Forum Thread

Questions about possibly switching to Time Warner cable internet?

Outrun1986 381 196 September 2, 2015 at 01:43 PM
We currently have verizon for phone service and Internet and Time warner for basic cable needs, and I feel my family is probably paying too much for these services. We only have verizon DSL as we live in a very low income neighborhood and there is no way verizon would push fios to our city, even though other surrounding areas have it (albeit the more wealthy ones).

As you can imagine the DSL service is becoming much too slow to actually do anything on, and I have not seen a speed upgrade in over 10 years when I signed up for this service in 2004 and I am looking for something better but I have a few questions that cannot be answered by the cable company. Verizon DSL service is 3mb.

Time warner basically has a monopoly for my address other than verizon DSL service so I have no other choices really.

My house already has cable service with Time warner, however the picture is not very clear, some channels, especially the local news channels, are very blurry. I have no idea what is going on with the wiring in this house, but its gotta be about 30 years old and I don't have anyone local who can help me with this matter. Would this mean our internet signal and quality would also be bad?

We do not currently use cable boxes, we have 2 standard TV's and one HD TV. The HDTV gets OTA HD which is very clear on the channels it is offered on with only a little artifacting here and there. We are not ready to upgrade to all HDTVs as we have these huge CRT's in our house and have no one to help us dispose of them, and there is no one living in this house that is able to move a huge beast like that. Upgrading would be very costly as we would also need TV stands on which to place the HDTV's. We would have to purchase TV stands and pay for disposal and removal of the old TV's plus we would have to pay for setup of the new ones. Hopefully upgrading would not cause a problem with this arrangement for now. I also don't want to use a cable box because they take up extra inputs on my TV which I do not have to spare. All of my ports are full on my TV. One TV is unable to have a cable box attached because there is something going on with the wires in the back that is a problem I cannot tackle myself.

Based on this if we were to upgrade to TWC for internet, home phone and Cable TV would our house need costly cable wiring upgrades to get a decent reliable signal?

What is involved with installation, do you just plug in a modem and router to the cable wire? Because I can handle that just fine. I do know about the modem rental fees and I plan on buying my own equipment but again I can handle that just fine.

The price, this is the big thing, I am sure TWC would offer us a very attractive bundle offer then up our rates after the promotion period is over as all places do that. How much are we looking at as a regular non promotional rate, as we plan on keeping this service for life obviously once it is installed. I guess if we are paying about $90 each to verizon and twc for separate services it makes sense just to bundle as I can't imagine the cost becoming that high that it is more than what our current bills are. I assume calling and threatening to cancel to get a better rate is out because cable companies are on to this tactic now.


We only have 2 internet users in the house and both are adults, but I personally have a large amount of devices, I have 3 gaming consoles but they are not used much for online gaming, mostly to download files, As you can imagine these files have slowed to a crawl as for download speeds and it can take all day or multiple days to download one of the xbox live gold free games for example. I just spent over 8 hours uploading a video to my facebook page and I can't even upload anything to youtube right now as it takes days.... I also have a perk farm for making extra cash and I would like to keep that going, plus I do basically every other GPT app that is known out there. Are there any data caps with TWC service for now?

I am assuming that some sort of standard internet plan would be fine for my use, as I really just need a little bit more than what I Have with DSL right now. I do not need 100meg internet or anything that is that speedy. I don't expect games that are multiple gigs in size to download instantly or anything like that, if I could download a game that is multiple gigs in 2-3 hours that would be great. If I could upload a video that is under 10 min in length to youtube or facebook in under 3-5 hours that would also be great.

Does the TWC cable internet slow down when other people use the service in the neighborhood? I know my next door neighbors have TWC for everything. My whole neighborhood is unemployed people so everyone is sitting at home all day using the internet I assume. Does it slow down when the TV's in the house are turned on? Does it slow down when someone uses the telephone? The other 2 people I live with talk on the phone a lot. If it consistently slows when other people use it then its not worth upgrading since it would just be slower than the dedicated DSL line I currently have. I am pretty sure I am the only person on my whole street using landline phone service and internet from verizon right now.

