Some Oceanic Time Warner customers can soon watch Smithsonian Networks


POSTED: Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Smithsonian Networks will expand their reach in Hawaii.

Already available via DirecTV's HD service, Smithsonian Networks also will be accessible to some Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers as the content “;is going to be on HD,”; said Alan Pollock, vice president of marketing.

Smithsonian's programming is inspired by the museum of the same name, so it is nonfiction in nature (read: educational).

Lest your too-cool-for-school-hipsters threaten to run screaming from the living room, Smithsonian also has pop culture programs.

Via Time Warner, the network also will offer content through Road Runner High Speed Online, HD on Demand and its cable offerings will feature Start Over and Look Back services, for viewers who miss the actual start time of a show.

“;We don't have a release date yet, only because we're making room for it ... via switched digital video”; technology, he said.

“;We're actually going to release, probably three more HD channels at once.”;

Do tell, your columnist egged on.

He demurred on naming them as decisions aren't final, but everything should be in concrete within 30 days, with the new channels to be added in 60 to 90 days, Pollock said.

Oceanic's goal is to have 75 to 100 HD channels by the end of the year, he said.

Time Warner Cable Inc. earlier announced an agreement with Univision, a Hispanic network that was introduced to Hawaii several years ago via a low-power TV station. However, it only could be received over-the-air, with rabbit ears or other external TV antennae.

Univision will “;either be on the digital tier or a paid tier,”; according to the last word Pollock received from corporate New York. No rollout date has been announced, he said.

Kincaid's stays put

Rumors about Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House at Ward Warehouse in imminent danger of closing are just as untrue as they were about sister-restaurant Ryan's Grill at Ward Centre.

“;Our lease with Kincaid's does not come up again until 2012,”; said Scott Campbell, regional director of Seattle-based parent company Restaurants Unlimited Inc.

“;That doesn't mean something might not change down the road ... but Ryan's and Kincaid's are not going anywhere for the foreseeable future,”; he said.

Dispelling such rumors can be “;a fairly tricky, risky, public relations issue,”; he said.

The concern is, “;if we address them head on, often guests will 'hear' exactly the opposite of what we are trying to communicate—linking closure and our restaurants—so the best strategy is to continue doing what you do best, taking legendary care of our guests,”; Campbell said.

RUI also welcomed the opportunity to go on the offensive about rumors that Ryan's would close down as have all of its neighbors on the second floor of Ward Centre. It recently signed a five-year lease renewal.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).