CATV announces lineup change

Published 11:22 pm Monday, January 5, 2009

A new year always brings some changes. This new year heralds in a major difference in the way a lot of TV viewers receive their programming.

On Feb. 17, TV stations will broadcast in digital format only. While the change may not be noticeable to Demopolis CATV subscribers, one visible difference will be in the addition of a few local channels.

“We have added NBC-HD, MyTV Network, A&E-HD, Science Channel Digital, Meridian WMDN-CBS and Meridian Weather Digital,” said Lynn Goldman, the president of Demopolis CATV. “We lost NBC Montgomery Channel 12, Fox Birmingham Channel 6 and Birmingham CW because they are too far away to pick up a steady digital signal. We will be able to offer better analog and HD (high-definition) digital pictures on all networks with our new lineup.”

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Goldman said the Demopolis area would lose channels like NBC in Montgomery because after the transition, the city will be affected by what is known as the digital “cliff effect.” Unlike analog signals, digital broadcasts either come in clear or not at all, and Demopolis is simply too far away to pick up a strong signal from Montgomery.

The other local stations already offered will remain the same. They are WGBC TV-7 NBC in Meridian, WCFT TV-33 ABC in Tuscaloosa, WAKA TV-8 CBS in Selma/Montgomery, Fox in Meridian and WTOK TV-11 ABC in Meridian.

The transition from analog to digital broadcasting is expected to free up valuable spectra that can be used to deliver high-speed Internet access and other commercial wireless services as well as to connect police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers.

Goldman said his customers would continue to get reception regardless of whether they own an analog TV or digital set.

“The equipment is in place and everything is set,” Goldman said. “Viewers will not notice any change or disruption of service at all.”