Digital upgrade affects Mediacom Customers in western IA


October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A technology change coming early Wednesday morning by cable TV service provider Mediacom means viewers in the KJAN listening area may experience blank channels, but no loss in programming. Officials with Mediacom say their customers in a 10-county area of western and southwest Iowa will see channel location changes as a result of a digital upgrade. The upgrade affects Mediacom customers living in the following 15 communities located in western and southwest Iowa:  Atlantic, Audubon, Avoca, Bedford, Carroll, Glidden, Clarinda, Corning, Denison, Essex, Glenwood, Harlan, Red Oak, Shenandoah, Villisca. The changes will affect consumers using a direct cable connection to a digital television, and will require those viewers to re-scan their televisions using the remote control.

The company says there is no impact or re-scanning needed for televisions connected to either a Mediacom set-top box or one of the digital adapters widely distributed in recent weeks as part of the company’s digital conversion.  Throughout the upgrade, much of the attention has been directed to consumers using older, non-digital televisions and the use of digital adapters to provide reception for channels 23 and higher.

Mediacom Group Vice President Steve Purcell says their key message is for the majority of consumers who have digital-ready televisions.  Purcell says “If they don’t use Mediacom equipment – if their cable connection goes directly into the TV – those viewers will need to use their remotes to re-scan the TV for an updated channel set on October 3rd.” Purcell says “We don’t alter channel locations often, but we’re doing it now as part of a bandwidth conversion that includes adding 40 new high-definition channels on October 4th.”

Purcell emphasized that the changes in channel alignment are effectively “behind the scenes” for televisions connected to set-top boxes or digital adapters.  Without that equipment, channel locations displayed on digital-ready televisions will be altered and a blank screen will display on the old location.  Completion of the auto-scan function will ensure that all channels will display in their new locations.

The changes in Mediacom’s network will be made after midnight and prior to 6:00 am on Wednesday, October 3rd.  An expanded high-definition lineup will arrive the following day, October 4th. The main message the company wants to pass along to its consumers, is that you are NOT losing any channels. You will simply need to RE-SCAN or re-run the auto-tune feature for their TVs.  They will need to do this on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, any time after 6:00 am.  If they don’t do this simple exercise, you will see blank channels.

Newer televisions manufactured since 2007 come with built-in digital tuners to receive digital signals.  Digital televisions do not need Mediacom’s adapter, just a cable connection to the TV. Digital adapters are available from Mediacom.  This is a rent-free lease for up to three adapters, effective through December 2013.  The equipment lease fee thereafter will be $0.99 per adapter.