Time Warner Multi-Room Separate of Home Signature

Posted By on May 3, 2011 | 2 comments


It’s finally come to San Antonio. As of February 2011 you are able to get multiroom dvr service from Time Warner without signing up for Home Signature service.

Full Disclosure: This stuff is not cheap

Here’s the breakdown:

$9.99 MultiRoom Fee Per Box
$7.99 Hardware Fee Mandatory
$10.99 HDDVR Fee Manadatory
$50 Installation Fee Non Waivable

So here’s how it works. If you want multi-room service from Time Warner you have to call and make an appointment for installation of the service. You are probably wondering why an appointment needs to be made. Well let me enlighten you.

Time Warner’s multi-room services uses a technology called MOCA (Multimedia Over Coax Alliance). This allows STB (Set Top Boxes) to communicate with one another allowing the sharing of content. In order to use this technology though special filters must be placed outside your home between the tap and your home’s coax lines to prevent these High Frequency’s from leaving your MOCA network thus causing issues for other homes in the neighborhood. It’s possible that if not all lines on the house have a filter and if you move a MOCA box to a COAX line that has no filter you could take down your whole neighborhood. So don’t do that! Make sure your technician installs filters for all lines so you have the freedom to move your STB’s where you’d like.

Once the technician made it out to my home an inspection of my COAX lines were done and no issues were found so he installed the filters and brought in a Cisco 8642 HD-DVR, and a Cisco 8652 HD-PlayBack Receiver. Once the boxes were installed we waited for the boxes to boot and show the house icon next to the clock on both boxes and VOILA networked STB’s.

There is a pro to this new technology:

1. You can watch shows recorded on the HD-DVR from any room in the house.

There are some MAJOR downsides to this new technology Time Warner is offering.

1. I feel that this is WAYYYYY OVERPRICED. In order to have a basic setup you’re looking at pay $46.95 a month just for an HD-DVR, and PlayBack Receiver. Although each PlayBack Receiver is only $7.99 Time Warner tacks on an additional $9.99 for the multiroom service making this ridiculously expensive.

2. The PlayBack receiver CANNOT record shows on the HD-DVR. You have to program from the HD-DVR itself or use Time Warner’s MyServices to manage your shows. Not very practical.

3. The HD-DVR is still only a dual tuner meaning. If the HD-DVR is recording two shows then you have to watch something recorded. The PlayBack receiver would be forced to do the same thing. If you want the ability to record 4 shows at once similar to AT&T UVerse you would need TWO HD-DVR’s bring your bill to an astounding $75.92 ( + $28.99 for second DVR) just for STB’s.

So in closing, Time Warner’s Multi-Room service has potential but must bring the price down to be competitive with other carriers but also keeping in line with their pricing as well. A customer could easily get two HD-DVR’s without Multi-Room service for 38 a month and have the ability to record 4 hd shows at once without having to pay up to $75.92 a month for hardware fee’s. In the end this stuff is all expensive. You have to weigh whether purchasing a TIVO is cheaper then paying a monthly fee for hardware from your carrier. Typically especially in recent years Time Warner has been investing in new hardware which makes paying a monthly fee to your operator more appealing considering you could get more features ect.

  • Awesome, I have a TWC bundle connection. Can I get one too? There’s always a fight over the remote control in my house. I live in midtown. Can I get it installed here? How long will the installation take?

  • Mango Madness

    I agree with the author this is absurdly high. I found this blog when looking into upgrading my 4 TVs which each have their own TWC HD DVR (not multi-room) – it is cheaper to switch over to the new setup. Only downside is you cannot have more than 2 recorders. If you have a 3rd or 4th room like I do, you can only watch playback from one of the other 2 recorders, and cannot record on your own. Its good that it can record 2 things at once but I am not sure what happens if the 2 things are recording in room #1 – am I forced to watch one of those shows? Also the recorders only get 75 hours of programming in HD which seems a lot but its not if everything is HD that’s only about 75 movies, or 150 episodes of a show. You can wipe out quickly if you can’t catch up. Right now I have more hours of programming on my current setup of 4 separate DVRs than I would by switching to the newer setup. I really miss my ReplayTV.