The Director of Government Relations for Charter Communications has informed Monona Channel 12 and Cottage Grove Channel 12 of Charter’s plans to transition all PEG channels from analog to digital and place them between the numbers 980 – 994 next to three C-Span channels and Wisconsin Eye. The numbers from 980 – 998 will be marketed as the “Public Affairs Neighborhood.” The change was slated to occur in mid-August, but has now been delayed until mid-September.
- The new tentative channels for Monona and Cottage Grove would be 988 and 987 respectively.
- In the East Madison area, the channels all digital viewers could see would be: Madison (4), Waunakee (2) Cambridge (2) Deerfield, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie (2) Columbus (2) McFarland, and Monona.
- Despite the new digital location of the PEG channels, these channels will continue to be on the “basic” tier of service. However, customers who subscribe to “basic” will not receive PEG channels unless they own or rent special equipment.
- The digital format would require a QAM tuner to receive the signals. Charter’s digital converter boxes do use the QAM system. However, the digital converter boxes available at most retailers (and eligible for a $40 coupon) do not use the QAM system.
- Some new digital televisions do have a QAM tuner, but it is not a required feature. A DTV or HDTV label does not necessarily have the QAM tuner.
- Charter is planning to provide free converter boxes for 6 months to customers without digital TV’s or tuner. Customers would need to call and threaten to drop service for Charter to offer the deal. Converters would cost about $5 a month afterwards.
- Charter is working on a plan for all schools that they serve.
Many of the programs produced by Monona Community Cable are available online at www.mononatv.com. The site updates new programs weekly, but it takes several days to convert and post meetings. Other broadcasting methods are being investigated. If you have any questions, please contact the Media Coordinator, Andrew Hagen at 221-7666 extension 2133.