Facing competition from its rivals, Time Warner Cable is quietly rolling out new services and beefing up its HD channel lineup.
"We're certainly working toward the multi-room DVR," says Stacy Zaja, director of community and media relations for the cable company. "That's on the horizon. It's being tested in other markets. We would expect by the end of this year that we will be rolling that out."
The ability to record on a DVR on one TV and watch on another TV is one of the things that the newest competitor in the field, AT&T's U-Verse is pitching in its ads.
Additionally, Time Warner has been adding HD channels, fighting the early lead in that area from satellite providers.
Here's a rundown on services that are either new, or expanded:
- "Look Back," allows customers to view selected programs that have aired over the past three days on six standard-definition channels: Discovery Kids, Discovery, A&E, History and Food Network. It's also available on the HD versions of A&E, History Channel and Food Network.
- Time Warner has expanded "Start Over," which allows rewinding shows to the beginning, even without a DVR. "Start Over" is now available on 42 standard channels, and five standard premium channels. Eight HD channels, and two HD premium channels have the feature as well.
- "Whole House on Demand," which allows customers to buy an on-demand movie from any set-top box in the house and watch the movie through other cable boxes in the house. It's available on Channels 500, 501, 502, 507 , 515, 16, 711, 1000, 1001, and 1500.
In case you were wondering: Although I do a weekly show on Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin On Demand Channel 411, I'm not paid by Time Warner. I get my paycheck from OnMilwaukee.com.
On TV: The third season finale of Glenn Close's "Damages" airs at 9 tonight on FX and it's looking like it will end up as the series finale. If you're recording it, the episode is 90 minutes long and repeats at 10:30 and midnight. There had been talk of DirecTV stepping in, as it did with NBC's "Friday Night Lights," to keep it going. But that seems increasingly unlikely.
- A rainout means Fox's broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Texas will air today at 11 a.m. on Channel 6. Unless, of course, it rains again.
- "American Idol" front-runner Crystal Bowersox seems to confirm reports that she was consdering quitting the competition, as Ryan Seacrest has said. She writes on Facebook: "We all have moments of doubt. As much as I miss my kid, the big picture is this: im doing this for him and my fans. I'm having the time of my life!"
- Wisconsin's "Real World" couple, Republican politician Sean Duffy and TV host Rachel Campos Duffy have tweeted and YouTubed the birth of their latest child, MariaVictoria Margarita.
Some national face time for a local talker: WTMJ-AM (620) weekend conservative talker James T. Harris faced off Sunday morning on Fox News Channel with veteran liberal talker Bill Press over Bill Clinton's warning last week that excessive rhetoric can turn violent on this 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.