Mediacom transistions customers to digital age
Phase-out of analog transmission will lead to beefier HDTV lineup and speedier internet service
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:05 AM CST
BENTON CO Mediacom customers in a nine-county area of eastern Iowa will be the first in the state to gain the benefits of an all-digital channel lineup as Mediacom works over the next 45 days to phase-out analog signal reception in favor of a 100-percent digital lineup delivered to all customers. The upgrade comes with a rent-free lease for digital adapters that Mediacom is distributing to ensure customers' ability to see digitally-transmitted channels on non-digital televisions.
The conversion is being made to bring analog customers into the digital age and to provide customers with the better quality of digital picture and sound. Mediacom officials say a major benefit will be increased network capacity to deliver more HD channels, new digital channels, and speedier cable modem broadband service.
The change to all-digital transmission will be made in areas in and around Cedar Rapids beginning March 1 and continuing for several weeks. It will affect up to 28% of Mediacom's area customers who currently are not using digital cable service, and also digital customers who use older televisions for some of their viewing.
Customers can continue to use older televisions as long as the sets are connected to either a digital adapter or a digital cable box. Consumers using newer televisions with build-in tuners can view the all-digital lineup of 82 Family Cable channels using only a Mediacom cable connection (no adapter), but a digital or HD cable box is needed to receive most high-definition (HD) channels and digital features like On Demand.
Mediacom's regional vice president, Doug Frank, describes analog signal transmission as an outdated and inefficient process that most of the larger cable companies are working to eliminate.
In television technology, digital is the world of more' because consumers get more channel choices at every level of cable service, Frank said. Mediacom's promise is to deliver the benefits of advanced technologies. In 2011, this means bringing all customers into the digital age affordably and conveniently.
The lower-numbered channel set known as basic or limited cable service will continue to be transmitted in both analog and digital transmission. As a result, customers with non-digital televisions will have the option of receiving 17 channels located between 2 and 22 without using Mediacom's digital adapter.
But with the adapter, Frank explained, the basic subscription set expands to 32 channels, of which 15 are channels delivered in digital format only. Those include digital channels from local broadcast stations and Iowa Public Television, C-SPAN channels and others.
Today's consumers get more value and more viewing choices than ever before. Now, as we eliminate much of the analog bandwidth from our network, Mediacom customers can be confident that we'll keep pace with their demand for more HD channels and the ultra-fast speeds of our next-generation broadband service, Frank said.
Mediacom is offering its digital adapters with rent-free leases and customers can receive them for all non-digital televisions. As long as they are Mediacom customers, our digital adapters will be rent-free, Frank said.
Mediacom will provide free shipping for adapter orders submitted online at www.MediacomCable.com/GetDigital
or by phone: 800-578-8697. Or, digital adapters can be picked-up at local customer service offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Monticello (addresses and hours below). Frank also said his company will host a series of open house events in area communities to distribute digital adapters and answer customer questions.http://communitynewspapergroup.com/a...8541860610.txt