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Time Warner Cable Blocking OTA Digital Channels

I have two HDTV's with built in Digital tuner and was able to receive OTA digital signals from my local Public Broadcasting (WXXI) and Network channels using "rabbit ears". My digital signal however would sometimes fade so I had basic cable installed to improve reception. Now I can receive only analog signals on my HDTV because Time Warner cable is blocking my access to free OTA digital signals. I called them and they told me I had to purchase digital cable to receive digital TV. When I questioned this mentioning the must carry rule, they told me to UNPLUG the cable. How can TIME WARNER block digital signals which I could receive OTA with a rabbit-ear antenna for free. Is this not illegal and what can be done about it. I am furious. The cable installers were at my house for 4 hours installing a cable "service" which is prohibiting me from receiving DTV and never told me my digital signal would now be blocked.

There oughta be a law and I believe there is. How can it be enforced!

Anyway I am royally P.O.d about this - something needs to be done about it.


Wow I’m sorry to hear you

Wow I’m sorry to hear you went through that. Did you end up getting it worked out. As an employee of DISH Network I can tell you that many of our receivers have an input on them for OTA antennae should the customer prefer to go that route. Maybe you should look into switching services. I also know that DISH has been ranked higher than Time Warner in overall customer service for 10 years running now in the ACSI survey, which definitely says something there.

Dish Smish

Well, thank you Andrew, for that commercial break in this discussion.

Unfortunately, since this thread started 3 years ago, Cox, Comcast, most other cable TV companies, and FIOS have all done the same thing as TW. No more HD without renting a box for each TV. They simply couldn't stand that you were getting HD without paying extra for it, even channels you could get free over the air..

I'm lucky enough to be in a location and altitude where I can get all the local stations OTA crystal clear with the same 30 year old rusty roof top antenna that used to give me plenty of snow and multipath distortion. I'm 65 miles from Boston, but pick up all of their stations as well as all the Providence channels. 31 in all. 15 in HD. There's a few cable only channels I miss now and then, but I don't miss the ever increasing monthly bill. Sorry to horn in your local discussion here on Wxxi. Found it in a Google serach. I just like reminding people that a whole lot more of you can get free OTA TV than might think it.


It seem very odd that TWC is loosing the upper level channels. I have both cable and OTA capability. As of recent, my local HDTV OTA has now dropped stations that were free. We had a 24/7 Weather for the local area. Not only is it gone, But TWC says it never existed. Odd. When the bad weather hit and cable company no longer broad cased, the weather was there. No we are in the dark again. I ask why. The local network said that TWC informed them not to broadcast. I am now talking with the national Weather Station to see what is up.

Last week TWC gave us an increase in fees for the Cable. Just after that 9 HDTV stations dropped. They claim, they are there. Gee.... If I go to the local TWC office, you can see them on their TV, yet, my folks next door along with me can not view them. TWC claims this is not true. Folks. DISH is fine if you have no clouds, but they seem to offer more at this time over TWC. Even the Avenue, which is being bought out next month, offers less for more.

Class Action Suit was a good idea. But, we have no sling shots when they hold the TV channels over all of us.

More station should step up and provide Free OTA programs. Sorry if there is miss spelling, bad keyboard along with TWC Internet.

same in 2012?

Am wondering if 2012 is bringing you the same reception? We are a bit closer to Boston and just lost most of our channels through Comcast. Happy New Year! thanks for the info

Dish Network

I have Dish Network for a while, no problems, free HD and for two years we only pay $64.95 Love Dish Network.


same thing happen to me but i just got a brand new tv hooked it up and it says wait on moment please and i waited for 12 hours.


When TWC moved several channels to digital, we lost the ability to watch those. We got their cable box and had to have the tech come out and fix it so we could get the channels. With this new cable box, we lost the ability to record on our VCR and watch another channel at the same time. We also lost the ability to set the timer on the VCR to record different channels. It can only record one channel because the channel number has to be set on the cable box. The last two weeks we have lost channels again. Several channels say the channel should be available shortly, but they never come in. WE tried rebooting the box and still it didn't work. I am extremely angry and plan to cancel TWC. We pay a lot money each month and should not have to have these problems. The problem is that the other cable companies here are no better.


Well, I've had the problem, too. I've got a qam tuner and every once in a while the channel gives 'no signal'. Re-scanning always restores the channels but it is a pain in the a**. Also I'd like to point out that this is a third party qam tuner - not one provided by time warner and we are on analog cable in los angeles.

Weird thing though... had to re-scan the other day. Now when I enter channel 4.1, it jumps automatically to 4.2. then I flip channel up and it goes to 4.4 , and then starts scanning for channel 5 at next channel up - but automatically jumps back to channel 4.1. Strange... I get 4.1 which is a local OTA channel but now I get 4.2 to 4.4 to 5.1 which then jumps back to 4.1 and then if I hit channel up again I get 5.1... strange indeed!

Digital Issues with OTA signal

I work technical support for a competing cable company and I think the issue is teh internal TV input. OTA signals are revieved through the 'Antenna' setting on the tv. Each tv manufacter may have diffrent names for it, analog, tv etc...but 1/2 channels and digital OTA signals have to be recieved through that setting and cable signals through the cable option , satellitte through satellitte etc....Wikipedia believe it or not has a real good article on it and they also exlpain NFL,MLB blackouts as well which is another thorny tech support issue GOOD LUCK

lost channels

I am having a similiar problem however, I actually pay for digital cable, I have one box in the living room. My bedroom tv hook up has always been just straight from the cable in the wall. A few months ago I lost any channel over 68. I did the automatic channel detection, and then it only detects 8 channels and that's it. I have to actually go in and click on each channel to manually add it. But the travel channel in my area moved to #72, one week I was watching it the next week the tv says no signal. I went into my menu and the DTV option is grayed out as if I have a regular antenna hooked up to my television, I have switched the cable and its the same thing...

i live in columbus ohio and

i live in columbus ohio and just recently lost the digital nbc, abc, cbs, fox etc channels.

just 2-3 days ago i could watch nbc on 4-1 on a HDTV hooked up directly to cable WITHOUT a box, and get an HD signal. now my channels are just blank. ive done a rescan on my tv and said channels are still blank.

