters or that the basic cable tier providers requiring a converter box for every TV is simply NOT true. TWC and even the worst provider in the industry Comcast do not require a cable set top box for every TV if the TV has a QAM tuner.

0

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 10 months ago

Sigmund says..."What you post implies, but doesn't state, it is that the Programmers require Sunflower Cablevision to force their customers to use cable boxes."Up until this point, Time Warner Cable has also used filters (traps) to prevent theft, especially for services in their analog tier. In the near future, that will likely change. As a trend, programmers do appear to favor digital delivery as far as security goes. In addition, the box allows access to quite a few features and services, many at no additional charge.The fact is that consumers and service providers are moving to digital for their telecom services. The FCC is encouraging this and it has been set in motion since 1997. Off-air broadcasters were required to and have made a huge investment in the technology and deployment. To even view off-air broadcasters after Feb 2009, without cable or satellite service or a digital TV with the proper tuner, you'll need to purchase a converter box. So, for the most part, the future of TV viewing involves either a new TV, converter box, or both. So, it really does boil down to a consumer choice. New TV and/or converter box. You can choose to own, upgrade, and maintain (and understand) the technologies or you can choose to leave all of that to a service provider.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Once again, just to be clear, If Sunflower Cablevision wants to raise their rates I have NO problem with that. Had they simply come out and said "From June 2, 2008 there will now be an additional charge of $5.00/TV/month for basic cable" I would not be ranting and pissing off my friends at the World Company. It is Patrick Knorr's and Sunflower Cablevision "disingenuous" attempt to blame this increase on the FCC or their basic tier channel providers requiring each TV to have a set top box that is pure sleazy business practice. That Patrick Knorr feels he can fool all of Lawrence, Kansas without someone pointing it out the lies and misrepresentations is insulting.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says ... "Sigmund, About cable boxes. Programmers require cable companies, satellite services, and other service providers to make sure that their services are delivered securely to subscribers and that there is not theft of the services."Time Warner seems able to meet the requirement W/O requiring cable boxes on every TV. Are you say Sunflower Broadband isn't competent enough to do the same?? What you post implies, but doesn't state, it is that the Programmers require Sunflower Cablevision to force their customers to use cable boxes. The reason you don't state it is because it is NOT true.It is the same style of BS about the Feb 2009 requiring all digital. It is true, but has NO impact on Sunflower requiring each TV to have a set top box. What you are saying is "true" but not relevant to Sunflower Cablevision now requiring every TV have a $5.00 tuner.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

deskboy04 (Anonymous) says: "We had Sunflower Cablevision before we moved. Now we have Time Warner. Sunflower is much better."I checked Time Warner KC because I had heard different from coworkers. here is their lineup for $47.00/month, HD is included and no set top box per TV if it has a digital tuner.2City Government3KCTV4Leased Access5Around Town KC6WDAF 4 FOX7KCWE 29 The CW8KMCI 38 IND9HSN10MY KSMO TV 6211KCPT 19 PBS12KMBC 9 ABC13KSHB 41 NBC14TBS15WGN16ION Television17Higher Education Channel18K-12 Education19KTWU PBS KANSAS ONLY20Metro Weather21Jewelry Television22QVC: Quality Value Convenience Network23The Science Channel24MTV: Music Television25Black Entertainment Television26Univision - TV27Shop NBC28MSNBC29CNBC: Consumer News & Business Channel30Metro Sports/ESPN News31The Weather Channel32Turner Network Television (TNT)33ESPN34ESPN-235A&E Network36VH1 East37CMT: Country Music Television38Spike TV39USA Network East40TLC: The Learning Channel41C-SPAN: Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network42C-SPAN 243Headline News44CNN: Cable News Network45The Discovery Channel46Discovery Health Channel47truTV48ABC Family Channel East49Nickelodeon East50Travel Channel51Lifetime Television East52Food Network53E! Entertainment Television54HGTV: Home & Garden Television55Versus56National Geographic Channel57Animal Planet58Cartoon Network East Feed59Fox Sports Midwest - Kansas City60Fox News Channel61Hallmark Channel62FX-East63Sci Fi Channel64TV Land65SoapNet66The Golf Channel67Comedy Central - East68Bravo69The History Channel70The Disney Channel - East71TCM: Turner Classic Movies72AMC73Oxygen74WE: Women's Entertainment Network75StyleWhich was comparable to what I paid Sunflower prior today. Now I get 26 channels for $52.00/month. If I want the rest I have to pay an additional $5.00/month/TV. Even if my TV's already have digital tuners in them! Again, I don't mind the rate increase near as much as Patrick Knorr has been training his EE's to tell customers it was related to the FCC action and when the customer knows better then to claim that Basic Tier cable programmers (A&E. Discovery, History, etc.) require encryption.

