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|Cable changes dicussed in Vidalia|
Cable changes discussed in Vidalia
A representative of the local cable system updated the Vidalia Town Council and local residents Tuesday night on upcoming broadcast changes.
Bobby McCool of Cable One attended the council's regular monthly meeting at the request of Mayor Hyram Copeland.
With the conversion from analog to digital signals as required by law, Vidalia subscribers of Cable One were recently notified that several local channels would not be available after January 1st.
The cable company dropped WBRZ (Ch. 2), KARD (Ch. 3) and KALB (Ch. 5), but McCool said that the changes were not by their choice.
"We are in the business to keep customers," said McCool. "We had no choice in the matter."
McCool stated that signal strength was the biggest issue in deciding what channels would be kept. For example, WBRZ (Ch. 2) out of Baton Rouge, does not have a strong enough signal to be carried digitally. He explained that with analog they were able to carry the station, albeit it with reduced quality. With a digital signal, subscribers would see a blank screen.
"Many TV stations had to make a big investment as we did," said McCool. "They have to increase their power output for us to receive the digital signal."
McCool said the new lineup will include all the major networks as well as local weather updates exclusively for Vidalia on The Weather Channel. He also stated new additions of high definition channels as they become available.
Cable One will continue to carry WLBT - NBC (channel 6), WJTV - CBS (channel 12) and WAPT - ABC (channel 11) so customers will still be able to see all major broadcast primetime programming.
Looking to the future, McCool stated that the company is currently searching for a crossing of the Mississippi River to carry a new fiber optic line that would greatly improve service to Vidalia subscribers.
The current signal is carried to Vidalia via microwave across the river, which McCool said has always been a problem making the signal sensitive to weather and other issues.
He stated that they are working to find a crossing five miles either North of South of the Mississippi River Bridge.
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