Charter changes local channel lineup

Rick Wagner • Oct 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Charter Communications has changed its cable television channel lineup, including the migration of two channels from the expanded basic tier to the digital converter box tier.

In addition, four channels were switched within the extended basic tier.

The changes went into effect Wednesday. Tony Falin, director of operations for Charter in Northeast Tennessee and other locations, said customers received lineups in September mailings separate from their bills.

Charter customers who have contacted the Kingsport Times-News since the change indicated they lost access to AMC and Hallmark channels because of the change.

However, Falin said only two channels — Toon Disney and SOAPnet — moved from the expanded basic to digital tier. Toon Disney went from Channel 70 to 117, while SOAPnet went from Channel 39 to 158.

Within extended basic, Falin said, Bravo moved from Channel 75 to 39, A&E went from Channel 76 to 45, AMC went from Channel 74 to 59, and Hallmark went from Channel 77 to 70.

One of the customers indicated having a basic cable plan, which Falin said included only Channels 2-22 and 98-99, although the customer said Hallmark was viewable at 77 until Wednesday but not at 70.

Another customer indicated loss of AMC access when it went from 74 to 59 but did not indicate which plan was involved.

Falin said Charter uses filters to allow customers access only to channels on their plan.

However, Falin said in some situations older televisions have tuners that won’t receive certain cable channels at all, while other TV tuners upon initial setup search for channels with signals and block out channels with no signal. In the second scenario, the TV tuner blocks out the initially vacant channel even if it later gets a signal.

In the first situation, viewers can try to run the cable service through a VCR tuner, while running the setup mode on some sets may open up newly migrated channels.

In addition, some older TV sets will only receive channels 2-13 unless switched to cable mode rather than antenna mode.

Falin said new digital tier offerings in the change are EWTN, Day Star, Bloomberg TV, Fuel TV, Reelz Channel, MTVU, ESPN Classic, Inspirational Life, RFDTV and the Sportsman Channel.

In addition, seven high-definition channels were added: Animal Planet, Learning Channel, Food Channel, HGTV, Disney, TBS and the Western Channel, as well as a high-definition pay-per-view movie channel.

For more information go to www.charter.com, refer to channel lineups received in the mail, or refer to lineup information at the new Charter customer service center at 10417 Wallace Alley St. in the Northeast Tennessee Business Park near Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Charter also has offices at 125 Stapleton Lane in Rogersville and 204 E. C St. in Elizabethton.

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