Digital TV conversion fast approaching

ALBANY — Mediacom cable internet, television and telephone subscribers are quickly running out of time to prepare for the company’s upcoming conversion from an analog signal to a digital signal.

Beginning Oct. 8 Mediacom will begin transitioning Albany area customers to the digital signal, and by Oct. 28 the analog feed will be completely turned off. This means customers who do not have a digital converter or DVR cable box will no longer to be able to view Mediacom programming.

In anticipation of the conversion, Mediacom is currently providing up to three digital adapters to each subscriber in the Albany area, free of charge until Oct. 31, 2014. Mediacom officials say the adapters are easy to install and can be picked up at any Mediacom location, or can be ordered by phone or online and delivered directly to customers’ homes.

Customers can receive either, regular digital adapters or High Definition (HD) adapters, depending on their level of service. Beginning Nov. 1, 2014, customers will be receiving a monthly charge of either 99 cents for each basic adapter or $1.99 for each HD adapter.

According to Conor Watson, Mediacom marketing supervisor for the Southeast Region, the change to digital will allow Mediacom to provide better service quality, faster internet speeds and more channels.

“The overall quality of service and reliability will be better,” Watson said. “We can add more channels at no additional cost to the client and as early as Nov. 1 customers will start seeing additional channels in their lineup.”

In addition to providing better television service and channel options, the digital conversion will allow Mediacom to offer faster Internet speeds to cable internet subscribers. Mediacom currently offers speeds up to 50 megabytes per second. With the elimination of the analog signal from the current infrastructure, the additional bandwidth will allow the company to give customers access to speeds up to 110 megabytes per second.

The conversion will also help Mediacom to cut down on cable theft and pirating, as the company will now have the ability to remotely cut off services.

“We will basically eliminate pirating in the Albany area,” said Watson. “Pirating greatly affects our current customers.”

Watson said the Albany conversion marks the first full conversion of a service area in the company’s national footprint and will serve as a model for future conversions around the country. According to Watson, the success of the conversion hinges on the customers getting their adapters hooked up before the analog signal is turned off.

“We want customers to get the adapters as quickly as they can to avoid long lines at the store,” Watson said. “The sooner [the customers get them] the better.”