0

zbarf 5 years, 10 months ago

nope...not related in any way...just curious where you were coming fromI have seen the free net people blasting sunflower beforethanks

0

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 10 months ago

Sigmund,About cable boxes. Programmers require cable companies, satellite services, and other service providers to make sure that their services are delivered securely to subscribers and that there is not theft of the services. I'm not trying to say that they're the bad guys, just that they have a business and they want to protect their service as any business would. Until recently, the method that was typically used was a cable box or satellite receiver. Who pays for the box? Before DBS (and in most cases, since), the subscriber pays for it, even if the security technology changes and requires new equipment.With cable companies, they usually charge a small fee to recover some of the costs involved with the equipment. Believe me, cable companies aren't making a significant or any profit from the box rental fee. DBS providers do not make a profit on their receivers, but that's another story.Now, there are other methods that the programmers feel comfortable with that are making their way to or are currently supported by service providers. CabeCARD is available to be used with many new consumer electronics devices. In fact, it was mandated by the 1996 Telecom Act. The idea was that consumers and service providers would benefit from more choices and more consumer electronics manufacturers making them, driving the cost per unit down with time. For various reasons, this has not materialized. Tru2way is the technology that will likely succeed CableCARD. Although it has not been fully deployed, most cable companies expressed their commitment to it. Consumer electronics manufacturers have been advocating newer versions of the CableCARD.Technology, especially in the telecom market segment, is advancing rapidly. With that environment, there's no doubt that there will be some confusion. There may be some companies that attempt to take advantage of the situation for some financial gain. However, as you point out, there are options to cable companies in that market, so, if they pursue a deliberate attempt to take advantage of customers eventually the word will hit the street and they will suffer the consequences. I've been a subscriber to Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, and Sunflower.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

zbarf (Anonymous) says: "Sigmund - how about some disclosure? Private Citizen with lots of opinion or some agenda like someone associated with Lawrence free net?"Private citizen with lots of opinions. if you look at my past postings all 3500+ I am no fan of FreeNet. Besides, does Free Net offer cable TV? If so I might ring them up. Since when does calling out Sunflower Cablevision for misleading customers make me a FreeNet EE??? So turn about is fair play, you a Sunflower Braodband or a Sunflower Cablevision EE?

0

zbarf 5 years, 10 months ago

Sigmund - how about some disclosure?Private Citizen with lots of opinion or some agenda like someone associated with Lawrence free net?

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

I have no problem with Sunflower Cablevision changing from analog to digital signals as long as they don't make up stories about the FCC requiring it. I have no problem with buying new TV's with digital tuners to get basic cable so long as they don't make up even more stories about having to use their tuners because cable providers are requiring them to encrypt their signals. Really, which providers are those? Expect no answer from Patrick Knorr, becasue it is damn few if any on the Basic Tier.This is little more than Sunflower Cable enforcing a new pricing scheme for Exteneded Basic $52.00 plus $5.00 per TV and trying to redirect the anger to the FCC and cable programmers. If they were honest about it wouldn't have the animus that I do. But when I am lied to I just can't see remaining a customer of a company that treats its subscribers as idiots to be played. It will be a long time before I believe anything they tell me. I couldn't work for such a company either, but that is besides the point.

0

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

A splitter and an A/B switch should help you out fu7il3.

0

fu7il3 5 years, 10 months ago

My problem with this whole thing is that I have an HDTV with an HD tuner. Without the cable box, I can get HD channels. With the cable box, I can't get them unless I spend 5 dollars more a month on an HD box. Why should I have to pay extra to get HD channels I should be getting with my HD TV?

0

deskboy04 5 years, 10 months ago

We had Sunflower Cablevision before we moved. Now we have Time Warner. Sunflower is much better.

