The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 21, 2010

Suddenlink preparing for digital TV upgrade

Forget the ol’ rabbit ears. Suddenlink Communications customers should check their televisions to prepare for a digital upgrade.

Suddenlink customers across West Virginia who do not have a digital-ready television, Suddenlink digital receiver, CableCARD or QAM digital tuner must upgrade to an SL DigitaLinks digital adapter before Nov. 9 to continue expanded service.

In the meantime, the company has prepared to offer customers several ways to make the upgrade and all are free of charge.

“Suddenlink Communications is in the midst of implementing an upgrade throughout West Virginia and will be going all digital by February of 2011,” said Michael Keleman, director of government relations for Suddenlink. “This will enable us to provide over 30 new high-definition channels and will facilitate a platform that will enable us to bring more advanced services and higher Internet speeds in the future.”

Individuals who need to make the upgrade can order their SL DigitaLinks online at imagine.suddenlink.com, call 1-877-872-9132 to order or set up an installation, or visit offices at 115 Dye Drive in Beckley during business hours.

Not everyone must make the upgrade, though, Keleman said.

“For people who have the traditional digital receivers — they’re the big ones that are silver or black, they’re from Scientific Atlantic — for those folks, they won’t need to do anything, or customers who have digital-ready television sets, they won’t need to do anything,” he said.

The older the television set, the greater the chance it will need DigitaLinks to continue service for Channels 23-78.

“If your TV is more than 5 years old, it could be an analog television set that won’t receive the digital signals,” Keleman said. “What we generally find a lot of times is the televisions in the main viewing area or the living room — many people have purchased televisions in the last couple years and those seem to be fine.

“It’s the ones in the bedrooms where the TVs were moved from the main areas (that need upgrades).”

By switching to a digital signal, Suddenlink will save space and create opportunity to expand service.

“For example, one analog channel equals the same spaces as eight to 10 digital channels,” Keleman said. “It would free us up to add additional new high-definition content immediately and also increase our available bandwidth to add additional channels down the road. Plus, the picture quality of analog versus digital is much better.”

Customers can visit Huddle House at 1003 S. Eisenhower Drive from noon to 7 p.m. today, Schewel’s Furniture from noon to 7 p.m. next Wednesday or Kroger at Fayette Square in Oak Hill from noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 to pick up a converter box free of charge.

Additional events have been scheduled for Nov. 3-6, but times and locations have yet to be confirmed.

— E-mail: nbrockman@register-herald.com

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