WOW--the cable company--and its new Ultra TV

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WOW--the cable company--and its new Ultra TV

Post#1 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:12 am

Good-looking cableco whole-house DVR solution:

http://www.thewowbuzz.com/blog/technolo ... w-ultra-tv

Click on the link inside the blog to see their Youtube video.

I know, you'll all initially laugh when you see this, realizing that we've had this kind of power for awhile now--but then you'll pause and reflect how at least one cable company has now officially "got it".

A buddy of mine is getting this installed later this week. I can't wait to see it.

6 stream tuner (hmmmm, I wonder what technology they're using...), Netflix etc on all their boxes, DLNA compliant. Hooks together through their router to provide full capabilities.

The best part if the pricing. I remember when Time Warner came out with their service last year, they bundled it together as an ultra-high-end solution with all the channels, 50 megabit broadband, phone, and concierge service--for $180/month. Well, WOW is doing it WAY differently. To WOW, this is just another set of cable boxes with their own pricing--and not bundled in with anything else.

Their current crap SA 2 tuner single location DVR, with the worst software you've ever seen, rents (HD version) for $13/month. Plain HD cable boxes rent for $7/month. So a plain-Jane two location setup incurs a $20/month charge for hardware rental. Switch over to Ultra TV and you replace those two pieces of equipment with the DVR and extender, PLUS a wireless router (that might have some value), for an equipment charge of only $25/month.

Add to that whatever TV and internet services you want to buy at whatever price level, and there you go. No bundling of "premium services" or phone or anything.

For people who go to the cable company to solve their problems, like my father, this is one helluva deal. I hate to say it, Ceton, but you will have to work hard to compete with this from what I can tell.

Want another extender? Pricing goes crazy at that point--it's $15/month. So my three location 7MC/XBox setup would go for $40/month just for hardware. Yikes. On top of the $75/month TV and internet service I have, that's a buck fifteen/month.

Yeah, for us it's silly. But since most people in the world have never seen anything like this, it'll be like caveman discovering fire--and since they don't have to pay $1000 or whatever up front for hardware, they'll jump all over this.

I will have a full report once my buddy gets it in and working.

BTW, this runs rings around ATT U-Verse and its "two streams of HD at a time" thing, plus their bundling.
adam1991
 
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Post#2 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:09 am

I'd be interested to see more. Thanks for the post.
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Post#3 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:43 pm

Interesting. I gave WOW a call to find out pricing. It was going to be ~$100 for a 15Mb internet and the Ultra TV.

The UltraTV comes with the DVR with 2 players (required to view any DVR content). Each additional player is $15.

It costs $71.50 to have a 15 Mb internet w/ M cable card and HD for my service.
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Post#4 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:28 pm

I pay $98/month for HD TV from Brighthouse Networks, including the CableCARD and taxes. This includes Showtime, but none of the other premium content. My internet bill is separate, and paid for by my employer. So, $100 doesn't sound bad.

Is this WOW company an IP-based TV system? Do they coexist with other cable providers in the same neighborhoods?
Last edited by barnabas1969 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post#5 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:19 pm

I don't believe that ~100 included taxes fyi. Also it didn't include showtime. I didn't get into the details with the guy of how the players connect. I would highly doubt they used anything aside from IP.

In my neighborhood I have the option of WOW (WideOpenWest), Comcast and AT&T UVerse.
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Post#6 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:35 am

I'm sure the players are IP based in some way or another... maybe MOCA? I'm talking about IP from them to your house... like UVerse. But, my point was... is it like UVerse (limited to 2 HD streams at a time)? UVerse isn't available in my neighborhood yet, but that was the killer... only two HD streams in the whole house simultaneously... and I think they have a 4-stream limit in the whole house (2 HD + 2 SD). That's worse than the 2-tuner limit in the cable company's DVR's. If UVerse didn't have this limitation (and was available in my neighborhood), I might not have gone to Media Center... but I'm glad I did. I can do as many HD streams simultaneously as I have tuners in MCE!
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Post#7 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:14 am

barnabas1969 wrote:I pay $98/month for HD TV from Brighthouse Networks, including the CableCARD and taxes. This includes Showtime, but none of the other premium content. My internet bill is separate, and paid for by my employer. So, $100 doesn't sound bad.

