Hatteras Island Charter Communication customers have been receiving letters in the past week or so notifying them of the upcoming switch to digital cable on May 17. The change affects Charter customers only, and is an island-wide upgrade to bring the southern Outer Banks up to speed with other markets across the country.
The vast majority of Charter’s markets are already 100 percent digital, and the company is finishing up the complete switch by targeting smaller markets in 2016, which includes the communities of Avon, Frisco, Hatteras, Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves.
According to Patti Michel, director of regional communications south for Charter, the switch to digital cable provides a number of benefits for TV viewers.
“Moving to an all-digital TV format provides a better viewing experience for our customers, since digital TV provides a clearer picture and allows for more high definition channels,” says Michel. “Charter has invested more than $2 billion in our fiber rich network to enable us to bring customers the highest level of performance and innovation.
“Analog is an outdated, inefficient technology. In the space one analog channel takes up on our lineup, Charter can provide up to 14 standard definition digital channels or 3 to 4 high-definition channels. It gives customers more channel choices,” she added.
But in order for customers to successfully make the switch, a few steps need to be taken first.
Charter customers need to request a digital receiver in order to continue their cable service past the May 17 switch date. Promotional offers were outlined for customers in the letter they received from Charter, or customers without the letter handy can also contact Charter for more details by either visiting www.Spectrum.com/digitalnow or calling 1-888-GET-CHARTER (1-888-438-2427) for more information.
Receivers can also be picked up at the Charter Store which is located on 2400 Virginia Dare Trail in South Nags Head, and which is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Once contacted, customers can opt for the Direct Ship program that delivers needed equipment directly to customers’ homes within five business days – often less. The shipping is free, and the self-installation kits contains everything needed to install the new digital box on your own, including the box, cables and color-coded diagrams.
If a customer still needs assistance, Charter representatives will attempt to walk them through the process by phone, and worst case scenario, can dispatch a technician to the customer’s home to complete the installation. (A professional installation fee will apply for in-person service.)
According to a Charter service rep, the cost for each box per room will be $6.99 on top of the fee for subscribing to cable television. However, Charter will waive the fee for at least one new box for at least one year for all current customers. Digital video recorder (DVR) boxes are not included in the fee waiver, however DVRs currently in the market will continue to work.
The switchover is set to take place on May 17, so customers are encouraged to take action as soon as possible. The switch will take place for all customers in May, with or without the new digital cable box.
Once the conversion is complete, Charter has noted that customers will have the option to enjoy more than 200 high definition channels, and the company has also noted that internet speeds in the area will be significantly increased as well.
For any questions about the upcoming change, visitors can call Charter at 1-888-438-2427.