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Coming soon to a television set not near me
2009-01-03 12:08
by Bob Timmermann

The MLB Network's appearance on my cable provider (Time Warner) will happen as soon as there is leg of unicorn available in the meat section of my supermarket I fear.

On my cable system's website, the MLB Network's existence is not even acknowledged. (If that link doesn't work right, enter 91030 as the ZIP code.)

There is also a page that lists which HD channels are available:

I do get the channels that are first listed on the page.

Then there are a bunch of channels that are coming soon, including fairly popular channels like USA, Bravo, SciFi, and FX.

Here is the list of when these will become available in different parts of TWC's service area. I'm cutting and pasting it:

Available Now:
Acton, Agoura Hills, Air Force Village West, Alta Loma, Anaheim, Arcadia, Artesia, Athens, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Park, Beaumont, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bloomington, Boyle Heights, Brea, Buena Park, Calabasas, California Oaks, Calimesa, Camarillo, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Canyon Lake, Carson, Castaic, Chatsworth, Chino Hills, Chino, Colton, Corona, Covina, Cudahy, Culver City, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Downey, Eagle Rock, East L.A., East San Fernando Valley, Edwards Air Force Base, El Cerito, El Monte, El Segundo, Elizabeth Lake, Fillmore, Fontana, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Gardena, Glenn Ivy, Grand Terrace, Hacienda Heights, Harbor, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hemet, Hermosa Beach, Highgrove, Highland, Hollywood, Homeland, Horsethief Canyon, Huntington Beach, Idyllwild, Inglewood, Kagel Canyon, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Palma, La Puente, Ladera Heights, Lake Elsinore, Lake Los Angeles, Lake Matthews, Lakeview, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Lennox, Little Rock, Leona Valley, Loma Linda (West), Lomita, Los Alamitos, part of Los Angeles, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, March Air Force Base, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Menifee, Mentone, Midway City, Mission Hills, parts of Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Montclair, Moorpark, Moreno Valley, Muscoy, Naval Base (Pt Mugu), Newbury Park, Newhall, North Hollywood, Northridge, Nuevo, Oak Park, Oak View, Ojai, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Palmdale, Panorama City, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Placentia, Playa Del Rey, Playa Vista, Perris, Pomona, Port Hueneme, Quartz Hill, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Reseda, Rialto, Riverside County, Romoland, Rossmoor, Rowland Heights, San Bernadino, San Fernando, San Jacinto, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Santa Paula, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, South Bay, South El Monte, South Gate, South Los Angeles, South Whittier, Stanton, Stevenson Ranch, Sun Valley, Sunland, Sylmar, Tarzana, Temecula, The Farm, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Tujunga, Universal City, Upland, Valencia, Van Nuys, Ventura, Villa Park, Walnut Park, West Hollywood, West Hills, West Los Angeles, Westchester, Westminster, Westlake Island, Westlake Village, Wild Rose, Wilmington, Wilshire, Winchester, Winnetka, Woodcrest, Woodland Hills, Yorba Linda, and Yucaipa.

Available in January 2009:
Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Tustin.

I knew I should have moved to Cudahy. My hometown (South Pasadena) isn't even on the list of "coming soon." Also note how the mysterious "The Farm" is listed under T. And the Point Mugu Naval Station is listed under Naval Base (Point Mugu). And people who live in Horsethief Canyon have better service!

2009-01-03 12:28:55
1.   Samhain
I live in Encino. While it's not listed above, or on the Time Warner search function, I do get MLB on 276.

(Apparently the powers that be think Encino is an annex to Tarzana...)

2009-01-03 12:46:26
2.   Bob Timmermann
I think Encino falls under "East San Fernando Valley."

I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with TWC customer service again to ask my question again about all these channels.

I pulled out the big guns. I asked FOR A SUPERVISOR.

I was told February 11th. The first person said that the new channels would show up "when they showed up."

2009-01-03 12:54:44
3.   Samhain
[2} Encino is part of the West San Fernando Valley group.

Odd of them to list East San Fernando Valley neighborhoods as one and try--and fail--to name the West San Fernando ones individually...

2009-01-03 12:57:56
4.   Bob Timmermann
So what does Mission Halls fall under? Sepulveda goes through the middle of it. Is it east or west? Are there border skirmishes?

The place where I grew up, Granada Hills, isn't listed even though it's in TW territory also.

2009-01-03 13:55:47
5.   Samhain
Well, really this is part and parcel of what you are rightfully complaining about re the MLB Channel: Time Warner doesn't know their coaxial/digital from a hole in the ground (and has trouble grasping ground maps.)

My sympathies, Bob, on their failure to get the MLB Cannel to you in any kind of a timely manner. This is no way to run a business.

