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Comcast sets May 1 'soft launch' for HD in Sacramento

Mon, 04/21/2003 - 8:00pm
Sacramento Bee

Copyright 2003 McClatchy Newspapers Inc.

April 21, 2003, Monday

METRO FINAL EDITION

It's not making a big thing of it yet, but the area's largest cable company is set to roll out HDTV service locally.

Comcast plans a "soft launch" of the high definition, digital service May 1, a company spokeswoman says. A broader rollout, with accompanying advertising fanfare, will follow a couple of months later after the kinks are worked out.

Sacramento is the first Comcast market in the West to receive the new service, says company communications director Susan Gonzales.

Customers need an HDTV-ready television to receive the sharper, brighter images promised by the new technology. They'll also have to pay a $5 monthly fee for a converter box and a one-time installation charge that hasn't yet been determined.

Initially, the service will be offered for selected programming on ABC, NBC, HBO and Showtime. Gradually it will be extended to other channels.

Announcement of the launch of the new service was included in the small print in a recent mailing to Comcast customers trumpeting a channel realignment. Expect future announcements to make considerably more hay over HDTV.

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