TWC's wifi hotspots are very attractive for me, as you can imagine its very frustrating for me not to have a log in for these hotspots, as they are everywhere here. I cannot afford a cell phone with an expensive data plan as its just too expensive. I signed up for ring plus recently and have the LG volt on a ring plus free plan which meets my needs just fine as I never talk on the phone but I need to have a phone in case my car breaks down. But I would like to have more access to these TWC wifi hotspots that are almost everywhere where I live without paying huge extra fees the cell phone providers that cost a very large amount of money for data plans. This would basically permanently eliminate my need for cell phone data if I could get connected to these TWC wifi hotspots.

I would be very grateful for some help with this, thanks.

15 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Feb 2004
L10: Grand Master
6,951 Posts
944 Reputation
#2
Quote from Outrun1986 View Post :
My house already has cable service with Time warner, however the picture is not very clear, some channels, especially the local news channels, are very blurry. I have no idea what is going on with the wiring in this house, but its gotta be about 30 years old and I don't have anyone local who can help me with this matter. Would this mean our internet signal and quality would also be bad?

Based on this if we were to upgrade to TWC for internet, home phone and Cable TV would our house need costly cable wiring upgrades to get a decent reliable signal?
Best way to be sure is to get a TWC technician out there to diagnose the spotty TV picture, or get tools yourself to diagnose the signal strength. They may charge a fee to come fix a problem if it's a problem with the house wiring; fees are usually waived if the problem is outside of the house.

Is your house wired with cable jacks in each room? If so, it's likely there is one big splitter (or several small splitters) that takes the run from the street and divides it up into however many runs it needs to go to each room; this causes a drop in signal strength, which could lead to poor picture quality and poor internet connectivity. Unhooking some runs from that splitter (i.e., in rooms where you don't need cable / internet) could improve your TV picture. Look for the splitter in the basement, attic, garage, utility room, or close to where the cable line enters your house.

Quote :
What is involved with installation, do you just plug in a modem and router to the cable wire? Because I can handle that just fine. I do know about the modem rental fees and I plan on buying my own equipment but again I can handle that just fine.
If you want to put the modem near a TV, you'll need a splitter (most self-install packages come with them, or buy at RadioShack for a buck), but it doesn't have to go next to a TV - just near a cable line. Beyond that, yeah, just plug in the modem. Wait for it to boot up and then plug in the router, and you're good to go. You may have to call in to provide the MAC address of the new modem. I assume you have a (wireless?) router already? If you were able to install the router with no problem then you won't have trouble installing the cable modem.

Quote :
Are there any data caps with TWC service for now?
Probably depends on where you live. With Comcast some markets have caps while others don't, but I'm not sure about TWC.

Quote :
I am assuming that some sort of standard internet plan would be fine for my use, as I really just need a little bit more than what I Have with DSL right now. I do not need 100meg internet or anything that is that speedy. I don't expect games that are multiple gigs in size to download instantly or anything like that, if I could download a game that is multiple gigs in 2-3 hours that would be great. If I could upload a video that is under 10 min in length to youtube or facebook in under 3-5 hours that would also be great.
A 25 Mbps connection is plenty good for most users, and would likely be fine for occasional online gaming and uploading videos with several connected devices. See what offers are available though, as there may be a sweet spot in pricing for a faster or slightly slower connection.

Quote :
Does the TWC cable internet slow down when other people use the service in the neighborhood? I know my next door neighbors have TWC for everything. My whole neighborhood is unemployed people so everyone is sitting at home all day using the internet I assume. Does it slow down when the TV's in the house are turned on? Does it slow down when someone uses the telephone? The other 2 people I live with talk on the phone a lot. If it consistently slows when other people use it then its not worth upgrading since it would just be slower than the dedicated DSL line I currently have. I am pretty sure I am the only person on my whole street using landline phone service and internet from verizon right now.
Cable internet does in general slow down as more people in the neighborhood use it, although the newer DOCSIS 3.0 and channel bonding and other technologies mitigate that to some extent. Cable TV and TWC voice shouldn't affect it, and if you have regular landline phone service that definitely won't affect it (different telecom network). However, in all my years of having cable internet, it has never slowed to the point that it's slower than DSL.


