Charter rolling out all-digital service

News-DemocratJanuary 22, 2014 

Digital cable will become the standard for all Charter Communications customers and will come at no additional cost until at least a year from now.

The St. Louis-based cable company is moving to an all-digital network, providing high definition channels and faster Internet speeds. Existing and future customers will be required to have a set-top box installed on each TV set to receive the digital service.

Company spokeswoman Kim Noetzel said that for now these digital boxes will not cost current customers more on their monthly bills. Noetzel said that depending on a customer's level of service, he or she will be charged $6.99 a month for each digital box in one, two or as many as five years from now.

These digital boxes will be available at Charter's offices and other locations to be announced. There will also be some assembly required: Customers will have to connect the new digital box to their TV.

"You can install it yourself," Noetzel said. "It's relatively easy to install."

From now through the middle of summer, customers will be contacted about the transition via mail, in their bills, by phone calls and messages that will appear on their television set prior to the upgrade. Noetzel said the transition for metro-east customers is expected to occur by mid-March. Customers will have 30 days to make the transition.

Charter has already completed all-digital upgrades in several of its service areas, including parts of Texas, California, South Carolina, Michigan and Massachusetts. The cable company plans to complete the upgrade in all 29 states that its serves by the end of the year.

Noetzel said more than 90 percent of customers throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois already have digital boxes connected to at least one TV. After the upgrade, all local customers will also have access to more than 12,000 video on demand options, including more than 3,000 in high definition.

"The biggest difference for customers who were receiving only analog signals is they are going to have better picture quality, better sound and have access to more HD channels," Noetzel said.

For more information, call 1-888-438-2427 or visit www.charter.com/digitalnow.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 618-239-2526.

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