Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Cable (page 1 of 31)

Parental Controls and Christmas Vacation

Christmas vacation is just around the corner. This means sledding, snow ball fights and a lot more free-time for the kids. While many holiday movies will be watched, Great Plains Communications understands that some programming may not be suitable for younger members of the household. Keep your family protected with parental controls. We realize that no system can completely take the place of monitoring what media your kids consume, however parental controls can make it a lot easier. This is an easy way to make sure that kids aren’t exposed to mature programming, or even the titles. When a program or channel is blocked, the user must enter a 4-digit pin to access the channel. That way, you can still enjoy all programming, but in a secure way.

These controls are set up right through your remote and are very easy to configure. Blocks can be set by channel, rating, or even specific show titles. The control is in your hands.

Here are the steps to setting up parental controls:

Press the Menu key on your remote

Select the Home Icon

Select Setup

Then select Locks Setup

Once you are in the Locks Setup screen, you will be asked to choose a 4-digit pin.

Once your pin has been selected, you will be given the following options:

TV Rating – Blocking by TV Rating. *Note that you must block every rating you wish to control. This means if you block an R rating, you will also need to block “adult” programming.

Movie Rating – This only affects movie channels such as STARZ, Cinemax, and HBO.

Channel Locks – This will allow you to block specific channels.

Master Lock – Allows you to remove locks, bypass a lock, or change your pin.

Adult Titles – This removes titles from adult video programs. The guide will only display the words “adult movie.”

Just a few steps ensure your family’s safe viewing habits. We do want to point out that your pin is exclusive to you and we do not keep a record of your entry. If you do forget your pin, we can reset your settings, but you would have to reprogram your preferences. We suggest keeping your number in a safe spot so that you don’t forget it.

If you have any additional questions about the parental controls, you can call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2018 Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas

The Countdown to Christmas has begun on the Hallmark Channel. With original favorites and new premieres, the Hallmark Channel encourages family time through their feel-good movies. So, grab a blanket and your loved ones and enjoy the following movies.

Hallmark Channel (All 7 PM Central Time)

December 4 – Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe

December 5 – Road to Christmas

December 6 – A Shoe Addict’s Christmas

December 7 – Mingle All the Way

December 8 – Homegrown Christmas – World Premiere Original

December 9 – Welcome to Christmas – World Premiere Original

December 10 – Miss Christmas

December 11 – Christmas Getaway

December 12 – Christmas at Graceland

December 13 – Welcome to Christmas

December 14 – Homegrown Christmas

December 15 – Entertaining Christmas – World Premiere Original

December 16 – A Gingerbread Romance – World Premiere Original

December 17 – Finding Santa

December 18 – A Gingerbread Romance

December 19 – Welcome to Christmas

December 20 – Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe

December 21 – Entertaining Christmas

December 22 – Jingle Around the Clock – World Premiere Original

December 23 – Christmas Made to Order

December 24 – A Shoe Addict’s Christmas

December 25 – When Call the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing – Original Premiere

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Discover the Savings with our Holiday Promotion!


The holidays are here, and your wallet might already be feeling the weight of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Great Plains Communications (GPC) wants to help you save this season. Discover the magic of our new Value Bundle and save up to 40% each month!

Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded Equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features


And that’s not all! Through January 4, 2019, you have a chance to receive up to a $100 bill credit plus FREE installation!

Looking to connect your devices with reliable high-speed Internet? All new Internet customers can sign up now for the new Value Bundle and receive a $100 bill credit with free installation.

Already a GPC Internet customer but thinking a higher speed might be what your family needs this holiday? Upgrade your speed now and receive a $25 bill credit! With the addition of any single service, you will receive free installation.

Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 today to sign up!

It’s All About Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We talked turkey, now it’s time to focus in on some show-stopping side dishes your family and friends are sure to love this Thanksgiving. Again, we have looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite comforting recipes.


Alton’s Green Bean Casserole

While canned cream of mushroom soup will hold a special nostalgic place in our hearts, this recipe shows how easy it is to make a rich mushroom gravy from scratch.


Sausage, Apple and Sage Stuffing

The sweet and tart notes of the apple play well with the savoriness of the sausage. A quick mix and pop it in the oven for a fall flavored side that will shine on your Thanksgiving table.


Alex’s 5-Star Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Looking to impress your family and friends with more than the gelatinous can shaped cranberry sauce? This recipe will add true cranberry flavor with warm hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, it is a beautiful accompaniment to any turkey.


Ree’s Creamy Corn Casserole

If your family likes a little spice, this creamy corn casserole will have the slight kick you need to heat up the Thanksgiving spread. Add as much or as little jalapeno as you want and don’t worry about substituting frozen corn for fresh if that is what you have available.


We’re Talking Turkey and Learning How to Prepare It

We are talking turkey today. Thanksgiving is just over a week out, but some turkey recipes can take up to 5 days of prep! Great Plains Communications has turned to our cable channel Food Network to find some of our favorite turkey preparations, if that is a wet brine, dry brine, no brine, or even just the turkey breasts for a smaller crowd.

Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey

As Geoffrey Zakarian says in the video, “Don’t stress, because this is just a very big chicken.” Instead of worrying about room in your fridge for a wet brined turkey, this recipe requires just one shelf big enough for your roasting pan. The salt in the dry brine will dry out the skin to ensure it crisps in the oven and the seasonings provide a bright citrus note accompanied by familiar fall herb flavors.


Bobby Flay’s Cajun Brined Turkey

This recipe is if you are looking to jazz up the flavor profile a bit. Instead of using traditional thanksgiving herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme, here Bobby Flay uses different chili powders and paprika for not only the brine but the dry rub as well.


Alton’s Butterflied Turkey How-To

A shorter cooking time, but also less area needed in the refrigerator – this recipe provides a new presentation of the turkey but still provides crispy skin and juicy meat. As Alton Brown explains, along with the other chefs in these videos, be sure to check the internal temperature of your turkey with a meat thermometer before assuming it is done. Do not rely on the pop-up “thermometers” that come with some turkeys.


Thanksgiving on 2 Sheet Pans

Maybe you are planning a Friendsgiving or your family is on the small side and a whole turkey would be way too much. This recipe provides season favorites such as sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and beautifully roasted turkey breasts – all cooked on two sheet pans!

2018 Halloween Crafts

Halloween is next week, which means there is still time to do some fun and festive crafts to prepare for the spooky night. We are thinking outside the box and found some of our favorite Halloween crafts that the kids will love – and they don’t include cleaning or carving a pumpkin!

Last-Minute DIY Halloween Décor

These five quick ideas include things like toilet paper rolls, old socks and ice – all things you already have in your house.


3 DIY Halloween Wreaths

Who said wreaths were just for Christmas? These creative creations will add a little Halloween flair to your front door.


3 Spooky Mason Jar Crafts

Who doesn’t have a few mason jars laying around the house? Have the kids help create some fun and beautiful decorations to light up the porch for all the trick-or-treaters.


DIY Pool Noodle Halloween Costumes

Looking for a last-minute costume idea? Here is a way to use pool noodles to create costumes for the whole family!


We found all these great ideas from our cable channel, HGTV. If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2018 Halloween Cable Programming Schedule

It’s a spooky time of year and we aren’t talking about pumpkin carving or what costume you are picking out. Great Plains Communications has highlighted some of our favorite Halloween programming that we feel you just can’t miss this month. For starters, Freeform (previously ABC Family) is expanding their 13 Nights of Halloween to 31 Nights of October, because fans wanted more than just two weeks. It is filled with family-friendly movies such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Haunted Mansion, Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family. Other channels we included are AMC with their FearFest marathon, Disney Channel Monstober, Syfy 31 Days of Halloween and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) October Horror.

October 13, 2018

12:15pm – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Freeform)

1:15pm – The Seventh Victim (TCM)

1:50pm – Hocus Pocus (Freeform)

6:25pm – Disney-Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. (Freeform)

7:00pm – Cucuy: The Boogeymen (Syfy)

8:30pm – Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University (Freeform)

11:00pm – The Addams Family (1991) (Freeform)

October 14, 2018

6:29am – Halloween II (AMC)

8:29am – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (AMC)

10:29am – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (AMC)

12:15pm – Hocus Pocus (Freeform)

4:29pm – Halloween (1978) (AMC)

7:00pm – Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (TCM)

7:00pm – Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic (Freeform)

8:00pm – Hotel Transylvania (Freeform)

October 15, 2018

9:30am – Poltergeist (1982) (AMC)

12:00pm – The Hills Have Eyes (AMC)

2:35pm – The Crazies (AMC)

3:00pm – ParaNorman (Freeform)

5:00pm – Hotel Transylvania (Freeform)

5:00pm – Trick R Treat (AMC)

7:00pm – The Exorcist (1973) (AMC)

October 16, 2018

10:20am – The Return of the Living Dead (AMC)

12:20pm – Day of the Dead (AMC)

2:20pm – Shaun of the Dead (AMC)

3:00pm – ZOMBIES (Disney Channel)

3:30pm – Monster House (Freeform)

4:25pm – 28 Days Later (AMC)

7:00pm – Army of Darkness (AMC)

9:00pm – Ghost Ship (AMC)

October 17, 2018

12:25pm – I, Frankenstein (AMC)

5:30pm – Hocus Pocus (Freeform)

7:00pm – Curse of Chucky (AMC)

7:00pm – The Old Dark House (TCM)

7:30pm – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) (Freeform)

9:30pm – The Walking Dead (1936) (TCM)

9:05pm – Cult of Chucky (AMC)

October 18, 2018

8:00am – Halloween (1978) (AMC)

10:00am – Halloween II (AMC)

12:00pm – Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (AMC)

2:00pm – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (AMC)

4:00pm – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (AMC)

5:30pm – Dark Shadows (2012) (Freeform)

