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Digital converters will bring improved quality, scores of new channels

February 02, 2001|By JASON ZARA, Staff Writer

When Adelphia has completed its transition to digital service by the end of the year, customers can look forward to higher quality and more selection, though it will come at a higher cost as well.

To receive features beyond the 41 stations currently offered, subscribers will be required to rent digital converter boxes for their televisions. For those with the boxes a range of packages will be available, offering more than 200 stations at the highest level. The service will be comparable to what satellite providers now offer, but will include local channels as well.

l New basic channels will include the History Channel, SciFi, ESPN2, FX, Animal Planet, the Food Channel and more. Digital packages will be available featuring niche channels, such as home and garden, Golf TV, Biography and others.

l There will be 14 HBO and 16 Showtime channels available, as well as 59 pay-per-view channels, up from a total of three pay movie channels and one pay-per-view available now.

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l There will be an on-screen navigator allowing point-and-click access to the previews channel. It will be possible to search for movies, sporting events and other categories of television. Parental control will be available.

l Adelphia will become a digital Internet provider. Shirley Bonillas, area marketing manager for Adelphia, said the connection will be seven times faster than regular phone connections and will not require a phone line. The cost will be about equivalent to paying for an Internet service provider and a dedicated phone line, Bonillas said.

l About 45 music stations will be available, playing CD-quality music without commercials. Music will be available by genre — rock, country, reggae — and information on the artist, album and song name will be available.

l Adelphia will buy back satellite dishes in working order for $100 with purchase of a digital package. Service will be available north to Westmorland, east to Holtville, west to Naval Air Facility El Centro and south to Calexico. Bonillas added there will be fewer cable outages under the new system.

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