BARSTOW • Time Warner Cable is converting to digital services on Nov. 30 — which means that customers without digital boxes may have to get new converter boxes to continue receiving all of their current channels.
The company's conversion to digital means that there will be more channels offered in high-definition and faster Internet speeds, but people who connect their cable directly to their television, VCR, DVD recorder or other devices will either need to sign up for a digital cable box or a digital to analog converter box if they want to receive more than just broadcast channels, said Time Warner spokesman Jim Gordon.
The broadcast channels include the first 13 channels, as well as a few extra, and customers with basic cable who don't sign up for a box won't have access to the dozens of channels that they used to have, said Gordon.
Time Warner charges an additional $6.50 a month for the digital box and the additional services associated with it, but there will be no monthly charge for the first year for people who use the digital to analog converter, said Gordon. After the first 12 months, customers using the converter will be charged $2 a month.
Customers who need a box can have them delivered through mail or pick them up for free at Time Warner Cable or at an information booth at Home Depot Thursday, said Gordon. While there is normally a charge for in-home installation, the charges will be waived if customers have the new boxes installed before Nov. 30.
If customers already have a digital cable box, there will be no change in price, said Gordon. Customers with digital cable boxes will now be able to view programs that have aired within the past 72 hours or shows that are in progress — without having to use a digital video recorder.
Customers will have a wider range of services and packages to choose from — including more movie and sports channels and more than 100 high definition channels, said Gordon.
The digital change also brings faster Internet speeds to Barstow customers, without an increase in charges, said Gordon.
Some of the improvements that the cable company had to make to bring digital services to Barstow include installing a fiber optic line that connects to Los Angeles, as well as new routers and servers added in the Barstow area, said Gordon.
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Time Warner Cable information booth
• Customers can receive new set-top boxes, learn more information about cable packages and place orders.
• Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Home Depot, 1100 L Avenue, Barstow
• More information: call (800) 964-2783 or visit www.twcwest.com/DTAConverter