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Mediacom to shift local channels to all-digital format

Mediacom customers who are still using the older analog televisions may be in for a surprise this June. Beginning June 29, Mediacom is converting to an all-digital broadcasting format. This means customers who are still using their older analog televisions to view local channels will lose their service.

Emily In, a public relations coordinator from Mediacom, said the changes are happening because analog signals are more prone to interference while digital signals are much more stable.

Digital is also more efficient.

“Analog transmission of channels is an older technology that uses 10 times as much of our system capacity as a digital channel,” In said. “For every analog channel, we can add 10 digital channels.”

The change will also free up bandwidth, which will boost internet speeds as well.

Mediacom has been placing an emphasis on digital and high-definition channels for some time now.

Many people may remember Mediacom issuing a similar upgrade in December 2015, though this mainly affected channels 23 and up. Since then, the company has continued to support customers using older, non-digital TVs by also delivering analog signals for a subset of channels, primarily local channels such as PBS and FOX 21. Those channels will now convert to a digital-only signal and older-model TVs will need to connect to a Digital Tuner Adapter for continued reception.

Mediacom is making Digital Tuner Adapters (DTAs) widely available in both standard and high-definition  formats. The high-definition version has HDMI ports, and all Digital Tuner Adapters include a remote control and an on-screen program guide.  

Customers who already have a digital converter box, such as the one that provides cable TV, or those who already have flat screen digital TVs won’t be affected by this upgrade. This is only for the older TVs that still receive channels via an analog signal.

In said the conversion is purely for Mediacom customers.

“Consumers who aren’t subscribed to Mediacom will not be affected by this digital conversion,” she said. “They should be able to continue to receive local channels as they do already.”

Customers can receive at least one DTA on a lease-free basis throughout May 2017. Beginning June 1, 2017 there will be fees to lease the adaptor: $1.99 per month for high-definition digital adapters, and $0.99 per month for standard-definition digital adaptors. The lease-free option would apply to adapters ordered on or before July 31, 2016.

Carlton, Lake and St. Louis County are the areas that will be affected when the transition takes place. Depending on the community, 12 channels will convert to digital-only signal (listed below):

KQDS (FOX 21)                                2
       KDLH (CBS 3)                                   3
       KDLH-DT2 (CW 2)                             4
       QVC                                                 5
       KBJR (NBC 6)                                   6
       Local Access                                    7
       WDSE (PBS 8)                                  8
       KBJR (MyNet 9)                                9
       WDIO (ABC 10)                                 13
       ION Television                               16
       MC22                                                22
       C-SPAN                                            95

To receive an adapter, customers can call Mediacom at 1-866-936-2225, or go to: mediacomcable.com/order.

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