Is this WOW company an IP-based TV system? Do they coexist with other cable providers in the same neighborhoods?


WOW started out as Wide Open West, out of Denver. They bought out Americast, Ameritech's (RBOC, now back to being AT&T) failed effort at cable TV. Don't know why it failed; clearly they should have made a go of it, because WOW came in and bought up the plant and the wiring and the customers and *has* made a go of it.

Anyway, yes--this is a completely separately wired cableco that co-exists here with T-W and Insight (which, of course, is now owned by T-W). Competing wired cablecos is a wonderful thing.

They are a standard cable TV system, coax through the neighborhoods and into and throughout the home. They have 70 or so channels of in the clear programming, no converter box required--have had that since day 1 (used to be analog, last year switched it all to digital).

I currently pay $81 out the door for everything except premium channels, 15 megabit broadband, and cableCARD.

WOW is and has been a superb company to do business with. Very easy, very straightforward, and incredibly technically competent. In other words, they're everything T-W is not. It's like the difference between a local credit union and Chase Bank.
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Post#8 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:15 am

barnabas1969 wrote:I'm sure the players are IP based in some way or another... maybe MOCA? I'm talking about IP from them to your house... like UVerse. But, my point was... is it like UVerse (limited to 2 HD streams at a time)? UVerse isn't available in my neighborhood yet, but that was the killer... only two HD streams in the whole house simultaneously... and I think they have a 4-stream limit in the whole house (2 HD + 2 SD). That's worse than the 2-tuner limit in the cable company's DVR's. If UVerse didn't have this limitation (and was available in my neighborhood), I might not have gone to Media Center... but I'm glad I did. I can do as many HD streams simultaneously as I have tuners in MCE!


No, it is not like U-Verse. You can have as many HD streams into your house as you have tuners available.

WOW is a standard wired cable TV provider.
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Post#9 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:19 pm

adam1991 wrote:
barnabas1969 wrote:I pay $98/month for HD TV from Brighthouse Networks, including the CableCARD and taxes. This includes Showtime, but none of the other premium content. My internet bill is separate, and paid for by my employer. So, $100 doesn't sound bad.

Is this WOW company an IP-based TV system? Do they coexist with other cable providers in the same neighborhoods?


WOW started out as Wide Open West, out of Denver. They bought out Americast, Ameritech's (RBOC, now back to being AT&T) failed effort at cable TV. Don't know why it failed; clearly they should have made a go of it, because WOW came in and bought up the plant and the wiring and the customers and *has* made a go of it.

Anyway, yes--this is a completely separately wired cableco that co-exists here with T-W and Insight (which, of course, is now owned by T-W). Competing wired cablecos is a wonderful thing.

They are a standard cable TV system, coax through the neighborhoods and into and throughout the home. They have 70 or so channels of in the clear programming, no converter box required--have had that since day 1 (used to be analog, last year switched it all to digital).

I currently pay $81 out the door for everything except premium channels, 15 megabit broadband, and cableCARD.

WOW is and has been a superb company to do business with. Very easy, very straightforward, and incredibly technically competent. In other words, they're everything T-W is not. It's like the difference between a local credit union and Chase Bank.

Wow, that's a good deal. I pay more than that without any internet service on my bill. Luckily, my employer pays my internet bill separately. My only choice for cable is Brighthouse. I never liked the idea of satellite... especially now that I'm on Media Center and there are no satellite tuners for MCE, unless you use an HD-PVR. I don't know of any other wired cable company in Central Florida other than U-Verse, but that's not running on Coax, and it's only in certain (newer) neighborhoods. And, like I wrote earlier, I couldn't live with 2 HD streams in the whole house.
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