0

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you guys there. It would be nice to be able to pick the channels we want.

0

notnowdear 5 years, 10 months ago

It is getting to the point where we should just shut off the cable.

0

notnowdear 5 years, 10 months ago

Now I have to change all my lock-out channels:Fox newsCNN (all of them)And all those ghastly Christian channels.I swear, we should be able to pick and choose what we get on our TV and pay according to the things we actually watch.

0

bearded_gnome 5 years, 10 months ago

Although if signs of coolitus start showing up in other threads, we might have to stage an intervention. :pwill join in on that. or, imagine that digital conversion required through the haskell/baker wetlands? whoa the outrage.
I will note that one item not reflected in sigmund's numerous posts:once local stations go digital, they become a "must carry" along with the analog version of same broadcast signal. so, in that small way, cable tv providers are being bumped into digital systems by the "must carry rule."a "must carry" is a local on-air signal that must be carried by the cable tv provider. the law has for many years required cable tv providers to include all local signals on their cable systems.

0

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

Just some good natured ribbing Sigmund.Although if signs of coolitus start showing up in other threads, we might have to stage an intervention. :p

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

classclown (Anonymous) says: "Looks like Sigmund came down with a case of coolitus"That hurt. In my defense I will only state that I have little problem with Sunflower Cablevision increasing their rates by charging an extra $60/year/TV. I do take great offense that they think their customers (cool, excepted) are so stupid as to buy into some FCC Feb 2009 deadline that does NOT impact them. It is the same type of sales tactics that Dolph railed against with the KU hospital sellout yet has no problem with Patrick Knorr misleading Sunflower Cablevision customers using similar methods.

0

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

Imagine the comments section if the LJWorld does a story on installing Sunflower cable in all the rooms of the Oread Inn.All hail Oread Inn's glory!

0

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

Looks like Sigmund came down with a case of coolitus.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Does the DTV transition affect TV sets that are connected to cable services?No. If you subscribe to cable service, the DTV transition should not affect any TV sets that are connected to your cable services. The DTV transition applies only to full-power broadcast television stations stations that use the public airwaves to transmit their programming to viewers through a broadcast antenna.http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq29

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Will cable customers with analog TVs have to buy or rent a set-top box from their cable company? If so, how much will it cost?First, it's important to know that the February 17, 2009 deadline for the digital television transition only applies to full-power broadcast stations. Cable companies are not required by the government to transition their systems to digital, and can continue to deliver channels to their customers in analog. Cable companies are actually required by FCC rules to continue offering local broadcast stations to their customers in analog as long as they offer any analog service. This requirement will continue for at least three years after February 17, 2009. The Commission will decide in 2011 whether the requirement should be continued beyond February 17, 2012. This means that customers who receive analog cable service (without a cable set-top box) will be able to continue to do so. http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq25

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Do cable TV networks, like CNN, MSNBC, Lifetime, etc., have to switch to digital broadcasting as well?No. The current requirement to switch from analog to digital only applies to full-power broadcast TV stations, which use the public airwaves to provide free over-the-air programming. However, as cable providers convert to digital transmissions over their systems, you may need to subscribe to their digital tier to continue to receive this non-broadcast programming.http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq15

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Can my cable company make me get a box to receive the cable channels I receive today without a box?Some cable companies have decided to switch to digital service. This is a business decision made by the cable companies and is not required by the federal government.http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq31

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Is the FCC making cable companies switch to digital service?No. Cable companies are not required to switch to digital service. Cable companies may choose to make their service all or partly digital, but they are not required to change from the analog service they offer today. In fact, the FCC requires cable companies to continue to provide local stations in analog as long as they provide any analog service, even after February 17, 2009.http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq30Do NOT let the Sunflower Broadband representative tell you any different.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

cds (Anonymous) says: "Not to bash sunflower, but their picture quality even on digital stations is horrable, ghosts, bleedthru from other channels, noise, block plagued screens, just to name a few. My antenna with local air stations compared to sunflower looks 100 times better than theirs, and cost me nothing other than the antenna."Exactly. Sunflowers analog standard definition is far better than their over compressed digital standard definition and I am being forced to buy it $5.00/month/TV set. Having few choices and paying more for something of lesser quality is usually only reserved for government run industries, government imposed monopolies, or government mandated unions. Although Sunflower Cablevision is none of these they sure like to a ct like they are. I'll be going to DirectTV /DSL ATT package. Cheaper better TV and no bandwidth restrictions on my broadband.

