This excerpt taken from the TWC 10-K filed Feb 19, 2010.
TWC offers a broad range of residential video services, including advanced services such as On-Demand, high-definition (HD) and digital video recorder (DVR) services. As of December 31, 2009, TWC had approximately 12.7 million residential video subscribers.
Programming tiers. TWC currently offers three main levels or tiers of video programmingBasic Service Tier (BST), Expanded Basic Service Tier (or Cable Programming Service Tier) (CPST) and Digital Basic Service Tier (DBT). BST generally includes broadcast television signals, satellite-delivered broadcast networks and superstations, local origination channels, a few specialty networks, such as C-SPAN and QVC, and public access, educational and government channels. CPST enables BST subscribers to add to their service national, regional and local cable news, entertainment and other networks, such as CNN, USA and ESPN. In certain areas, BST and CPST also include proprietary local programming devoted to the communities TWC serves, including 24-hour local news channels in a number of cities. DBT enables subscribers who receive digital video signals (digital video subscribers) to receive additional cable networks. Generally, subscribers to any tier of video programming can purchase genre-based programming tiers, such as movies, sports and Spanish language tiers, and premium services, such as HBO and Showtime.
TWCs video subscribers pay a fixed monthly fee based on the video programming tier they receive. Subscribers to specialized tiers and premium services are charged an additional monthly fee, with discounts generally available for the purchase of packages of more than one such service. HD simulcasts (i.e., HD channels that are the same as their standard-definition counterparts but for picture quality) are generally provided at no additional charge, and additional charges generally apply only for HD channels that do not have standard-definition counterparts. The rates TWC can charge for its BST service and certain video equipment, including set-top boxes, in areas not subject to effective competition are subject to regulation under federal law. See Regulatory Matters below.
On-Demand services. On-Demand services are generally available to digital video subscribers. Available On-Demand services include a wide selection of featured movies and special events, for which separate per-use fees are generally charged, and free access to selected movies, programming from broadcast stations and cable networks, music videos, local programming and other content. In addition, premium service (e.g., HBO) subscribers generally have access to the premium services On-Demand content without additional fees.
DVR service. Set-top boxes equipped with DVRs enable customers, among other things, to pause and/or rewind live television programs and record programs on the hard drive built into the set-top box. Subscribers pay an additional monthly fee for TWCs DVR service. As of December 31, 2009, 50%, or approximately 4.4 million, of TWCs digital video subscribers also subscribed to its DVR service. In 2010, TWC expects to introduce remote DVR management, which will allow customers to program their DVRs via a website or mobile handset, and a multi-room DVR service, which will allow a program recorded on a DVR to be watched on any television with a TWC-provided set-top box in a customers home.
Network DVR services. TWC is expanding the use of Video On-Demand (VOD) technology to introduce additional enhancements to the video experience. For instance, as of December 31, 2009, Start Overtm, TWCs Emmy-award winning technology, was available to 79%, or approximately 7.0 million, of TWCs digital video subscribers. Start Over allows digital video subscribers using a TWC-provided set-top box to restart select in progress programs directly from the relevant channel, without the ability to fast-forward through commercials. TWC has begun rolling out other Network DVR services such as Look Backtm, which
extends the window for viewing a program to 72 hours after it has aired, and Quick Clipstm, which allows customers to view short-form content tied to the broadcast station or cable network then being watched.
High-speed Data Services
TWC offered residential high-speed data services to nearly all of its homes passed as of December 31, 2009. TWCs high-speed data services provide customers with a fast, always-on connection to the Internet. High-speed data subscribers connect to TWCs cable systems using a cable modem, which TWC provides at no charge or which subscribers can purchase on their own. Subscribers pay a fixed monthly fee based on the level of service received. As of December 31, 2009, TWC served approximately 9.0 million residential high-speed data subscribers.
Road Runner High-Speed Onlinetm. TWC offers four tiers of Road Runner High-Speed Online service in all of its systems: Turbotm, Standard, Basic and Lite. Each tier offers a different speed at a different monthly fee. Turbo generally offers subscribers speeds of up to 20 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. In addition, in the majority of its systems, TWC provides Turbo and Standard subscribers with Powerboosttm at no additional charge, which allows users to initiate brief download speed bursts when TWCs network capacity permits. During 2009, TWC deployed a new Wideband service in New York City, and expects to continue to selectively deploy Wideband in its service areas during 2010. Wideband generally offers subscribers speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.
TWCs Road Runner High-Speed Online service provides communication tools and personalized services, including e-mail, PC security, parental controls and online radio, without any additional charge. The Roadrunner.com portal provides access to content and media from local, national and international providers and topic-specific channels, including entertainment, dating, games, news, sports, travel, music, movie listings, shopping, ticketing and coupon sites.
In addition to Road Runner High-Speed Online, most of TWCs cable systems provide their high-speed data subscribers with access to the services of certain other on-line providers, including Earthlink.
Road Runner Mobiletm. During the fourth quarter of 2009, TWC launched Road Runner Mobile, a wireless mobile broadband service, in several cities. Road Runner Mobile provides customers with wireless broadband Internet access on their computers via a TWC-provided data card. TWC offers service delivered over Clearwire Corporations (Clearwire) fourth-generation (4G) WiMax network and Sprint Corporations (Sprint) third-generation (3G) CDMA network. In 2010, TWC expects to continue to roll out Road Runner Mobile in additional cities. TWC is also an equity investor in Clearwire, see Operating Partnerships, Joint Ventures and Significant Investments below.
TWC offered its Digital Phone service to nearly all of its homes passed as of December 31, 2009. Most Digital Phone customers receive unlimited local, in-state and U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico calling and a number of calling features, including call waiting, caller ID and Enhanced 911 (E911) services, for a fixed monthly fee. TWC also offers additional calling plans with a variety of options that are designed to meet customers particular needs, including a local-only calling plan, an unlimited in-state calling plan and an international calling plan. As of December 31, 2009, TWC served approximately 4.2 million residential Digital Phone subscribers. In 2010, TWC expects to launch a residential web portal, which will allow Digital Phone subscribers to use the Internet to customize their Digital Phone features and listen to their voicemail.