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Time Warner Cable wraps up all-digital conversion pilot in Maine

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 1:45pm
Mike Robuck

Time Warner Cable's analog-to-digital conversion pilot project went live today in Augusta, Maine, and surrounding communities as the final analog channels were converted to an all-digital format.

Time Warner Cable previously relied on switched digital video to reclaim bandwidth for additional services, but the Augusta pilot marked the first time that the nation's second-largest cable operator deployed digital terminal adapters.

Today, 21 communities, including Augusta, Hallowell, Winthrop, Gardiner and Farmingdale, were switched over to all-digital. Time Warner Cable had previously said it expected to cut customers over to all-digital on Oct. 19 after it started seeding the DTAs into customers' homes in September.

The DTAs are free to Time Warner Cable customers in Augusta through 2013, after which they'll cost 99 cents a month. Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech previously said Technicolor was providing the DTAs for the Augusta pilot, but the company will probably use multiple vendors as it converts to all-digital across the rest of its footprint.

"As I've said for some time, our long-term plan is to supplement switched digital video by gradually going all-digital," Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt said during last year's second-quarter earnings call. "Consistent with that plan, we have embarked on an all-digital transition in Augusta, Maine, extending our existing all-digital footprint beyond New York City and parts of Los Angeles. Augusta is our first deployment of digital terminal adapters, or so-called DTAs. Our plan is to migrate our remained systems to all-digital over the next five years or so."

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