0

cds 5 years, 10 months ago

notnowdear (Anonymous) says: learn what the people pushing this move are NOT saying to you:http://www.eff.org/and their great podcast:http://www.eff.org/linenoiseOne of the podcast directly addresses this issue:Tim Jones meets with Danny O'Brien to discuss Vista, DRM and the Broadcast Flag. read more_____Bingo! People are going to get a nasty suprise one of these days when they try and digitally record something and can't, its already happening. American Gladiater is one show currently being broadcast flagged. I'm sure it wont be long untill all sports broadcasts and movies are flagged.Not to bash sunflower, but their picture quality even on digital stations is horrable, ghosts, bleedthru from other channels, noise, block plagued screens, just to name a few. My antenna with local air stations compared to sunflower looks 100 times better than theirs, and cost me nothing other than the antenna.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Lets not forget that every digital converter box will be required to be plugged into a wall socket. So every customer who accepts the new "tax per tube" pricing (you have way too much discretionary income) will require extra electricity for every TV, tens ot thousands of new digital converters at the new higher electric rates to boot. I guess no one ever accused Dolph or Patrick Knorr of being ecologically sensitive when increasing their economic bottom line.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

The bottom line here is pay Sunflower Cable an additional $5.00/month/TV or lose half of the your channels AND this is NOT being mandated by the FCC. The February 2009 deadline does NOT mandate that cable companies switch to digital. Patrick Knorr's timing of this rate increase is meant to confuse consumers and hopefully divert their anger to the FCC. After finally contacting their technical support it is apparent they too have been confused (purposefully, I suspect) by Patrick Knorr and Sunflower Cablevision managment. If you are told that the FCC requires "broadcasters" to convert to all digital, that is correct. However, Sunflower Cablevision is NOT a "broadcaster, " no Over-The-Air signal. They are "rebroadcasters" a cable company, (a greedy one with deceptive sales practices, but a cable company nonetheless) and the FCC does NOT require they convert anything to digital. Another "Cablevision Company" tried these same tactics and after a threaten lawsuit finally admitted they were misleading their customers.http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20080421/020513901.shtml"Cablevision Caught Blatantly Lying To Customers About Digital TV Switchfrom the don't-blame-us,-blame-the-fcc dept"So I am not misunderstood let me make this clear. Sunflower Cablevision is free to set their rates where ever they like and I have no problem with that. In fact the World Company which owns the LJW Online (you are here) and Sunflower Cablevision have allowed me and others to praise them and condemn them without censure and I applaud them for that. However they need to be clear with their customers:"We decided to reduce the number of channels of your Extended Basic service by half for the same bucks, or you can pay us $5.00/month/TV extra for what you got before. Coincidently, the FCC is changing the rules for broadcasters in February which has NO impact on your cable TV service."

0

notnowdear 5 years, 10 months ago

learn what the people pushing this move are NOT saying to you:http://www.eff.org/and their great podcast:http://www.eff.org/linenoiseOne of the podcast directly addresses this issue:Tim Jones meets with Danny O'Brien to discuss Vista, DRM and the Broadcast Flag. read more

0

tir 5 years, 10 months ago

I have also been seeing pixelization on certain channels, especially in the late afternoon and evening. Channel 9 breaks up a lot, and so does Sci-Fi. I had the Sunflower techs come over, and they replaced an old piece of cable, which seemed to help for a bit, but the problem is still happening intermittently. It never occurred to me that signal compression rather than a bad component might be causing it. I guess I'll have to call and ask them to look at it again, and spend even more time waiting for the cable guy. It is rather frustrating to pay for a quality digital signal and not get it.

0

doc1 5 years, 10 months ago

Still love my Direct TV. Sunflower is full of it if they say they can offer similar prices. Thats not even close to being accurate. Secondly their junky equipment isn't nearly as nice as the Direct Tv HD-Tivo boxes. The menus are better and the boxes have processors in them that don't lag like the Sunflower boxes. Motorolla is a joke!

