Leading cable TV and internet provider Charter Communications has completed its all-digital upgrade in North Texas, covering Fort Worth and 40 surrounding communities, enabling the provider to double its HDTV channel lineup and broaden its Video On Demand library. By completing the four month upgrade process they are now offering 141 HD channels, including 80 new ones such as ABC Family, BET, Cartoon Network, and, most importantly for many Texans, the Longhorn Network, which is ESPN’s channel focusing on University of Texas sports.
More from Multichannel News:
“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,” said John Owen, Charter’s regional VP in Fort Worth, in a statement.
The MSO has not completed all-digtal upgrades in any other markets, a Charter spokeswoman said.
At this stage in the upgrade, Charter is using two-way, CableCARD-based set-tops to assist with its transition, eschewing simple, less expensive one-way digital transport adapters (DTAs) that MSOs such have Comcast have leaned on to power their analog reclamation strategies.
In North Texas, the all-digital upgrade is just one part of more than $40 million in improvements being made to Charter’s network. In addition, the company is replacing hundreds of miles of aging cable and making other core infrastructure improvements that will continue into 2014.
It is likely that if this upgrade is a success, Charter Communications will perform similar upgrades in other markets where they are the leading provider, with St. Louis and surrounding areas likely successors. We’ll keep an eye on the story at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.