Sounds like TWC would provide much faster internet service, even if it's not as fast as it's advertised. TWC likely has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so I'd say go ahead and get it and try it out. If it doesn't work, just stick with your existing DSL.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
Marshall: Have the rest of you guys figured out by now that mmathis is the smartest guy on SlickDeals?
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,661 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#3
I agree with what MMathis. When TW comes out for the install they will test your connection to make sure the signal will work. I would mention the picture quality at that time too. Lot's of stuff could be the cause, much of which TW will fix. Say the cable on the pole/yard is bad, they will replace it. The connection from outside to inside is bad, they will replace it. Bad end on the cable to the tv, they will replace it.

As far as splitters, in my area they provide these. In most houses I have been in I put the modem near where the cable comes into the home. I then can run cat5 to where I want the router, usually it's pretty close. Every Time you split cable you loose signal. So with this way you branch off immediately to the modem and then the other branch you then split again for TV. You get less signal degradation this way. Tell TW you may upgrade your other TV's over time etc and they should be able to split this correctly for you. Lot's of ways to do this but overall you want the modem to have the strongest signal possible.

I would tell you in your situation to rent the modem for at least a few weeks if not for 2 months while you make sure the server will be good. If possible keep your DSL around until you determine the cable will meet your needs. Chances are you will figure out pretty fast if your going to have trouble.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
Joined May 2008
L4: Apprentice
381 Posts
196 Reputation
Original Poster
#4
Thanks for your answer, I know where the cable wire is in my room so the modem would be there, the room is not big, and since I hook my own cable wires up to my TV I know where they are. I am sure we have a splitter as you mention as we have a wire for the living room and the 2 bedrooms that have cable. Unfortunately we need cable in all these rooms so I wouldn't be able to change any of that. I can install a DSL modem just fine so that won't be a problem. The HD comes in good though on my TV so its probably not as bad as I think it is, I would think if the signal was that bad the HD wouldn't come in at all or it would be unwatchable.

We are paying $30 a month for sub par DSL service, so it sounds like cable might be similar in price.

I am pretty sure there aren't any caps in my market, but even then I would be unlikely to hit the cap as I don't do too much streaming video and I don't have a netfix sub.

I have been to different locations, one grocery store has REALLY fast internet here, like crazy fast, and when I try to load a video both at home and at other locations it seems to be about the same. This tells me there is something going on on the back end of these video sites like youtube that limits how fast you can watch a streaming video regardless of what kind of internet you have at home. I have also tried watching videos at relatives houses that have faster internet and there is little difference. I also like to watch videos from some more unknown sites so its not surprising no matter where I try to load a video its about the same, its obviously the site controlling the speed of the video. Upload speed would definitely increase though with cable which is important, as my upload is now basically next to nothing. Ok I realized that sounded really bad, I am watching Japanese music videos, as I listen to japanese music, most are not uploaded to youtube these days because here in the USA we are not supposed to see this videos. So I sometimes have to watch from a site like tudou.com or a more unknown video site. I don't download anything illegal anymore so I don't have to worry about that. I do a lot of streaming internet radio, but that uses very little bandwidth.

I am also having trouble loading ebay, but this problem is specifically with the ebay site so I know its not my internet, its something they did to their site. It can take up to 2 min for the my ebay page to load, it just shows a spinning circle then it finally loads. This is very frustrating to me as I sell a lot of things on ebay and the more time it takes me to sell an item because the site barely loads the more frustrated I get. I am also having trouble loading rafflecopter forms on contests, ever since they changed the design of their form its just a spinning circle until it finally decides to load.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#5
You can save money if you buy your own cable modem, a Motorola/Arris SB6141 is a good choice. You would also need to buy your own wireless router, this will work better then their gateway. Using your own equipment doesn't impact if you can use TWC wifi.

