Kinetic

Kinetic

Though some people have shied away from trying Windstream's new TV service due to the price, those who have tried the competitor to Time Warner Cable seem satisfied.

Windstream debuted the service, called Kinetic, in April. Lincoln is the first market to get the Internet protocol TV service.

Many people expected Windstream, as a new service in town, to be very aggressive on pricing compared with Time Warner, but instead, Kinetic offers similar prices with more features.

Introductory prices for Kinetic range from $39.99 to $129.98 a month, depending on service level and whether TV is bundled with Internet and/or phone service. The price does not include fees for equipment or taxes.

Time Warner, by contrast, offers packages ranging from $19.99 to $129.99.

Ryan Pryor said he inquired about Kinetic, but the price quoted was slightly more than what he currently pays for a similar bundle with Time Warner and would have offered a slower Internet speed. So he chose to stick with what he has.

Kinetic does offer some features that Time Warner doesn't, including whole-house digital video recording and wireless set-top boxes that can be moved from TV to TV. And unlike Time Warner, which still has analog channels, Kinetic's channel lineup is all digital.

That was one thing that attracted Jason Smith.

Smith said he was enticed to switch from DirecTV because he was tired of losing his satellite signal during storms.

He said he had had problems with Time Warner in the past and didn't want to go back to having analog channels. And he was already getting Internet service from Windstream, so he decided to give Kinetic a try.

So far, Smith said he's been impressed with the quality of the TV service as well as Kinetic's customer service.

"The picture quality has been very impressive. The one thing I noticed was how much better the picture looked than on DirecTV with the same HDMI connection to my TV," he said.

Though Smith has experienced a few hiccups with the service, he said it's not anything more than what he's faced with other services, such as the need to reset the router every once in awhile.

And he was very complimentary of Windstream staff.

"I can't say enough about the quality of the technicians and how hard they worked to both complete the install and troubleshoot my install," Smith said.

Bryan Brooks, the Windstream vice president of business development, said the company has gotten mostly positive feedback so far about Kinetic.

Windstream officials said they plan to eventually roll out the service to other cities but declined to comment on where or when those roll-outs will occur.

Company officials declined to say how many Lincoln customers have signed up for the service but said demand has met expectations. Kinetic is only available to about half the city.

"Since launch, we have consistently met our daily target numbers for installations and anticipate the number of residents interested in signing up for Kinetic to continue to grow," Bryan Brooks, vice president of business development, said in an emailed statement.

"We are very pleased with how Kinetic has been received in Lincoln," he said in an email.

City officials said there have not yet been any complaints about Kinetic to the Cable Advisory Board.

Smith said that while he's satisfied with Kinetic now, he's not sure whether he will stay with the service long term.

His biggest complaint is that he's only able to get high-definition service on two TVs at once, compared with the five he had with DirecTV. He said getting more HD capability and faster Internet service would make him more likely to keep Kinetic.

"I've been happy with it so far, although there is still room for improvement," Smith said. "Hopefully, since it just came out, they will continue to improve the service."

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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