What Charter Communications’ Mandatory Changes Means to You

Charter Communications recently announced that in addition to purchasing Time Warner Cable they are making some upgrades to their services that will affect you if you are currently a customer.

According to David Twohig, sales and design associate for Smart Home Technologies, “As a result of Charter Communications decision to go completely digital, customers will now be required to have a digital top-set cable box (or receiver) for each of their televisions. Customers who do not have these will no longer be able to use their cable services directly from the wall plug.”

“From my understanding, these cable boxes will be free for one year. However, after this trial period, there will be an additional monthly fee per box added to your bill. It’s also worth noting that the DVR system, which is part of the cable box, will not be free during this test year if you decide to use it.”

Twohig adds that the good news about Charter going digital is that they will be able to offer more programming, more high-definition movie channels and more on-demand options. In fact, some of their HD cable packages may increase to nearly 200 channels, which is double that of today’s service. In addition, customers should see a much clearer picture and significantly faster internet speeds.

So how do you hook up the required cable box?

Twohig says if you are at all technologically savvy, you can request the new cable boxes and hook them up yourself without having to go through the aggravation of setting up installation appointments. However, if you need a Charter representative to assist you in setting it up the new cable boxes, you will be charged for a service call.

It’s also worth noting, that the required cable boxes will work with analog televisions. However, the signal you receive will not be in high-definition. This means you might want to start saving now for a high definition television because in one year when you start getting charged a monthly fee for using the cable box, you will be paying for high definition services but not receiving them.

Twohig concludes, “You may also want to look into the benefits of AT&T U-Verse or Dish TV. The debate as to which service is best for you will depend on what channels you would like to buy and how many channels you want to choose from. As technology continues to evolve it seems our choices are endless.”