They would likely run a new line from the main splitter to the cable modem, they could charge you $25-50 to do this. Cable installers typically just run their wires around the perimeter of a house and install jacks on exterior walls.

If you can't get a decent promotion / rate, consider canceling your cable tv for 3-6 months (read the promo fine print), there's usually a period of no service before you can get a promotion. If the people you're living with have different last names, you can also cancel and have someone else sign up. If you cancel cable tv, you can still buy digital converter boxes (but they are harder to find these days) that will allow those old tv's to use an antenna. Cable internet that's faster than 3mbps is likely to cost more than $30/mo even as a promotional rate, though you could save on your cable tv costs.

You can get telephone service through the cable company, but it generally requires you to rent one of their eMTA modems. There are generally cheaper alternatives even with their bundle discounts such as VoIP providers like Ooma, BasicTalk, and MagicJack among others. These VoIP options are much cheaper than non-promotional prices from the cable company. Without promotions, in some markets cable tv, phone, and internet can run you close to or over $200 / month. Taxes and equipment rental fees are on top of the base non-promotional pricing. You can keep your current telephone number by porting it to VoIP provider or TWC if you choose, to do this initiate the port with the new company and don't contact the current company until the port is complete.

Using a traditional landline shouldn't slow down DSL internet unless you aren't using a DSL filter or have some significant problems with your phone wiring.

I've seen plenty of tv stands for CRT TV's that work fine for HDTV's, but designs can vary a lot. There are some where the upper "hutch" like part is removable. Wall mounts are fairly cheap online. Disposing of old TV's is more difficult these days, many place will charge a fee (often around $25), but certain mfg's will pay the fee to recycle their tv's. The days of dropping off old CRT tv's at goodwill have come and gone. There are often e-cycle type events with free electronics recycling in April for earth day. This is just to get you thinking about your eventual transition to hdtv's
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by jkee September 2, 2015 at 04:04 PM
Joined May 2008
L4: Apprentice
381 Posts
196 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
We have the recycling program here from goodwill, and our SA's and goodwills still accept CRT TV's. At least I assume they do, since they sell them in the stores. They also charge about $50-60 for a large CRT, so there must be some demand. There is a local appliance company that sells TV's and they remove your old TV for you, so we would probably go with them, especially since we buy all our appliances from them. But in general people still litter the streets here with old CRT TV's, its a plague. I can't really DIY a TV stand and a TV by myself. Our current living room TV does not have a stand, its a cabinet TV, so its not like we can re-use the stand because there is none. We all have the same last name here, so it won't be possible to put the cable in another person's name.

We are paying roughly $90-95 to TWC and Verizon right now so that is already about $200.

I don't think the VOIP service would work for our house, grandma definitely wants a traditional land line in there.

We watch hardly any TV in this house, but there are things that we still like to watch, so we still want to pay for cable.

I can handle purchasing my own equipment, and the $25-50 wouldn't be too bad for a new line to the modem but it would have to be in my room upstairs because that is the only place where I have room in the house for the huge power blocks that the modem and router will most likely require and I want the modem to be located on my desk. I currently have a combo unit Westell router from verizon which uses one power block. My phone lines are basically shot in my room, and I am surprised I even can get DSL service through the line because the phone box that the line is hooked up to is basically falling apart. I looked everywhere for replacement phone boxes for it but I was unable to find anything except the flat plates and those will not work because the jack physically sticks out of the wall. One thing is for sure the voice quality on the phone line upstairs is horrific quality so much so you can barely hear the person talking on the other line, we don't use that landline much.

