Ahh! They took Anthony Bourdain from us!

twc discovery channel move

With the realization that there would be no more Dogs 101, there was unrest in the uptown office.

When we slumped down on the couch yesterday evening, we flipped on the TV and clicked around to the Travel Channel. Except it wasn't the Travel Channel. It was Discovery Health.

Who are these Discovery Health people and what have they done with Anthony Bourdain?

Flipping around some more, we found the screen above. Well... fine.

But here's the thing: we don't have digital cable. By choice. Yes, shocking. We have chosen to consign ourselves to 2002. We just never felt the need to pay the extra bucks to upgrade. The 70some channels that we already had seemed like plenty.

But now that means no more No Reservations. No more Dogs 101. No more random CSPAN2 wonking.

So we contacted Time Warner Cable.

Using the customer service chat function today we found out we could get the now-three-digit channels with a converter box. There's a promotion that would give us the box free for 12 months. After that it would be about $7.50 extra a month.

That's not much -- it's $90/year. But it irks us that TWC took away two channels that we really liked, and we now have to pay extra to see them. Especially when there are so many channels that we never watch (Spike, E!, TruTV, we're looking at you. Actually, Tru, we didn't even know you were in our lineup.)

The situation has us thinking about something we probably wouldn't have considered in the past: pulling the plug on cable. As it is, we already watch a lot of shows online or through Netflix via the Wii. And what's not available that way, we could probably buy a la carte through iTunes. It's something people are trying.

Of course, we would miss some stuff (college basketball, the Food Network), but we have a feeling that we might not miss a lot of it. And maybe we'd start doing crazy things like... reading more books.

We're not there, yet. But we're closer.


"Hey, let's take some channels people watch and move them around so that people have to pay more to watch them, then let's put some channels no one ever watches and put them in their place! That's it! That's how we make people love us!"

Same mindset as the companies who make you shell out extra for luggage on airplanes.

Do I really even need cable? It's not that the Travel Channel is a must-have for me (but it's one of the few channels I do watch), but it's more of the fact that they pull this stuff on me.

Until a few months ago, I only had the very basic $9/month cable. Now with digital, even though I can DVR things and watch home improvement shows until I go catatonic, I still only watch about a dozen channels. And mostly I'm annoyed by all the commercials and on-onscreen ads...which are getting bigger. I think I will give up cable when they get to 30% of the screen size...could be any day now.

of f*k that. if you can wait a while, all of the seasons of no reservations are on instant netflix (woo!) -- that's the only way i've watched all of them. i haven't had a tv for over two years and don't miss it at all. whenever i do happen to catch a peek at what's on there (at a friend or family member's house, etc.), im shocked at the number of people who still watch the inane crap that makes up 95% of the material.

Usenet is great for all tv, etc

no cable bill only internets

Cable sucks, get DirectTV

We just canceled our cable all together... we went from two boxes... to one box... to none.

And we're doing just fine. Netflix on demand and hulu is all we need. :-)

I would love to just pay for the stations that I watch.

I would like ala-carte channels, but that will probably never happen... That is why god made the internets. :) also, decreased commercials, I appreciate. none on downloads, and some on Hulu... better than 20 minutes out of 60 or so on TV...

Yep, they actually sent letters warning about this in last month's bill. I decided I'm going to end my cable service as a result. As soon as I get a digital TV, I'll do it.
Rates have gone up steadily over the past several years and pretty much only sports channels have been added to the lineup. Now, with about 8 sports channels and about 30 other channels that show as much sports as possible, I don't understand why they can't jerk some of those stations around. Like ESPN Classic, or the Golf Channel. Seriously? We're only given one public affairs network now that CSPAN2 costs extra, but we must have reruns of Basketball games from 20 years ago?

We haven't had "cable" for several years now, only basic for reception. A couple of months ago Time Warner pulled the extra channels we did watch (Style, in particular. We miss our "Clean House!"). There are only a handful of cable channels we would watch regularly and can't be bothered paying for all the extra pablum. Thank God for the internets!

I too am among the ranks of those who opted out of cable many years ago. I went from having the full digital package and all the premiums to nothing.

When Netflix came along, I decided I wasn't going to let HBO hold me hostage to watch the new Soprano's episodes. Instead I would do what I did for 24, wait until they were on DVD and watch them all in a marathon session.

Now, without resorting to piracy, I get all the television I can stand. Hulu, Netflix discs, Netflix streaming, iTunes, and ComedyCentral.com are my main sources.

