Mediacom to upgrade cable network, adapters needed for older TVs

Phyllis Peters, Director of Communications for Mediacom's North Central Division came to Harrisburg recently to explain an upgrade of its service in a 10-county area of Southern Illinois.

She said, "There will be a major expansion of our high-definition (HD) channel lineup."

The change will eliminate analog reception for most Family Cable video channels.

Mediacom's upgrade will remove analog television reception for all but a limited number of basic broadcast channels, leaving digital-only reception for channels 23 through 76. Company officials describe the digital upgrade as an investment to give all customers improved picture and audio quality and expanded channel lineups. The upgrade will include the addition of several dozen channels in the popular HD format to deliver an HD lineup with nearly 100 channel choices.

"With digital technology, consumers gain more value and a larger channel selection than ever before, as well as the superior viewing experience of HDTV," said Mediacom Regional Vice President Doug Frank, in a prepared release. "With this conversion, Mediacom customers can be confident we'll keep pace with their demand for more HD channels and ever-faster Internet speeds."

With the free adapter provided by Mediacom older analog TVs will be able to get all the local channels and additionally, cable channels 23 through 79," said Peters.

Frank explained that for many years Mediacom's network has been delivering both analog and digital signals to televisions in customer homes and businesses. The upgrade will remove the analog transmission for channels 23 and higher. As each analog channel is eliminated, he said, network capacity becomes available to potentially carry three high-definition channels or 10 standard definition digital channels (SD). Dozens of new HD channels will be added to Mediacom's lineup in late September.

The phase-out of analog television transmission will require customers using non-digital televisions to use digital adapters to view Family Cable channels. Frank explained that Mediacom is readily distributing digital adapters, which are small devices that convert signals from the cable network into a format that displays on an older, non-digital TV screen.

Mediacom will provide digital adapters on a lease-free basis through September 2014 for current customers and limited to three adapters per customer. Customers using newer TVs with built-in digital tuners are encouraged to also use Mediacom adapters as a way to retain the familiar channel lineup.

"Instead of seeing older televisions go to landfills, we have a simple solution using our digital adapters to deliver Family Cable channels," Frank said. "It also is convenient for viewers with newer televisions because the adapter automatically adds new channels without re-scanning."

Digital adapters are not needed on televisions connected to Mediacom digital receivers. Digital adapters may be picked-up at local Mediacom offices in Carbondale and Marion. Or, customers may order by phone or online and receive free shipping to their home or office. The web site provides digital upgrade information and an online order form at or call toll-free: 1-800-479-2095

The phase-out of analog television reception will be noticeable to customers beginning Sept. 10 when a subset of Family Cables will no longer be carried in an analog frequency. The change to an all-digital lineup will be completed approximately one week later. At that time, Family Cable channels located between 23 and 76 will be viewable only on digital-ready televisions or televisions connected to a Mediacom digital receiver (cable box) or adapter.

The lower-numbered channel set known as basic or limited cable service will continue to be transmitted in both analog and digital transmission.

<hardreturn>To receive Mediacom's Family TV channels such as USA, ESPN, Discovery, History as of Sept. 10 televisions must be connected to a Mediacom digital receiver, a Mediacom digital adapter or the TV must have a built-in digital tuner. Use of a Mediacom digital receiver or adapter retains the familiar channel lineup and will automatically update channel reception for any future change.<br class="hardreturn" />