Mediacom digital upgrade proceeding smoothly

PONTIAC — Mediacom Communications announced that its digital upgrade is proceeding smoothly and the next step will be to remove most analog signal reception on Tuesday, July 23.

Mediacom also made public its list of 40 new high-definition (HD) channels to be added in early August to boost the number of available HD viewing choices above the 100-channel mark.

Beginning July 23, analog frequencies will not be used for channels 16-78, leaving digital-only reception for the Family Cable channel series that includes cable news, sports and entertainment networks. The upgrade is a change that requires the use of a digital adapter to maintain reception for those channels on an older, non-digital television. Nine popular cable channels switched to digital reception earlier last week. 

The network changes affect cable customers in a 13-county area of East Central Illinois, including Ford County.

Mediacom Regional Vice President Todd Curtis said the upgrade will expand network capacity for delivery of faster broadband Internet speeds and more HD video channels. Most immediately, he said, will be the arrival of 40 new HD channels by mid-August.

“After we convert Family Cable channels to digital reception on July 23, we’ll take an unprecedented step to nearly double our HD lineup in a single day, and that will occur in early August,” Curtis said. “With this upgrade, Mediacom customers will be able to choose from 100 channels delivered in the superior quality of high-definition.”

The new HD channels, he said, will be automatic additions to customers’ existing channel subscriptions, with no price changes due to the upgrade.

“Our digital upgrade provides benefits to all customers, even those without the newer or bigger HD entertainment systems,” Curtis said.

For example, Curtis pointed to the additional basic-level channels that local television stations offer in digital reception. With the use of a digital adapter, non-digital TVs can tune-in more basic channels.

In recent weeks area customers have received more than 16,500 digital adapters. Mediacom is providing the adapters at no cost through July 31, 2014.

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