6:00pm – Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (AMC)

8:00pm – Halloween (1978) (AMC)

8:00pm – Knock Knock (Syfy)

October 19, 2018

4:00pm – Halloween (2007) (AMC)

5:10pm – The Goonies (Freeform)

6:30pm – Halloween (1978) (AMC)

8:30pm – ZOMBIES (Disney Channel)

October 20, 2018

10:00am – Twitches (Disney Channel)

3:00pm – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Freeform)

4:35pm – Hotel Transylvania (Freeform)

5:00pm – Silver Bullet (AMC)

6:40pm – Hocus Pocus (Freeform)

7:00pm – Christine (AMC)

8:50pm – The Addams Family (1991) (Freeform)

10:55pm – The Haunted Mansion (2003) (Freeform)

October 21, 2018

10:00am – Twitches Too (Disney Channel)

10:30am – The Quiet Ones (Syfy)

3:24pm – Friday the 13th (1980) (AMC)

7:00pm – The Mummy (1959) (TCM)

8:45pm – The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (TCM)

October 22, 2018

5:10pm – Hocus Pocus (Freeform)

7:20pm – The Witches of Eastwick (Freeform)

9:00pm – Eli Roth’s History of Horror (AMC)

10:00pm – Jeepers Creepers (AMC)

11:00pm – Warm Bodies (Freeform)

October 23, 2018

5:45pm – Insidious (Syfy)

7:00pm – Insidious: Chapter 2 (Syfy)

7:50pm – The Addams Family (1991) (Freeform)

October 24, 2018

7:00pm – White Zombie (1932) (TCM)

7:00pm – Insidious: Chapter 3 (Syfy)

8:15pm – Mark of the Vampire (TCM)

9:30pm – Night Monster (TCM)


Watch future blogs for the continuation of Halloween programming.

Sunspots this Fall

As you watch a thunderstorm, it’s hard to miss the immense power from a strike of lightening. Most people aren’t aware that the sun also has the ability to create a magnetic disturbance similar to lightening. When energy from the sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. These disturbances have the potential to affect TV services twice a year during February/March and September/October. You might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss of the channel. Typically lasting 5 to 15 minutes, the sunspot activity should not cause any worry as it will pass.

So what exactly causes the disruption in your channels? As the satellites orbit, they eventually will align between the earth and sun. As a result of the mini-eclipse the satellite has formed, the sun’s rays overpower the transmission from the satellite. It is important to note that the effects brought on by sunspot activity is not a cable outage and there is really nothing Great Plains Communications, or any other cable provider, is able to do. The sun outages are often country-wide, and the only thing we can all do is wait for it to pass. Luckily, after 5 to 15 minutes, your program should air as normal.

If the problem has not subsided after 20 minutes, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and they will be sure to have our technicians look into the issue. For more information on sunspots, visit NASA’s website at

Stop Searching for the Game

As we dive deeper into football season, you might be diving deeper into your couch more often, to catch the action from all your teams. With so many games to cover, and so many networks – it can get hard to navigate and find what you are looking for. Great Plains Communications has found a tool to help you out. The website is a resource to bring you a list of what teams are playing on what channels fast, so all you have to worry about is putting the number into your remote and grabbing a drink. The site lists the time, network and sometimes even the announcers for every FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) game each week. If the game is only available through streaming, it provides that information as well.

It isn’t just college football that covers, they also include NFL and MLB. Pro football is broadcast differently than most national college games. On Sundays, NFL airs regionally. To explain the different regions and what to expect for the coming week, publishes a map illustrating what games each network is airing in each market area. You can find the maps here.

Hopefully this information saves time and frustration when planning your weekend viewing schedule. As you can see from the college football schedule, the Huskers take on Troy this Saturday at 11 AM CT, airing on the Big Ten Network.

Fall 2018 Show Premieres

Fall show premieres are here and you won’t want to miss a moment! Great Plains Communications has listed some of our favorite premieres starting this month with new storylines and familiar faces bringing you horror, drama and comedy.


The Purge – USA

September 4, 2018 – 9:00 PM CT

As you may be familiar with The Purge and its three sequel movies, this follows the same criteria – one night a year where all crime is legal. The 10-episode event is sure to provide suspense and horror.


YOU – Lifetime

September 9, 2018 – 9:00 PM CT

There is a line between crush and obsession and you won’t want to miss Penn Badgley’s character try to decide which side he is on. So, is it a love story or something darker? You decide as you watch the story unfold.


Forever – Amazon Prime

September 14

Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen play a married couple living a comfortable life. But is it fulfilling? This along with other questions are raised after an unexpected event.


The Good Cop – Netflix

September 21

Away from the mic and onto the screen, Josh Groban stars alongside Tony Danza in this comedic cop drama from the producers of Monk.


Maniac – Netflix

September 21

Buckle up for a ride through the minds of Emma Stone and Jonah Hill’s characters as they are continuously drawn to one another throughout a mysterious pharmaceutical trial.

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