Tag Archives: Cable TV

Is USTVNOW an Option

I know I complain a fair amount about TV in Panama. It is not so much because it is all that important to me, but more to inform those planning on moving to Panama, that it is not going to be the same as in the US. To some it is very important.

ON a recent post on Cable Onda changes that went into effect on September 5, I had a couple comments suggesting using the Internet. USTVNOW was one suggestion.

Last night, after the President’s motivational speech, I watched the NFL game on ESPN. When I turned it on, I saw that, as often, it was only in Spanish. I decided it was time to try the USTVNOW and see if it was worth using. To use it, you have to provide an email address and sign-in to watch the channel.

I did and then went to NBC which has the broadcast. I have a MacMini hooked up to the HDTV port on my TV and it works excellent for movies that I stream from Amazon Prime. I hoped for something close in performance.

USTVNOW had three resolution options (Low, Medium, and High). The game came on and it was in English. The quality of the picture was not near as good as I receive from Amazon Prime. As the game continued it would pause every now and then to buffer the video stream (in all resolutions).

In a movie from Amazon Prime, I may watch an entire movie and see no disruption from buffering. I have had as many as two interruptions to buffer, but for a 2 hour movie, that is perfectly acceptable. Besides the quality I am watching is close enough to DVD quality, that I can’t tell a difference.

I found that it was impossible for me to watch USTVNOW. While it was nice to hear English, I couldn’t handle the interruptions as well as the lack of definition in the picture. Maybe it would be acceptable on a small monitor.

I switched back to ESPN, on Cable Onda, and enjoyed the rest of the game. I consider USTVNOW an option, but for me, only in dire emergencies. I would rather watch in Spanish and see a higher quality picture.

Cable Onda Changes – September 5

You may remember that Cable Onda dropped all of the U.S. networks and as a replacement they put in the American Network on channel 80. There was no reduction in monthly fees.

Now the American Network is being replaced on September 5 with tiin, a channel aimed at the age group 10 to 16. I can find no information on what this channel is or if it is in Spanish or English. The AN channel was probably the worst channel I have ever seen on TV. Loosing it is no loss. However, I will be surprised if tiin is any addition either.

It is evident that those wanting U.S. network broadcasts will be forced to watch reruns. I have talked to many Panamanians that used those networks to assist in their learning English.

I have become acclimated to watching reruns, but I still miss seeing the live broadcasts of Survivor. I can watch the ABC broadcasts on the Internet, but many of the shows on the Internet still have a three to four day delay.

Anyway, it appears that, at the present, Cable Onda still has a strangle hold on the local market and they can do what they please with no fear of losing clients. I am still waiting for Cable and Wireless to make their offering in David so I can have another option.

Reader Question & Observation

From……: Maurice

Can anyone identify this white flower?? I have a pink one growing in my flower bed.


I live in Alto Boquete. I am getting terrible internet reception. I just paid extra for 3G speed and am not getting it. It’s down and unresponsive 50% of the time. My service comes from Cable Onda. I intend to invest in the stock market (penny stocks) and with the internet being intermittent, I could lose money due to being unable to establish timely stops…

Who Is Telling The Truth?

I received the following email, from Cable Onda, sent to its customer base.

Respetado Cliente

Gusto saludarlo con mucho respeto. Nuestro correo es por las molestias que ha causado la salida de nuestros canales ABC, ABC HD, CBS, CBS HD y NBC  programada para el 28 de Febrero; entendemos que seguramente estos canales son de su preferencia; de hecho para mucho de nosotros, también eran de nuestras preferencia .

La razón de esta salida está alejada de nuestro control y esta de debe a  solicitud de proveedores de señales de televisión pagada para Latinoamérica, quienes poseen ahora los derechos exclusivos de las principales series de estos canales para nuestro país y la región que pasaban en los canales salientes antes mencionados.

Nosotros como operador de Cable un país de Latinoamérica, hicimos los esfuerzos necesarios y posibles para evitar las salida de estos importantes canales de nuestra programación, sin embargo es una acción que afecta a todos los operadores de la región.

Otros proveedores  de televisión pagada en sistema Satelital de Panama, no se verán afectados porque ellos no contaban con estos canales dentro de su programación.

Razón por la cual; hemos realizado esfuerzos para traer un canal con un compendio de estos canales, como es American Network ( 80 ) y Tru TV (79) .

Adicional estamos ingresando en reemplazo nuevos canales  HD, tales como: SONY HD (321), y A&E (322)

Para consultas de las series favoritas en los canales con derecho a transmisión para Latinoamérica, por favor revisar el siguiente Link.

http://www.cableonda.com/comunicados/cambio_lineup-febrero11/tablalineup.html <http://www.cableonda.com/comunicados/cambio_lineup-febrero11/tablalineup.html>

Sin más por el momento,

Le invitamos a Consultar su Saldo en línea y sus 6 últimas facturas a http://www.cableonda.com/efactura/index.php

Saludos Cordiales,

Geraldine Varona

Ejecutiva de Relacion con el Cliente

Cable Onda

Cable Onda, Los Primeros Conectados Contigo!


