COLUMBUS — Local cable television subscribers will see a change next month in how they receive their services.

Charter Communications, the Stamford, Connecticut-based conglomerate that acquired Time Warner Cable and now provides services through Spectrum, plans to go fully digital in Columbus beginning the week of Aug. 14.

The digital conversion will usher in improved picture and sound quality and an expanded menu of HD channels and on-demand offerings, said Wes Shirley, senior manager of communications for Charter, in a company release touting the transition.

All cable subscribers must have a digital receiver for each television. Televisions currently getting service directly from a cable connected to the wall will go blank following the digital conversion.

Shirley said Spectrum is communicating with customers about their scheduled upgrade date via direct mail, bill messages, phone calls and messages that will appear on their television prior to the changeover.

Customers in the Columbus area should start receiving those notifications soon, if they haven’t already, Shirley said.

Although Spectrum doesn’t release information on the percentage of subscribers who already have digital receivers or the number who plug the cable into their TVs right from the wall, Shirley said the “vast majority” have at least one digital receiver.

Shirley said Spectrum plans to make it easy for customers to receive digital receivers at no cost for one, two or five years, depending on the customer’s programming package and other qualifying factors.

“Customers are encouraged to take action now, prior to the scheduled transition,” Shirley said.

The digital receiver monthly fee for customers with Spectrum packages is $4.99. Those customers who opted to keep their Time Warner packages when Charter acquired the company will pay more than $11 a month for each receiver.

The Spectrum office in Columbus is located at 2453 39th Ave. The office is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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