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Thursday, January 15, 2009

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Mike Parrott

Recently there have been lots of articles on what might be industry issues, but don't affect your cable customers here in Lexington much.

Here's what I and it appears a lot of your customers want to know: Why are all of your "Free" HD programs encrypted and mapped out of reach of ClearQAM tuners so that the true cost of "free" HD is $15.00 a month (per HDTV) for an HD/DVR?

Early promo materials indicated pretty clearly the new HD programming would require only an "HD tuner" (only recently do you state "HD receiver or CableCard from Insight"). LOTS of folks are miffed about this:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21700967-CATV-Free-HD-programming

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21471061-CATV-40-in-Lexington

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21198100-CATV-Insight-Digital-40-New-HD-Channels-Announced~start=60

In my case this would cost an additional $45 a month for "free" HD where I want it, not to mention make it MUCH more difficult to integrate with Vista Media Center.

Most folks would be happy with a non-DVR STB that has HD outputs, for maybe $5.00/month. Wouldn't be hard, such boxes already exist. Though I think the right answer is to map HD counterparts to SD programming down where standard ClearQAM tuners can get to them. The bandwidth is there.

For the first time since I moved back to Lexington I am investigating moving to satellite TV and shifting to DSL (since canceling cable TV would jack up the cost of Insight's 'net service by $10.00/month). I honestly don't want to go through the hassle - but don't want to feel like I've been hussled, either.

Comments have been closed on the other Digital 4.0 article I've seen here, shortly after the opinions started heading South. Hopefully this prompts some customer-oriented solutions and not another closed topic.

Darrin Ziliak

Personally, I wish the FCC would require cable companies to carry their digital basic cable package 'in the clear'.

Or to put it simpler, if I can get the channel unscrambled on analog, it should be unscrambled on digital.

My set has a perfectly functional QAM tuner and I really resent being forced to rent a cable box.

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