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Comcast finishes digital switch
After service interruptions, adjustments, company officials say new format is solid
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Comcasts recent switchover to an all-digital platform in the Hinesville area likely caused a few glitches if one local customers experience was any indication. Still, Comcast officials said, most technical issues have been resolved and the new format should give area customers more bang for their buck. The communications company officially transitioned to the all-digital platform Jan. 12, Comcasts coastal Georgia area vice president Michael Daves said. Overall, its been a huge success, Daves said. Weve employed 7,000 DTA boxes (digital transport adapters) in the Hinesville area alone. The adapters enable Comcast customers to receive the digitized cable TV channels. Limited cable customers dont have to install adapters as theyre not being digitized, he said. But if they want to, they can order up to three boxes and additional channels, Daves said. Right now, Hinesville has 111 high-definition channels available. But what we also added were 24 standard-definition channels (regular digital channels like Bloomberg, Hallmark), he said. Other than our limited-only customers, all our other customers have to have some form of digital device. Hinesville had one of highest penetration areas for boxes, more than 80 percent, Daves said. The companys all-digital platform also applies to Comcasts telephone and Internet services. Cable TV, telephone and Internet services now come under Comcasts Xfinity sub-brand. Xfinity is a name we introduced in 2008 at the consumer electronics show, Daves said. Xfinity is cross-platform; you can now watch TV on your Internet devices, from your computer, your iPad or your iPhone. With the new digital platform, Comcast customers can access Xfinitys on-demand movies and shows via the Internet at, according to a Comcast news release. Daves said Comcast customers can order adapters online, call the call center or go to a Comcast location to pick up one or more. He estimated last week there were around 100 Comcast customers who had not yet gotten the adapters. Local customer Mike St. Onge said although he hooked up his adapters almost immediately, he still experienced problems. His faulty cable TV service took Comcast 13 days, two home visits, three missed appointments and multiple calls to the companys service department to resolve, St. Onge said. The Hinesville resident said he was told there were Comcast technicians from Atlanta and Augusta who were willing to work in Hinesville as there were only eight local technicians available. The prep work that should have been done to ensure a smooth transition was not done, so guys from other areas were here working until 10 p.m. trying to get Hinesville up on the digital network, St. Onge said. On a good note, the two techs that came to my home were good. The first one had to rework the wires on the lines at the electric pole as they were corroded, which caused a drop in signal. The second one tested and tested until he found the problem was with the wires in the house. After he changed it the cable worked. St. Onge said now he is trying to adjust to the cable TVs new digital platform. I do like the option of on demand to see what movies are out there, he said. However I have to use two remotes to control my TV, which is something else to keep up with. St. Onge said he has had cable since 1978, when the monthly basic cost was $13.95. He now pays more than $60 a month, he said. Before, I could have every channel in both rooms, the Comcast customer added. Now I have a new remote and the other remote for my other rooms is of lesser quality so you cannot watch on demand. Only where the large box is located; the other smaller boxes only get basic functions. You would think that you would get the same service at all locations within your home but that is not the case.
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