Starting September 17, Charter will begin clearing all analog signals from its local network, making room to add the 119 new HD channels in Westport. Customers will have access to a total of 151 HD channels once Charter completes its move to an all-digital network in September.
“By removing outdated analog signals, we gain back a tremendous amount of bandwidth in our network,” said Gregory A. Garabedian, Charter’s vice president and general manager for New England. “In the space we previously needed for a single analog channel, we can now provide multiple standard definition digital channels or HD channels. It’s a great opportunity for us to maximize value for our customers.”
Those with older analog television sets will able to be able to get Charter video services but will need a Charter cable box or card.
Disney Junior, Hallmark Movie Channel, DIY Network, FX Movie Channel, CBS Sports Network are among the HD channels that will be available. A Charter spokeswoman said that present digital customers will not have to pay extra to receive the new HD offerings.
With digital set-top boxes, Charter customers will gain Video On Demand (VOD) access for every television in their homes.
Customers must take action to continue receiving Charter programming on all of their televisions. Those not now equipped with Charter-issued digital set-top boxes or CableCARDs must acquire them for each of their television sets. For a limited time, Charter will offer the boxes at no charge — for details visit www.charter.com/digitalnow or call 1-888-438-2427. Customers will install their own boxes; those unable to do so can get a service call for a fee.
The boxes will be available during extended hours at the Charter Store located at 548 Gifford Road in Westport. From August 26 through Sept. 9, the store will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Charter has also set up a temporary mobile site, offering digital set-top boxes at the Charter trailer located at the Hampton Inn, 53 Old Bedford Road, Westport . Charter representatives will be on hand. Customers are asked to bring a photo ID — only the account holder or an authorized user listed on the account is eligible to pick up equipment.
The trailer will be open Tuesday, Sept. 9 through Wednesday, Sept. 25 (closed Sundays) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“More than 85 percent of Charter customers in Westport have adopted digital devices for at least one television in their home,” Mr. Garabedian said. “Now we can give customers in Westport even more of what they want – a superior digital image, better audio and a diverse selection of HD programming.”
Charter says that Charter internet customers will also see speed improvements. Charter now has download speeds up to 30 Mbps in Westport. With the All Digital upgrade, customers here will get download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
A company spokesman declined to reveal how many Westport customers use Charter cable services.