CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:06 p.m., Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by Chairperson Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
ATTENDEES: Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), George Linkletter (Sherman), Donna Cassidy (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Meghan Main (Monroe), George Fletcher (New Milford), Kate Donahue (Trumbull).
From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp (community Access), Tom Cohan (Gov’t Relations), Paula Cecchetelli (Marketing), Tom Horan
Public: Vincent J. Russo of Woodbury
Vincent J. Russo of Woodbury returned to continue discussion of the lack of NESN and potential for Charter to budget to add the channel next year. Tom Cohan responded for Charter indicating that the budgeting process won’t be finished until after baseball season is over so there is only hope for next year’s season. TBS will be carrying the playoffs in high definition which is good news. The central issue for Charter remains the same: NESN wants to be on basic cable (which all subscribers would have to pay for) and Charter wants to NESN (and the NFL Network) on the digital sports tier. Mr. Russo indicated that he will be looking into switching to Directv/DISH in order to get the Red Sox.
The Council discussed why Charter can’t offer at least the Litchfield portion of the system NESN – just as they do for the Winsted portion of the system. Charter indicated that Litchfield is fed out of the Newtown headend, not the Winsted one. Carmella asked Paula if she could bring the map of the Charter system areas to the next meeting so everyone could understand this issue better.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes from July 8, 2008 meeting. Donna Cassidy motion, Kate Donahue second, approved 10-0 with one correction.
Motion to accept the report by Jim Lang, second by George Fletcher, approved 10-0.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT.
Tom Cohan reported Charter and other cable operators are trying to make sure that all viewers get the converters necessary to be able to pick up television stations after the conversion to all digital in February 2009. They want to make sure that cable subscriber know that they don’t have to do anything.
Tom will send Kate a brochure for distribution to Cable Advisory Council members and town governments.
Paula Cecchetelli highlights
· TBS HD launched on HD tier
· Additions to digital basic: WVIT, NBC sports network
· Hoping to add the following HD networks: Food Network, HGTV, WTNH (ABC)
· SportsChannel NY HD – working on
· Working on channel change email
· Smithsonian replacing Mojo at the end of the year
· HDTV tier will eventually go away – any channels that have an HD version will be available free of charge
Questions for Council members:
· Eugene asked why TWC had more accurate weather info during the last storm than Channel 21
· Why is the DVR box so hot? Is Charter looking at a box that stays cooler?
· Are there any plans for a DVR service where you can tape more than 2 shows at a time?
· There was an outage in Trumbull – but Charter said there was no problem. Eventually it was determined that 69 subs in Trumbull were affected. It took 3 days to resolve. Not good Charter communication.
· Problems getting modem upgrade resolved
· There are long lines on Saturday morning at the Customer Service Center. Any chance of getting more people working then???
· Should there be delays/freezes on the HD channels? Charter indicated it’s not clear where that kind of problem originates – at Charter or at the programmer.
Ultimately, the Council asked:
§ Can we get Tammy Fairchild back to discuss these items?
Tom Horan introduced himself. He was the state construction manager and is not the Operations Manager. Contact info is 203-304-4001 x44740 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom shared that Charter New England has the best KMA (Key Market Area) performance in the whole company. The Council was surprised to hear that.
Greg Van Antwerp handed out the Take-1 newsletter. Another internship session is starting. He shared the Certificate of Destruction for 3000 lbs of videotapes they collected and had recycled. They also won the Green cycle Award from the CT DEP for this recycling program.
Meghan Main asked for help with a student driven news program for Masuk High School. Greg offered to put her in touch with Shawn Tait at Trumbull High School.
OLD BUSINESS: None
News 12 – No new developements
Next meeting we need to discuss:
§ Video competition for 2009
§ Grant program for 2009
§ Meeting schedule for 2009
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:04 PM. Respectfully submitted by: Carmella Amodeo, Chair