Essentially, this says and I paraphrase, “We hear your pain about losing the US networks. However, it is beyond our control as the licensing rights to these channels no longer permit them to be broadcast in Latin American countries. This affects all providers. We have compensated by adding the AN channel and another worthless channel and a few more worthless HD channels.” Sorry, but I added worthless to the description because that is my evaluation of what they have added. “They go on to say that other satellite providers will not be affected because they didn’t offer the US channels to begin with.” If my paraphrasing is way off, feel free to correct it.

So who is telling the truth. When I went to the Cable and Wireless, they said they would have the US networks. Astrovision said they had ABC and CBS. I have contacted readers in Honduras (that is in Latin America isn’t it) and was told that they are still getting the US networks.

Now either C&W and AstroVision will be losing those channels and are not telling the truth or Cable Onda is not telling the truth by saying that all Panama providers will be affected.

Conversations at the David Fair should be interesting.

Other Options to Cable Onda in David

Today, I went by AstroVision and Cable and Wireless to check on their TV options for receiving the US channels. Options either exist or will exist, at least in David. As anyone who has lived here for a while knows, it all depends on where you live and how lucky you are.

I don’t have all the information, but enough to know that I can change providers and can have ABC, CBS, and NBC. I have had AstroVision in my area in the past and am sure it is still available. C&W is scheduled soon and is more comparable to Cable Onda. It is good to have competition in an area.

Information from Cable and Wireless – They are in the process of bringing Digital TV into David. I didn’t ask about any other location. They have a package for $5.95 that has these channels and they have a package that has some HD. I am not going to break out all the options. It should be sufficient to know that the US channels will be available. Since this is digital, there will have to be a box at each television and that runs about $4 a month. The cheapest package starts at $24.95 and to that you would have to add the other package to get a reasonable viewing package. That would not include any of the premium movie channels.

AstroVision – Is not a digital system and does not require a box. One charge per month, independent of how many TVs you run in the house. There is an installation charge for all except the first TV. For everything, including the US channels, the monthly charge is $30.53. There are not many movie channels.

I have had information passed to me about the Puerto Rico satellite offering, but haven’t received authorization to post it.

This will give you a little information prior to going to the David Fair. I assume you can learn more at the fair, but at least we know that Cable Onda has a problem coming if they don’t their options.

The Bachelor A Day Late

I know. Why would anyone want to watch a series about a person wanting to have a whirlwind “on the air” romance to find a wife. Well I admit I got hooked, and to have it interrupted with three broadcasts to go, put me into total withdrawal.

As I write this, I am watching yesterday’s show on abc.com. The quality is equal to the original broadcast. The only real difference is that it is on my 24″ monitor and not on my big screen TV and it is a day late – thank you Cable Onda.

For shows like The Bachelor and Survivor and “V”, seeing it a day late is not too bad. However, for sporting events, it just will not be even close. Some of the sports will be on the local broadcast options, but most likely only in Spanish. I can handle most sports in Spanish, but it does lose something, especially if I know the English commentators.

I have a hunch that Cable Onda is going to loose about $25 a month from me. I wanted to support Cable Onda, because it is a Panamanian company and I prefer putting money into a Panama Company. Switching to another company, may not solve anything, and may even be worse, but it will at least register a protest vote.

I assume that Cable Onda will have a booth at the upcoming David Fair. If you also don’t like the recent changes, I would like to recommend that you take a moment to respectfully voice your disapproval. Realize that the people manning the booths did not make the decisions and have no ability to change the decisions, but they can relay your objections to the decisions. I will stop by the Cable Onda booth. Continue reading The Bachelor A Day Late

Cable Onda’s Makeover

OK, I gave the new Cable Onda changes a week to see if my first impression was too harsh. Guess what? I still HATE it! I really HATE it. Nothing more to say. I HATE it.

The American Network Channel (80), is one of the most annoying channels I have ever watched in my life. It continually plays previews over and over again. The addition of the Cuba channel doesn’t impress me either.

Many of the sports broadcasts are going to be in Spanish if they are even available. Golf is obviously not a sport that carries much interest in Panama, I guess, because I couldn’t find it today.

I switched from Astrovision, to Cable Onda, because I thought it would be a step up, and now it is one of the options I am considering going back to. I may just drop Cable Onda for everything except my telephone and Internet.

I am going to explore all options when I return from my trip. I may just replace the entire package as a form of protest.

As can be seen from the comments on my previous Cable Onda post, other Latin American countries are still receiving the US networks.

I understand that there may be a possibility of getting a Puerto Rico satellite system, that receives the US networks, in this area.

At the present time, I can get more enjoyment from the Internet, a few good books and some Blockbuster DVD rentals, than I can with this makeover.

I realize that my opinion of Cable Onda’s change has little influence, but I may cast my ballot about their change by canceling my account, maybe Internet and telephone too.



Channel 53 Is Still Missing

I am definitely having CBS withdrawal. When I pay my cable bill this Saturday, I need to remember and ask what the problem is. Channel 53 was the only one of the major US networks that was available in David and it had become a friend. When a friend goes missing for a period of time, you begin to wonder if they will ever find their way back.

Right now CBS stands for Can’t Be Seen!