Verizon taks on a crapton of taxes and fees and they constantly fluctuate, so that is nothing new. Today they called me with a recording saying something along the lines of that we are going to sell your information in order to offer you new services. I don't really need new services from verizon. They called us in the past because they wanted to offer me some kind of cloud service that my family does not need.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Outrun1986 September 2, 2015 at 04:31 PM
#7
The other piece of the equation with ISP speed is how good or bad their peering is with content providers. Places like https://www.google.com/get/videoqualityreport/ and http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa are a couple good resources to check, but if you have a specific content provider you care about, you might want to see if they publish numbers by ISP.

I think Time Warner is generally okay in this regard at this point. They're on good behavior while they try to get the Charter acquisition cleared, and if the acquisition clears they've promised not to throttle content providers until at least the end of 2018 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/netfl...1436982048).
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by quotidian September 2, 2015 at 06:24 PM
#8
Switch asap..you are being ripped off spending 200 a month.you can use a traditional land line with most voip services but to keep it simple, get the bundle from time warner for all 3...you will be able to use all your old phone, you will NOT notice any difference.
They may give you a new customer rate if you switch to the triple play.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#9
Quote from Outrun1986 View Post :
I don't think the VOIP service would work for our house, grandma definitely wants a traditional land line in there.
...
My phone lines are basically shot in my room, and I am surprised I even can get DSL service through the line because the phone box that the line is hooked up to is basically falling apart. I looked everywhere for replacement phone boxes for it but I was unable to find anything except the flat plates and those will not work because the jack physically sticks out of the wall. One thing is for sure the voice quality on the phone line upstairs is horrific quality so much so you can barely hear the person talking on the other line, we don't use that landline much.
My Grandma recently moved in with relatives and I ported her phone to a VoIP provider, she's quite happy with it. It was the easiest way to keep her phone number. Phone service through the cable company is basically VoIP, it's integrated into the modem and sometimes they install backup batteries to keep it functioning in a power outage, sometimes they don't.

Often when someone uses a VoIP provider or cable company for phone service, they will back feed other jacks in the house so you can use a phone in more than one location. You continue to use the same old phones with VoIP, though too many rotary phones can be trouble as they have a high REN rating.

Dealing with phone line issues isn't that hard, but many people don't feel comfortable with it. If you add "line insurance" which is usually ~$3/mo they'll fix issues inside your house at no additional cost. If you think the problem is your phone jack, there are lots of options both flush wall plates and surface mount like you describe. For example:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/CE-TEC.../203715333
http://www.homedepot.com/p/CE-TEC.../203715467
Problems with the wiring in part of the house can impact other parts of the house too. It's best to start with the simplest possibility often that a particular phone or phone cord is to blame. As a test, you can unplug every jack in the house and try the best phone at each location. There's also a box on the side of your house called a DEMARC or NID you can take a phone out to and plug it in as a test. If the line quality is bad at the DEMARC, make the phone company fix it, they won't charge you anything. If the house is old enough, you could have some of those old 4 prong phone jacks and not the modern modular plugs. The adapters used with these can have poor connections.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by jkee September 2, 2015 at 07:52 PM
Joined May 2008
L4: Apprentice
381 Posts
196 Reputation
Original Poster
#10
We don't have rotary phones so that is not an issue. All the phones in our house are touch tone, though one is an old person's phone with large keys, but there is a digital display on it so I am sure it would be fine. Our phone went out a couple years ago and the line was torn down from the house (don't ask), and Verizon had to come out and fix it. I don't know how they fixed it but it works normally now. So I don't think there is anything wrong with the outside box the line connects to.

I already know that I am being ripped off, even if we bundled and the bundle expired there is no way they would charge us what we are paying now for something like 15-30meg internet, phone and basic TV. We are paying $95 per company right now, there is bound to be an improvement in the price if we switch.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#11
I'm on the same Verizon plan you are. I dropped Dish a few months ago & it's become super clear that I now need more bandwidth. It's too bad you don't have HDMI. I really don't miss Dish at all. Only thing I do miss is the news. I'm saving about $90 a month which is sorely needed for food, etc. I use AFTV stick & box which works very well for me & my needs.