Lost and the Super Bowl were the only things I watched live. And my crazy fancy HDTV picks those up in full HD with the cheap pair of rabbit ears that mar its sleek cabinet.

I say cut the cable.

Don't knock TruTV until you've watched Forensic Files. Or maybe that's just my true crime love talking.

TW reshuffled and sent a lot more channels to digital in other markets, too. They're behind Comcast in that respect, so that's something. I guess.

Cancel it. You won't really miss it, and will find other things to do. I thought I would miss it (and my home phone), but I don't. Now I have more time to do other stuff and I am over ~ $1000 richer (60 for cable and 40 for phone). You can get temporary deals from TW but they only last a limited amount of time, and they still get your money. Also you can pick up a lot of channels over the air with a cheap tv antenna.

Even though there are alternative options through the internet, Time Warner is really the only option in the area for actual cable service to your TV. They know that and I think they abuse it.

Time Warner Yucks.
everytime I turn around they chance or delete channels..their signal is crap. I'm moving to satellite..even though TWC pulls all their channels in from satellite..locally they can are not capable of producing commercials or running them in true HD

Another vote for pulling the plug. I grew up without a TV at all, so maybe it's easier for me, but I think you could do it too. Like everyone is saying, between Hulu and Netflix there is plenty to watch. The fact that you have to consciously make a decision to watch a specific thing makes it easier to not just flick on the "TV" out of habit and zone out, too.

$9/month for basic cable (up to channel 24 with local channels in HD) and $9/month for Netflix (with instant streaming) and you have more than enough entertainment for so much cheaper than TW's cheapest digital cable package.

Love TruTV. Cops, and the dozen shows just like Cops, makes me feel better about my life when I have a bad day at work!

I noticed this yesterday because I have my cable box programmed to come on at 43. I don't understand why they moved it so far away from its DISC, TLC, HIS (etc.) bros. But I'm confused...I thought that we had already made the switch to digital universally? Or is this different?

Until 2 months ago, I has basic cable. Then I got a call that TW would sell cable for $29 a month for 12 months. It seemed like a great price, so I said ok.

I got my bill yesterday. $166 in "Adjustment" fee which say "Transfer Amount to New Address". What? I didn't move. Then $40 for "monitoring" and "Cellular Communicator". Why do I need those? Then it seems that they moved my security monitoring service from a seperate bill to my cable bill. That's fine, but I'd like some notice.

Yeah. They are getting a call from me. I'm dropping back to basic. Having more channels just meant I spent 30% of my time trying to find something I wanted to watch, rather than actually watching anything!

And now I'm mentioning the loss of Animal Planet and the Travel Channel as reasons too.

I doubt that this will change anything, but I sent an email to the Travel Channel, letting them know that they and their advertisers lost a viewer. I don't expect a response, but damn - I'm gonna miss Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain.

don't pay for cable! the internet is all you need, plus a former roommate's dad's netflix password on your xbox that you don't ever play video games on anyway. oh and thepiratebay.org

They suck and this is the last straw.

Fios, where are you?? We need you now.

We love paying $9 per month and supplementing with Netflix and the internet. Like Ali I was annoyed about losing the Style Channel a few months ago, but it strengthened my resolve to never to give TWC an extra penny.

Also great: having little kids who rarely see Nickelodeon or Disney or commercials. Phew.

I would also encourage you to drop the cable. My wife and I did almost two years ago. I miss a few shows (Food Network, Travel, AMC), but it's worth the savings, which I think is $40 a month? We use Hulu and Netflix for most of our TV needs. My favorite shows are slowly all moving onto internet services like that, so that transition is becoming easier and easier. Also, basic cable around here, for some reason, gets National Geographic, ThisTV a hilariously bad movie channel, and PBS in HD. Not bad for $9 (?) a month.

I'm weak and I'll admit it... I need my YES Channel.

They moved the Travel Channel??? What for? Son of a--!!! >:-(

They needed to make room for new channels -- for their digital cable subscribers -- so they had to dump some analog channels. Fine. I get that. Most TVs made since 2005 have a digital QAM tuner built in anyway. All they would have had to do was put the digital feed into a channel under 125, like they do with all of the local channels in HD on standard cable.

Then at least the big living room TV could still get the Travel Channel. But nooo, they put it on channel 301 where only people with TWC's proprietary box can watch it.

And then there's CSPAN-2, which has been replaced on channel 52 by... color bars. Seriously, Time Warner? The color bars take up just as much bandwidth as CSPAN-2 does. Why not just give us SPAN-2?