For me, it isn't just that I think that geographically Encino should be part of the West SFV.
My phone inquiries and hard copy bill payments are, at TWC's instruction, actually directed to their West SFV office on Topanga Canyon Blvd.

2009-01-03 14:19:04
6.   Icaros
It's amazing that I've lived my entire 33 years in seven different counties across northern and southern California, and I don't recognize half the places on that list.

What the heck is The Farm?

2009-01-03 16:02:54
7.   Strike4
Maybe South Pasadena officials plan to hold the added channels hostage until new cable lines go in with the 710 completion.
2009-01-03 21:25:12
8.   das411
Woah, I just checked and do indeed get the channel...but it is showing what appears to be the Larsen game while saying that it is showing "NL Championship Series Game 5: Dodgers vs Phillies"...hmm...
2009-01-04 01:38:55
9.   Eric Enders
"What the heck is The Farm?"

I'm sure Jon or Daniel or Molly will be only too happy to answer that.

2009-01-04 02:00:10
10.   Bob Timmermann
I congratulate you on spelling Larsen's name right. There have been a lot of people using the spelling "Larson" all over the web.
2009-01-04 09:29:34
11.   Bob Timmermann
Research has turned up that "The Farm" is an unincorporated area of Riverside County near Lake Elsinore along Bundy Canyon Road.
2009-01-04 10:13:41
12.   Bluebleeder87

I guess there is a couple of "The Farm" counties. Here is another []

2009-01-04 10:41:13
13.   Bob Timmermann
I'm pretty sure they are referring to the Riverside County "The Farm" since TWC also serves the city of Lake Elsinore.

I'm sure "The Farm" is a good place to find a foreclosed home.

2009-01-04 10:43:38
14.   Bob Timmermann
2009-01-04 10:47:15
15.   berkowit28
12 I don't think that would count for LA-region television. I'm impressed by Bob's research. I wonder how many people live there.

In Santa Barbara, Cox Cable is showing MLB Network, though not on the channel number that MLB claims. And it's 2008 World Series all day long, aside from 4:00 pm Hot Stove. But it is still just showing a blank space on its own Channel Guide on the TV, and "No Data Avilable: when you select for Info. The only way to find out what's going to be on is via the MLB website schedule. It's correct, however - the right programs turn up at the right time. Scheduling a DVR recording is rather kinky, but works, and is always called "Manual Recording".

2009-01-04 10:55:53
16.   berkowit28
14 It refers to "Shelly Atencio, officer manager for The Farm". It apparently has an office manager, a homeowners association, a corporate secretary, and 1,200 families, which seems a lot. An odd entity that has both a homeowners association and a corporate secretary. Evidently a developer's creation. It's odd that it wouldnt just be subsumed under Wildomar (a pretty cool name itself) for Time-Warner purposes. Except that Wildomar does not appear in the list above - do you think they have a different cable company, or are in the same situation as you are?
2009-01-04 10:58:39
17.   Bob Timmermann
Time Warner seems to have a very odd way of labeling areas. There are many neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley that aren't listed, although TWC covers almost the whole area.

However, Wildomar appears to be a Comcast area.

2009-01-04 11:00:32
18.   Bob Timmermann
Horsethief Canyon is another unincorporated area in Riverside County near Lake Elsinore.
2009-01-04 11:14:33
19.   overkill94
I'm in West LA and the channel is there...except it says I'm not authorized. I thought it was part of the basic cable package?
2009-01-04 11:16:54
20.   Bob Timmermann
It's should be part of the basic digital package.

If you want to take one for the team, you should call TWC Customer Support and see what they tell you. They say they're there to help 24/7.

Although they have a unique definition of "help."

2009-01-04 13:06:50
21.   Indiana Jon
I have three words for you Bob.


2009-01-04 13:10:02
22.   Bob Timmermann
I don't have that as a viable option as a renter.
2009-01-04 13:13:49
23.   Bob Hendley
So, what are the chances that both The Farm and Spahn Ranch have before Bob does?
2009-01-04 13:18:18
24.   Bob Timmermann
I believe my only other option is AT&T U-Verse. However, that carrier doesn't have an agreement for the MLB Network at all.

Verizon FIOS isn't available in my neighborhood.

2009-01-04 13:39:35
25.   berkowit28
Can you get anyone at TWC who knows and can explain why South Pasadena can't get MLB right now, just like virtually all the LA areas? Presumably Pasadena itself has a different cable provider. I wonder if TWC needs to license someone else's cables to get to South Pasadena. They obviously don't need to lay new cable just to add a new channel.
2009-01-04 13:42:27
26.   Bob Timmermann
There is no one at TWC on the phone who knows anything about the South Pasadena situation. I have tried a couple times.

Historically, they have added features here very very very slowly.

2009-01-04 14:00:50
27.   Bob Hendley
Bob, reviewing Soth Pasadena's program, looks like you may have to wait until year 2011 before they get to your problem.

(2007-2010 * Not in priority order)

Repair and/or replace infrastructure

Eliminate the 710 surface route

Increase sources of revenue to meet unmet needs

Retain and attract quality employees

Preserve and improve the environment

2009-01-04 14:09:53
28.   Bob Hendley
Did I say Sloth Pasadena!? I meant South.
2009-01-04 14:11:51
29.   Bob Timmermann
However, South Pasadena's cable service is in the same boat as San Marino. So I don't think municipal politics has much to do with it.
2009-01-04 14:16:28
30.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, I found an honest guy at TWC:

Thank you for your inquiry. I would be happy to try to satisfactorily
answer your questions.

You are correct in your observations that the expansion of HD in your
area has been slower. This is due in large part to the fact that much
of the equipment in the areas that surround you is remnant of the former
Adelphia. This must be greatly upgraded before we will be able to bring
the services that you desire to your area. While it is our plan to make
these improvements I cannot tell you when.

While I am sure that this explanation is not the answer that you would
have wanted, I hope that it is perceived as neither perfunctory nor
clueless as that is not my intent. I am indeed sorry that you have not
received satisfactory service before.

It's all the Rigases fault!

2009-01-04 14:40:59
31.   berkowit28
Yeah, they may be waiting until they can "Repair and/or replace infrastructure". Though they can surely give you MLB standard def now. I hope for your sake that they're not waiting until they "Increase sources of revenue to meet unmet needs" (I'm sure they're not talking bribes...), let alone "improve the environment" (!) That last one could take a while, whether they're planning to do it all by themselves or coordinate with others. ;-)
2009-01-04 14:45:58
32.   Bob Timmermann
The goals in 27 refer to the South Pasadena municipal government, not to Time Warner Cable.
2009-01-04 14:48:38
33.   berkowit28
32 Ah, OK, then. Makes some sense now.
2009-01-04 14:52:17
34.   Bob Timmermann
The South Pasadena municipal government is a pretty small bunch. 5-person city council and the mayor job rotates around. The city manager does much of the work. The city gets most of its money from a tax on things that look cute.
2009-01-04 14:53:06
35.   berkowit28
But "infrastructure" does still seem to be at the root of the lack of HD - that does seem plausible. Did Adelphia have cable long before other parts of what's now TWC, or did they just not upgrade when other parts did? I can't believe that Adelphia had such a small territory as just South Pasadena and San Marino - it must be more that they were smaller markets when the upgrading went on, or are somehow more difficult to upgrade.
2009-01-04 15:05:15
36.   Bob Timmermann
I've lived in South Pasadena since 1992 and I've always had Time Warner as my cable carrier. I can't speak for San Marino.

There are even smaller areas that TWC handles, such as the no longer mysterious "The Farm."

South Pasadena is an old city and it's big on preservation, but it's not as old as Pasadena, which has managed to upgrade everything, albeit with a different company.

2009-01-04 15:38:03
37.   Bob Hendley
34 - They tax puppies!?
2009-01-04 15:45:59
38.   Bob Timmermann
So my next play was to threaten to leave:

Thank you for your inquiry. I would be happy to be of assistance.

It would be foolish for me to suggest that there is any immediate
incentive as regards the level of Time Warner service now or in the
immediate future.

While your particular area did not receive services via adelphia,
those surrounding you did and it is not financially viable to plan for
the upgrade of small areas. Again I am sorry that I could not be of
further assistance.

2009-01-04 15:56:30
39.   Bob Hendley
Leave? Did you tell him about the rocket?
2009-01-04 16:51:27
40.   berkowit28
38 I have found that my landlord has been willing to split the cost with me of improvements to my place that I want (e.g. garage door automation). Maybe you could suggest splitting the cost of installing DirecTV? You could certainly tell TMC you were planning to, anyway - or maybe that's what you did already.
2009-01-04 16:57:43
41.   Bob Timmermann
I just signed up for AT&T U-Verse. I'll be starting on 1/19. It won't have the MLB Network, but it will have far more HD channels available to me.

I actually think I can live without the MLB Network, but I think I will enjoy living without Time Warner more.

2009-01-04 18:08:30
42.   scareduck
30 - One of my readers is a regional manager in charge of training at TWC. I'll drop you his e-mail.
2009-01-04 19:42:32
43.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks, but I think my mind is made up.

However, it would be interesting to see what TWC's thought process is about how it doles out service.

2009-01-04 22:38:14
44.   berkowit28
41 Looks good - aside from no MLB. Not an option where I live, so I never heard of it until now. The fact that it sends down only what you ask for should indeed mean more HD channels available, if they're true to their word. It might be a while until the two-way interactive possibilities become interesting.

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