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Time Warner Cable eliminates East Coast feeds for six channels in southern California

There could be a lot of “Mad Men” fans grumbling on the West Coast come Sunday.

Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles accustomed to watching new episodes of the AMC series in high definition at 7 p.m. PT will be in for a surprise when the series airs three hours later instead. What’s more, those who programmed their TW Cable-issued DVRs to record the channel at that time will not only fail to see that episode appear on their hard drives, but will find the pre-set series recording mysteriously deleted.

That’s a result of the cable operator’s move Thursday to replace the East Coast feeds of six different channels that are available to nearly 2 million subs in Los Angeles and surrounding areas in Colorado and Arizona with West Coast feeds. The other affected HD channels include Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Encore.

TW Cable cautioned affected subs the day the switch took effect via both e-mails and warnings available in the message sections of their DVRs. “Please note that this change may affect scheduled DVR recordings and may require you to reschedule future recordings.”

But given most subs aren’t accustomed to communicating with their pay-TV provider beyond paying their monthly bills, it’s highly likely many subs won’t realize they missed their favorite programs until after they’ve aired. TW Cable didn’t give much time between issue the warning and the feed switch taking effect, either.

Then there’s the matter of deleting a pre-set recording time; apparently it’s easier for TW Cable to just remove that then program DVRs to switch a pre-set to the new time.

But this kind of feed conversion isn’t unprecedented; pay-TV providers typically make these kind of switches once the programmer makes a separate feed available. Most other channels on the West Coast already have West Coast feeds.

A spokesman for the cable operator’s West Coast office issued a statement: “We are pleased to work with our programming partners to now be able to deliver the preferred West Coast feed to our Southern California customers for the six networks affected by the change today.”

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