Mediacom announced this week that it had distributed more than 22,000 digital adapters to area customers over the past eight weeks in preparation for a phase-out of analog television reception that begins April 8 and will affect viewing for cable channels 18-66.
Customers who are not yet “digital-ready” will see the first effect of Mediacom’s digital upgrade with the April 8 removal of analog reception for the History Channel, Disney and Food Network. A second group of channels will make the transition one week later, on April 15.
With the change to a digital-only format, programming will be viewable by Family Cable subscribers using digital televisions, digital cable service or older televisions connected to digital adapters. A complete phase-out of analog reception for channels 18 through 66 is scheduled to occur on April 22.
To assist with the upgrade that requires non-digital television to use adapters, Mediacom will host open-house events at its Dagsboro office with extended hours and staffing to assist customers. The two-day open house will be Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Dagsboro office is located at 32441 Royal Boulevard, just east of Route 113. Local Mediacom employees will be on hand to answer questions about digital television technology and distribute adapters for customers to use on non-digital televisions.
A digital adapter enables an older television to continue to display the programming for channels 18-66 after the conversion to digital-only signal reception. The channels will retain their current numerical locations. Mediacom is providing customers with digital adapters on a lease-free basis through April 2015 (limited to three per customer).
Mediacom customers from local communities are being encouraged to attend the Dagsboro open houses. In addition to the April 11-12 open houses in Dagsboro, customers can place orders for the digital adapters online or by phone and receive free shipping to their homes, online at: www.MediacomCable.com/Order or toll-free call to 1-855-230-2225.
Mediacom’s network upgrade will change Family Cable channels to digital-only reception. Company officials said that the outdated technology of analog bandwidth is inefficient, and its phase-out will expand network capacity for delivery of dozens of new high-definition channels and faster broadband service. In June, Mediacom will add dozens of new high definition (HD) channels to its lineup, they said.
Customers using digital TVs may need to auto-tune or auto-program their digital TVs to make sure they pick up all the available digital content. (Some digital channels may have been added since the prior auto-tune was done.)