Comcast’s digital upgrade continues in Bay area

Wed, 10/07/2009 - 8:50am
Mike Robuck

Comcast’s Project Cavalry analog-to-digital conversion project in the San Francisco Bay area gives the nation’s top cable operator a roster of 99 HD offerings after the recent completion of the latest phase.

Comcast said yesterday that it had launched 76 new TV networks in portions of the San Francisco Bay area, including up to 46 HD and 13 Spanish language channels.

Comcast started its analog-to-digital conversion in the San Francisco area earlier this year and has been rolling it out in phases. The digital migration project is called Project Cavalry internally, but Comcast has given it the more consumer friendly name of “The World of More.”

As of yesterday, the programming became available to residential homes and businesses in San Jose and Los Gatos. The new networks are scheduled to be available in Alameda, Hayward, Santa Rosa and Union City on Oct. 8; Berkeley, El Cerrito, Fremont, Hercules, Newark, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo on Oct. 13; and Benicia on Nov. 2. Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Hercules and Pinole will launch an additional 12 high-definition networks, bringing their totals up to 85 new networks, including 58 new HD networks.

"Customer interest has surpassed our expectations since we launched this incredible amount of HD and multicultural programming as part of 'The World of More' initiative," said Elaine Barden, regional vice president of sales and marketing for Comcast's California Region. "These channel launches deliver on Comcast's promise to customers to offer more of the products and services they want as a result of our digital upgrade."

The new HD networks will include: BET HD, Biography Channel HD, CBS College Sports HD, CMT HD, CNN Headline News HD, Comedy Central HD, Disney XD HD, ESPN News HD, ESPN U HD, Fuse HD, G4 HD, HBO Comedy HD, HBO Latino HD, HBO Zone HD, IFC (International Film Channel) HD, Lifetime HD, Lifetime Movie Network HD, MGM HD, MLB Network HD, MSNBC HD, MTV HD, NBA TV HD, NBA League Pass HD, NHL Network HD, NHL Center Ice/MLB Extra Innings HD, Nickelodeon HD, Outdoor Channel HD, Planet Green HD, Showtime Too HD, Spike HD, Starz! Comedy HD, Starz! Edge HD, Starz! Kids & Family HD, Style Network HD, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) HD, Thriller MAX HD, Action MAX HD, The Movie Channel HD, The Tennis Channel HD, truTV HD, TV One HD, VH1 HD, WE: Women's Entertainment HD, The Weather Channel HD, WGN HD and a pay-per-view HD channel.

The extra 12 HD networks that will be launched in Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Hercules and Pinole, and that have already been launched in the other cities, are Bravo HD, Cartoon Network HD, CNBC HD, E! HD, Encore HD, Fox Business Network HD, Fox News Channel HD, FX HD, Hallmark Movie Channel HD, QVC HD, Speed HD and Travel Channel HD.

During a July earnings call, Comcast said it had 10 percent of its systems converted to digital, with another one-third slated to be finished by the end of the year. Comcast has relied heavily on digital terminal adapters during its digital migration; it deployed 1.4 million of them in the second quarter.

More Broadband Direct 10/07/09:
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•  Telco, DBS kicking cable butt in customer satisfaction
•  Comcast's digital upgrade continues in Bay area
•  SCTE to develop GIS standards
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•  Sprint, Virgin Mobile agree to settle lawsuits
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•  Broadband Briefs for 10/07/09



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