Reason #1723 why corporate

Reason #1723 why corporate consolidation of media is a bad idea:

Anyone had this happen to you? We live in an area served by only two cable giants, AT&T & Time-Warner. We went with AT&T for our internet but refused the TV package. When they called again to push cable TV on us, we foolishly let it slip that we have rabbit ears and can pick up regular broadcast stations just fine. Zap! Within hours our TV reception went out and stayed out for days. We thought it was a coincidence, just the weather perhaps, as it did come back.

Last week we got another sales call trying to push their TV package. We declined. Zap. Within hours the TV stations went out again, and we still can't pick up anything. Hmm. Coincidence? Yes, I've tried rescanning the channels, even bought a new antenna; there just aren't any signals anymore, period.

At the risk of sounding paranoid or delusional, I'm considering calling AT&T and demanding they reinstate our TV reception forthwith or we will cancel our internet and go with their competitor. If anyone has any advice or similar experience, I welcome your input.

Got it to work again

I have TW and OTA and all my HD channels from cable and OTA disappeared at the same time. I thought it was a coincidence until I read this thread.
I tried rescanning and it didn't work. Then I tried unplugging the TV for a bit and the coax cable from TW then rescanned. My OTA then worked. I plugged in the coax again and rescanned cable and all TW HD channels works again too.
It looks like TW changed some HD channel line up and may have caused this. I don't know how it affected the OTA antenna tho.

Contact the Consumer Bureau

Contact the Consumer Bureau of the FCC at 1-888-225-5322. It is extremely illegal for any company to interfere with licensed spectrum signals. If you suspect your cable company is blocking your regular digital broadcast signals, the FCC needs to know about it. If they hear from enough of us, they will launch an investigation.


If you buy a OTA antenna and run a cable to your TV turner you will get what stations transmit for free. I currently live In a north east part of CT and I can get channels 2 - 99 without a cable box [this will change I am sure] I have comcast. I am thinking about getting OTA system for my PC-DVR, if I move back to North Carolina since Time Warner is also the cable provider there also. The local channels that are a rebroadcasted through Comcast are not scrambled as yet.

As for blocking the local channels they may have them on a higher tier that way they are scrambled. like Comcast they do not use HD they use NTSC-M. A rebroadcast multi-stream through Comcast cable lines. If you do not have a box this is what they transmit. How I found out was that I purchased a ceton cable card PCIE TV turner card, which had web access which I had to use the setup the signals and looked at cable cards info this is how I found out the signal they used. Well long story short I returned the ceton since it has no analog tuners or digital turners only. which I have about 4 channels digital through Comcast all local. If you are wondering about OTA here is a good link to start with.


Free HBO!

I live in NYC and about 4 months ago I have canceled all TV services. The only thing I kept from Time Warner is the internet. Since then I did not watch TV other then Netflix. Few nights ago I tried using my TV and the wire from cables I canceled to scan for channels and beside finding channels like the food network and NY1 among about 50 channels I get HBO HD, Encore HD and some other 2 premium HD channels.

Since then I get calls from Time Warner but I do not pick up because I know I want nothing from them or I do something wrong.

Do my TV sends signals back to them? If it does what can they do.

What can I do?

How about you quit stealing!

Just download TV shows illegally

It's crappy service like this that makes people want to steal television shows by downloading them through peer-to-peer networks... not a bad idea considering government rules support shitty service like Time Warner Cable.

receiving dtv channels

i have a different cable provider, but i solved the problem by buying a 3 way splitter (1 for internet, 1 for basic cable and 1 for dtv channels. what i did was rescan the channels but you have to unhook the basic cable and hook up the other cable direct to cable and rescanned. using quick connects would be better.

i have just recently bought a tv tuner, connected directly into that with my cable, rescanned using windows media center (you only get the basic cable wihich i pay for). then i scanned again using the software provided with the tuner and receive all the dtv channels in my area. i have to switch back and forth, but it works. also, with the media center software, i get a listing of the tv shows.

the cable companies are out the scam you out of your last dime, and i would suggest writing you local congressman, if they get enough complaints maybe they can lean on the cable providers. since they have deregulated everything this else, this would be a good one to work on. the first provider that can get thru the fcc rules and offers a monthly online only (no box, can you believe it) will be the one that sets off the price wars.

hope this helps.


Thanks for the suggestions to many of you...
I just lost my local channels today via TWC - I went and manually selected a couple of the channels that were now missing and it worked. However, I jumped up to the 100s and found the same channels, BUT in I decided to rescan and load the new channel locations. It worked like a charm!

Good luck!

No need to use the TWC cable outlet

Just get a DB8 antenna, a rotator, and enough RG6 cable. Mount the antenna on your roof, connect it as soecified on the rotator manual (very, very easy!) to your antenna connector on your TV, then scan. You will be amazed with the results. It worked for me, I am watching HD TV for without paying one bill. The best part: "I decommissioned the TWC outlet".