DEAR SUN SPOTS: We have Direct TV and watch NESN quite often — the Red Sox and Bruins. The volume is terrible. You can hardly hear the announcers, but the fans and the commercials are loud enough to drive you out of the room!

I have sent e-mails to NESN, the Boston Red Sox, etc., and have had no response from any of them. We thought maybe you might be able to find out what the problem is. Thank you in advance for any information you can find out. — No Name, Weld

ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke to Gary Roy, the promotions/public relations manager for NESN. Gary said that they are aware of this problem, which affects a fairly small percentage of viewers on one feed in New England.

Gary said that an internal test on new equipment that should fix this problem went well, and he hopes that it will be installed very soon.

As for what causes the problem, he said that there are primarily two issues. One is if you are using an older, standard definition television, you may experience this problem during some road game broadcasts.

The other problem occurs if you have a newer TV but have the wrong audio feed selected. Gary said that some viewers have their audio set to hyper surround sound or some other type of setting to mimic surround sound when only stereo audio is available, which is the case for NESN’s standard definition channel. You should reset your audio to stereo sound.

Gary said that he is glad fans brought this to his attention so that NESN can take action. He said that after the equipment is installed, he will be calling viewers to see if their sound is working properly.

You did not provide a phone number in your e-mail so that Gary could call you, but you can call him at 617-536-9233 for further assistance.

By the way, Gary, who is from Gorham, N.H., used to deliver the Sun Journal as a boy!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am raising a concern about Time Warner Cable rates being raised without warning around the holiday season. I opened my mail the other day and received a bill with a $5 increase. This is outrageous. I live in an area in town where Time Warner is the only company that can provide services. Why the increase? Why isn’t there an income-based plan for low-income residents? Why didn’t we receive any notices of the increase? I am disgusted at the company’s lack of humanity. — No Name, River Valley Village

ANSWER: Unfortunately, most cable companies have what amounts to a monopoly in the areas they cover. But you do have options (see the next two letters). There have been efforts to regulate cable television, but so far they have been successfully resisted by these powerful industries. One issue is that while most people watch a lot of television, it is not considered a public necessity like electric service. That may change, as states look to ensure that residents have access to high-speed Internet service, for which cable companies are one provider.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is there anyone in the Norway/Waterford area who can get an antenna or whatever else is needed to set me up so I can get the closest TV channels and get rid of cable. — No Name, Waterford

ANSWER: Sun Spots does not know of anyone, but perhaps someone will write in. The antenna you need is easily purchased at a store such as Radio Shack, so a handyman might be able to do the job. But be sure he is qualified to do the job and to get and check references.

Also, it is difficult to say what channels you will receive. Sun Spots’ antenna is very reliable for MPBN, but Channel 8 appears only in the winter and Channel 23 comes and goes depending on the weather. Just a few miles from her, though, someone gets Channel 6. You won’t know until you get the antenna up and adjusted.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Aug. 5 I wrote to you and complained about Time Warner. Included in your advice was to look at Dish or Direct TV for my service. I subscribed to Dish TV and have 250 channels plus all the local channels. I can record programs for more than 300 hours from either TV. Thanks for the advice. — Paul Dorion, [email protected]

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]

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