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

"The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission has concluded that "consumers could be better off under à la carte" and their new report "explores several à la carte options that could provide substantial benefits (like lower costs) to subscribers by increasing their choices in purchasing programming."http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060209-6146.html"FCC favorably views "a la carte" cable, while cable industry looks downright dirty"

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

"Cue the scary music. According to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, "If the cable companies had their way, you, your mother and father, or your next door neighbor could go to sleep one night after watching their favorite channel and wake up the next morning to a dark fuzzy screen."http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070912-fcc-to-cable-you-must-support-analog-tvs-until-2012.html

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

40 million American families don't use a digital cable box. Assuming all cable companies use Cablevision's rates, operators stand to pick up an extra $698,000,000 per month by convincing all 40 million families to shell out an extra $17.45 for digital service. That small price of change is worth more than the yearly GDP of several small nations.http://consumerist.com/379852/cablevision-blatantly-lies-to-subscribers-as-the-fcc-twiddles-its-thumbs

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Consumerist has caught a cable company telling customers that they need to upgrade to a digital cable box by order of the FCC. This is simply untrue. the cable company is upgrading many of its channels to digital format from analog, and those channels will no longer be available to customers who don't have a digital cable box. But, that's entirely a business decision, and has absolutely nothing to do with the the FCC-mandated switch for over-the-air broadcasts. http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20080421/020513901.shtmlCablevision Caught Blatantly Lying To Customers About Digital TV Switchfrom the don't-blame-us,-blame-the-fcc dept

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone know if I can buy my own simple digital/analog converter and use it on my additional TV's without having to pay the additional $5.00/month/TV lease with Sunflower?

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if Chad Lawhorn will be doing an article on how busy Sat TV installers in the Lawrence area are and how long a wait to get a Dish installed?

0

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh and good look trying to call and cancel your service. After waiting 15 minutes on hold with my cell phone and pushing #1 every couple of minutes to insure them I wanted to continue to hold, I finally gave up can called from my home phone. After their number (785 841-2100) rings for five minutes without answer, you get a busy signal and get to do it over.

0

Sigmund 5 years, 11 months ago

"Patrick Knorr: Something that a lot of people have asked about is... is this change FCC mandated? The FCC has mandated that broadcasters (ed. NOT cable operators) move to digital February, 2009. For the record the FCC has NOT mandated that we as cable operator make this change or make it on June 2nd."Correct, the FCC has NOT mandated this change. So if I don't lease a cable box for every TV (3 TV's = $15.00/per month or an additional $180.00/year I will have half the channels with no corresponding decrease in my bill. Patrick is using the "confusion" of the "FCC transition" of Over The Air Droadcasters to significantly raise prices to his customers hoping they will blame the FCC, the Bush Administration, Al Quida, or Big Oil - anyone but the true culprit, Patrick Knorr, Dolph Simmons his employer, and the World Company.Currently I can watch A&E on all my TV's (in analog) with Extended Basic on all three analog TV's. Come June 2nd if I want to watch A&E the cheapest I can get it is $67.00/month ($52.00 per month for Bronze Plus $15.00/month for 3 digital converters) and that doesn't even get me HD! Then if f I want to listen to radio on a single receiver, yet another cable box a total $73.00/month! Again, the FCC did NOT mandate this change for cable operators. I get nothing except an increase of 50% in my bill. BTW, the "pixelization" and "blocking" has already started with the compressed digital making analog TV actually superior for most viewing. How are you going to feel when your choices are reduced in half and your bill stays the same and the compressed digital is a inferior image to your analog TV? So since most of my TV shows are available over the internet and since I don't have bandwidth restrictions with my broadband provider (unlike Sunflower Broadband) I guess I get rid of Sunflower Cable and go with Direct TV. $40.00/month gets me A&E on three TV's +150 digital channels like BBC America that I might actually watch. No offense but I can't imagine 6 News, Jayne's Kitchen and Sunflower Journeys are worth $27.00/month. https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/wizard/buildYourSystem1.jspWhen the full impact of this increase is known and the fact that this is NOT FCC mandated is widely understood by Lawrencian's, I sincerely hope that this transition is a financial disaster for the World Company and that Patrick gets booted. I'm glad I kept that flier the Direct TV salespeople dropped off a couple of weeks ago.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.