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TWC readies 50 free HD channels, Start Over in NY/NJ

Thu, 04/03/2008 - 9:10am
Brian Santo

At the end of April, Time Warner Cable (TWC) of New York and New Jersey will begin delivering a total of 50 high-definition (HD) channels to all of its digital customers. The move will be accompanied by the rollout of the Start Over service, which TWC of NY/NJ will market as "Enhanced HDTV."

On April 30, the company plans to start delivering the 50 HD channels to all of its digital customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, and later this year it plans to deliver the channels to digital customers in Manhattan, New Jersey, the Hudson Valley region and Mt. Vernon.

The move is an intermediary step to getting to 100 HD channels by the end of 2008. In addition, TWC plans to offer more than 250 HD video-on-demand (VOD) choices by the end of 2008 (the company previously said it was going to try to offer quality, not quantity).

Channels among the first 50 include A&E HD, Animal Planet HD, CNN HD, ESPN HD, Hallmark Movie Channel HD, Lifetime Movie Network HD, MSG HD, Science Channel HD, Toon Disney HD, Versus/Golf HD and local broadcast channels that are available in HD.

Current digital customers can upgrade to an HD set-top box (STB) at no additional cost.

TWC is positioning itself against DBS and IPTV rivals by noting that its competitors charge extra for their HD tiers.

TWC of NY/NJ serves more than 1.4 million customers in the New York City area.

Separately, TWC's Los Angeles division announced the launch of Paquetazo, its new best-of English and Spanish-language digital video offering designed to appeal to the nearly two million Hispanic residents in TWC's service area. Paquetazo is $34.95 per month alone and discounted in various bundles.

Additionally, TWC L.A. announced the launch of an International OnePrice calling plan that provides flat-rate international calling to about 100 countries. When bundled with TWC's digital phone service, and either video or Internet services, International OnePrice costs $19.95 per month.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast throttles up wideband speed in Twin Cities

• Sprint pulls back on commercial WiMAX launch 

• Verizon launches HD VOD in parts of 8 more states 

• AT&T hooks up with Dish for service in former BellSouth territory 

• Moto has ready buyer for handset unit 

• Broadband Briefs for 4/3/08

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