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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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An update on Waitsfield Cable's conversion to digital

By Gregg Haskin

Waitsfield Cable's conversion to all-digital service has been a lengthy and challenging process for us and our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during the conversion. Over the past year, we have been busy testing and installing equipment, wrestling with regulators, equipment manufacturers and content providers to build a state-of-the-art video delivery system for the Mad River Valley.

Despite extensive planning, it is impossible to account for everything that will occur when you actually "flip" the switch from analog to digital. We recognize that problems did arise for some of our customers and we worked to resolve these as quickly as possible.  

We are now one of just a handful of cable systems in the country that has made the transition to an all-digital system. The jump from analog to digital is a big step for everyone and we felt that making the move in a timely fashion was the best way to serve our customers. While the conversion itself was disruptive in the short-term, it has brought high-definition (HD) channels and additional channel capacity and will allow many benefits and enhancements well into the future.  

One of the biggest challenges was notifying our customers and distributing more than 8,000 new set-top boxes. The cutover itself was spaced over a period of three weeks and has been a total company effort. Our crews worked around the clock to complete this conversion and get all of our customers back into service.  
In the way that you have had to swap out your set-top boxes, we have had to do the same on the programming side with each channel. Needless to say, some have gone more smoothly than others. We are still in the process of receiving final authorizations from programmers to carry their channels in digital format. More channels are being added daily and we hope to have our full channel lineup available as soon as possible. Finally, programmers are introducing their HD channels at a rapid pace and we look forward to adding more as they become available.

We hope that you enjoy the digital quality picture and audio, as well as access to high-definition channels and new set-top boxes with integrated Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). We truly appreciate your patience and understanding as we make this transition to 100 percent digital. We hope that when all is said and done, you will appreciate the improvement in the quality of the service and the many new programming options that it provides. Please don't hesitate to contact our customer service department at 496-5800 if you are still experiencing any problems or have any questions regarding your new service.   

Haskin is the president and CEO of Waitsfield Cable.

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