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Rogers expands all-digital offering

Mon, 12/13/2004 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Rogers Cable has shifted its digital simulcast strategy into high gear with the launch of an all-digital channel lineup in Ontario.

In that scenario, Rogers simulcasts dozens of analog channels in digital format, and makes those signals available to customers with digital cable boxes. Rogers will continue to offer the analog tier, however. Several U.S. operators, including Comcast Cable, are expected to deploy digital simulcast in earnest during 2005. Charter Communications launched an all-digital lineup in Long Beach, Calif. earlier this year.

Rogers began to rollout the simulcast service in July, turning it up in its Ontario and Maritime systems. Although digital simulcast costs additional bandwidth due to the replication of analog channels in the digital tier, Rogers appears to have the requisite bandwidth, as most of its systems have been rebuilt to 860 MHz.

Still, some industry experts have maintained that a move to 1 GHz might be necessary in some cases to accommodate the growing number of high-definition television and video-on-demand services.

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