I live less than 2 miles from my parents & yet they get over double what Verizon can provide me. I doubt it'll get better any time soon...probably years from now. I'm going to swap to TWC in the very near future. Sounds like you should do the same.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#12
Quote from Outrun1986 View Post :
Our phone went out a couple years ago and the line was torn down from the house (don't ask), and Verizon had to come out and fix it. I don't know how they fixed it but it works normally now. So I don't think there is anything wrong with the outside box the line connects to.
Telephone line issues are categorized by issues with wiring inside your house (where it's your problem unless you pay them to fix it or have line insurance) and issues that are the phone company's anywhere in the miles of cable from the central office to your house. It's quite common for line noise issues to be tied to the weather as rain, snow, and telephone lines don't mix too well.

You may want to add line insurance and get verizon to fix any issues with your phone line before you possibly jump ship.

It sounds questionable if you would be eligible, but there are a number of programs to reduce telephone and internet cost for low income families. The internet programs generally require you have a child who qualifies for free/reduced lunch.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,661 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#13
Quote from Outrun1986 View Post :
We don't have rotary phones so that is not an issue. All the phones in our house are touch tone, though one is an old person's phone with large keys, but there is a digital display on it so I am sure it would be fine. Our phone went out a couple years ago and the line was torn down from the house (don't ask), and Verizon had to come out and fix it. I don't know how they fixed it but it works normally now. So I don't think there is anything wrong with the outside box the line connects to.

I already know that I am being ripped off, even if we bundled and the bundle expired there is no way they would charge us what we are paying now for something like 15-30meg internet, phone and basic TV. We are paying $95 per company right now, there is bound to be an improvement in the price if we switch.
They should be able to get you the price of the service off promotion. However often time many people here when a promotion expires will pay the full price for maybe a month, call up and ask for a discounted rate or other promotions. Nicely suggest it's too expensive and something has to be done. Most companies will work with you a bit and you will pay less for a period. A 20 minute phone call once or twice a year is worth the money to most. Providers are glad to answer questions up front and provide prices before service if any is needed. It's then your choice to make. I would not expect a bunch of hidden charges or problems if you read the contract and ask questions up front. Being informed is key.

I guess I would also say you mentioned your neighbor has time warner service. Ask them what they think of it. Alot of what your worried about here is somewhat hypothetical and no one is going to have a concrete answer for you for sure. Too many individual variables. At the end of the day the cable system is fairly robust. Your not the only one with potential wire issues inside a home, or live in a heavy traffic neighborhood, or had budget constraints. If you need more speed the Cable seems to be a good option. I would cancel your DSL only when your cable is running well just to be sure.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined May 2008
L4: Apprentice
381 Posts
196 Reputation
Original Poster
#14
Yeah, our next door neighbor has it and so does basically every other household here so there is plenty of people to ask about it, the house on the other side of us currently has no one else living in it right now. I doubt our neighborhood is the most high traffic in the world. Most people here are 10 people or more to a house or even a single apartment, one of our neighbors down the street has 10 people living in a one floor apartment, no joke. Many people in my area do not have internet since they cannot afford it, and a lot of people simply have a smart phone and that is it. Most people no longer own desktop computers or laptop computers here, everything is done on the smartphone.

There are craploads of free wifi hotspots both TWC and regular free ones around my area, so a lot of people rely on those and the library. There are more and more free wifi hotspots that pop up every day here as more stores and places offer free wifi. You can see a crowd of people hanging around the local McD's leeching their wifi every day, but that is not that close to my house so its not a worry. Unfortunately my house is not in a place where there is a free wifi hotspot, so that is not an option for temporary access.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined May 2008
L4: Apprentice
381 Posts
196 Reputation
Original Poster
#15
To follow up on this, we had the TWC service installed, and it is working fine. The tech did do a lot of rewiring in the basement and also including the outside pole, even though I don't know exactly what he did. Everything works perfectly and we now see a clearer picture on all TV's.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard