Charter changes

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Charter Communications is switching to all-digital programming in the Grand Haven area on Tuesday. If you don't take action, your television screens will turn to blue or play only static beginning sometime in the middle of the night.

In order to continue receiving signals, you must use a Charter-provided set-top box, which will be free of charge for the first year. After that, the cost is an additional $6.99 per month.

And don't think you can get away with just one. You'll need a separate box for each television in the house that you wish to receive programming on, and you'll pay the $6.99 monthly fee for each one.

Think your pricey high-definition Smart TV will insulate you from the changes? No chance. No matter how new or how fancy your set, you'll need the box for cable programming.

Charter Regional Communications Director Bill Morand said plan prices will remain the same, but the service will now come with more than 200 high-definition digital channels. Two years ago, Charter featured about 60 channels, bumping them up to 100 last year.

The Grand Haven-area market is the 22nd of 28 all-digital rollouts taking place in a 53-week period, according to Morand.

“The old way of plugging a cable into the back of a TV and receiving an analog signal will no longer work,” he explained “You will need a box.”

Consumers who want to opt out of cable also have the option of purchasing an antenna to receive broadcast television free of charge. But because most broadcast stations are located in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, reception may be limited.

The antenna option also requires use of a digital pass-through box for older non-HDTV sets, according to Morand.

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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