Make no mistake, this is a conspiracy to push as many customers to the digital tier as possible, where they can charge $7.50/mo per TV instead of watching as customers go to Lowes or Home Depot and pick up a $5 splitter. They have to move now while they have a monopoly on all of the local TV markets. If they wait until FiOS TV comes along before forcing people to switch, they're going to lose customers to Verizon in droves.

When I was in college, I had a copper wire scotch taped to my wall in lieu of rabbit ears and picked up ~10 channels over the air. I didn't miss cable any.

@Ryan - we used to get NatGeo. Not anymore. Lost it with the changeup. Which leaves... ESPN and YNN as the only worthwhile channels that I can't get for free. Are they worth the $9/month? I'm very tempted to say no. We switched from digital down to superbasic a year or two ago, and, while we missed a few things at first, we're doing just fine. I can't imagine a switch to over-the-air-only would be a stretch at this point...

Im always so surprised when I hear about cable. Like, people still use that? Let alone pay for it? Seems so unnessesary for all the reasons already mentioned.

I just dumped tv service after 17 years with Time Warner (and Capitol Cablevision prior to TW). I had a digital box in the living room but have analog sets in the bed room and den. I am not putting digital boxes in these rooms just to watch CSPAN2.

I will now use now use my notebook to watch CSPAN2 in any room I want in addition to broadcast DTV.

TW moves CSPAN2 to digital tier but keeps the "golf channel" in their analog offering? What is TW's hidden agenda? Their stated rationale -to free up bandwith does not hold up to rational scrutiny.

With some of my $900 in annual savings I plan to contribute to the local PBS channel and the food pantry.

I am furious at time warner for removing channels and making them digital. there is no earthly good reason for this that i can see. there is not a single reason they need to free up bandwidth. it certainly hasnt been explained well enough for me to make any sense out of

i don't understand why there are so many sports channels and why they took away style, animal planet, soapnet, travel channel, CMT, and everything else worth watching.

We are just about ready to cancel. their free box for a year, is only slightly tempting. we'd just have to pay more for it when the year was up. we could save money quitting them now.

I could really afford to economize. when i have more money, i could put all the cable money into PBS and WAMC, it might be way more worthwhile.

It's aggravating me as well, and boy do I love gadgets and boxes usually. I'm paying $127 a month for TimeWarner Standard Cable + Digital Tier + Roadrunner High Speed Internet (including an HD DVR). That's is a bit ridiculous. To add insult to injury, there is a line in red on my bill that says: "Total Savings $16.95". Savings?? I saved money somehow?

I gave them a quick call and apparently since I've a Digital Tier, I'm saving on... Roadrunner: that's the -$16.95 on that bundle. Now this is genius: I asked how much money I would save by discarding the Digital Tier for example, since it's my only option. About only $15... but I would lose the discount for Roadrunner. Hahaha, how coincidental you guys! *grabs baseball bat* And of course I would lose the DVR in the process.

I would save about $70 a month if I discarded cable altogether and keep the Intertubes. I could then Instant Stream Netflix through the XBox360, that's what: $9 a month? Hulu Plus is also coming to the 360 early 2011, that's another $10 a month. You need a XBox Love Gold Membership to stream these, that's $4 a month (many gamers have one already). So I'm looking at $23 a month, and room to add more services. I would save $47 a month compared to TW, so in about 4 months that pays for a new $199 XBox or PS3 (I hear you can play video games with these too, crazy!).

I guess you'd have to sacrifice some video quality, and fast forward / rewind isn't as smooth. Worth a shot. In the meantime, I installed the Playon software on a PC in my office, and I would recommend you give it a quick shot if you have a similar setup. I'm trying for the next 14 days (the trial period). It takes a few minutes to install and will stream videos from Hulu/Netflix/ComedyCentral and other providers back to your devices/game consoles in the house. That's the only way I found to get the daily Jon Stewart / Colbert eps on the TV in the living room. I had used TVersity and the craptastic Windows Media Center extender in the past, Playon is working better so far. It's about $3.3 a month for the first year, then $1.6 a month. I'm sure you can hack an old XBox and achieve the same for cheaper, but not everybody has the time/patience for that :)

Ugh, Look to private torrents and get it for free...Eff u TWC.

I really wish that people wouldn't automatically bring up torrents as the only valid alternative. Why?

1. Stealing is wrong.
2. Not everyone likes to sit in a rolling office chair and stare at their computer to watch TV. We do that all day at work. We want to sit in a different chair and stare at a different screen.
3. Stealing is wrong.

Hi there. Comments have been closed for this item. Still have something to say? Contact us.

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine