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Charter wraps up all-digital project in North Texas

Tue, 06/18/2013 - 12:48pm
Mike Robuck

With the goal of having its all-digital conversion project completed by next year, Charter Communications announced today that its all-digital upgrade in North Texas was finished.

Thanks to the all-digital conversion, Charter subscribers in North Texas now have access to 141 HD channels – more than double their previous HD lineup – as part of the largest HD launch in Charter's history.

In May’s first quarter earnings report, Charter CEO and president Tom Rutledge said the all-digital upgrade was underway in North Texas on a hub-by-hub basis. Along with cloud-based user interfaces, Rutledge said the all-digital upgrades were one of Charter’s top priorities this year.

The latest all-digital project included the Fort Worth area and 40 surrounding communities. Charter previously wrapped up an all-digital conversion in Wisconsin earlier this year, but it hasn’t said how many systems it has switched over from analog to digital.

The end game of all-digital conversions is to free up bandwidth for more HD channels and VOD offerings, as well as for DOCSIS 3.0-based data services. Unlike other cable operators, namely Comcast, Charter isn’t using digital transport adapters (DTAs) for its all-digital upgrades.

ABC Family, BET, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Travel Channel, CMT and The Longhorn Network were some of the more than 80 new HD channels that were added in North Texas.

Charter upped its VOD lineup to a total of more than 12,000 on demand options, including 2,500 HD titles and new Spanish-language selections.

"More than 500 Charter employees – network engineers to customer care representatives – have come together over the past four months to make this all-digital effort a resounding success for our customers," said John Owen, Charter's regional vice president in Fort Worth. "By removing analog signals from our network, we gained the bandwidth and ability to bring so much more value to our customers. With a digital set-top box on every television, our customers now have a host of new and exciting digital entertainment options available at the touch of a button."

In North Texas, the all-digital upgrade was just one part of more than $40 million in improvements being made to Charter's network. Charter said was also replacing hundreds of miles of aging cable and making other core infrastructure improvements that would continue into next year.

 

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