Is A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Attacking My Time Warner DVR?

Micah has an unusual problem with Time Warner Cable. He tells Consumerist that his DVR simply refuses to record two daily programs that he likes to watch. Those programs? Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show. A Time Warner technician could find no problems with the DVR itself.

I’m a Time-Warner Cable subscriber in Los Angeles, CA. I have a high-definition DVR provided by TW Cable, and have series recordings set for both Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show. About a week ago, my cable box abruptly stopped recording episodes of either show. Every other show on MSNBC records just fine. Every other show at the same time on any other channel records just fine. But although I can create a series recording for Keith or Rachel, the box simply refuses to record ANY episode on either the high-def or the standard definition MSNBC channels.

After doing extensive testing with other channels, other times, deleting everything off my DVR, eliminating all series recordings, resetting the cable box, etc., I decided that it was just a problem with my particular cable box. So I called TW Cable and they sent out a technician, we replaced the cable box, and tried to set up a series recording for Countdown and Maddow and… the same thing. The brand new cable box wouldn’t record Coundown or Maddow, either. We swapped out a different, third box. No dice. The fourth box refused to save series recording episodes of Olbermann & Maddow as well. I called a friend nearby and asked him to replicate the problem, and his TW Cable box also refused to tape series recordings of Olbermann & Maddow.

To clarify: if I hand-set both shows to record every day, then they record just fine (but that negates the whole point of a series recording). But for SOME reason, TW Cable Boxes will NOT record either show if you set a series recording. And oddly, it’s ONLY these two shows. The technician said the only thing he could think of was that “someone at the company” had somehow locked out those two programs.

My cablebox is a Motorola, model DCT 3416, firmware version 16.76, software version 78.44 – A28p0-2.0908.r-4

I figure your readership/viewership can check further on this. I can’t imagine it’s a problem limited to only MY account, but I don’t have a lot of friends in my section of town with TWC who can check this out. The people who answer the phones at TWC are NOT equipped to handle these kinds of highly technical questions. If some right-wing software tech at TWCable has truly locked all of the company’s DVRs from recording Olbermann & Maddow, then someone much more powerful than anyone I can get on the phone is going to have to fix this.

Another reader reported a similar problem with recording The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, but hadn’t yet researched the problem to the extent that Micah has. So, we ask you, Consumerists: have you run across the same problem with any daily news/opinion program of any political point of view?

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