Charter Does Dallas (in HDTV)


Charter Communications Inc. customers in Fort Worth, Texas, and certain
Dallas suburbs can now see TV in high-definition, including the first-ever cable
rollout of programming from Dallas-based HDNet.

The St. Louis-based MSO rolled out its service there Tuesday, offering a
lineup of around-the-clock high-definition programming.

To tap that lineup, customers must buy Scientific-Atlanta Inc. "3100HD"
boxes, which sell for $549 at local retail stores. Unlike other MSOs, Charter
does not lease the boxes, preferring an all-retail-sale distribution.

From there, customers pay $3.35 monthly to access HD service and, eventually,
HD feeds from local Dallas-metro stations. Charter is working on deals to add
the HD feeds from local broadcast affiliates.

For an added $9.95 monthly, they can get access to a cable HD-tier lineup,
which, in the new rollout, includes HDNet, HDNet Movies and Discovery HD

For Home Box Office's high-definition content, customers must subscribe to
HBO and pay the $3.35 service fee.

"The number of customers purchasing HDTV sets is steadily increasing, and
they are demanding high-quality programming," said Dan Spoelman, Charter's vice
president of operations in Fort Worth.

"Charter's high-definition service provides customers with a brilliant and
colorful video experience that is unlike anything viewers have seen before," he
added. "Charter is proud to be the first cable operator to partner with HDNet so
that we can provide our customers with the finest HDTV programming

So far, Charter has launched HD services in 18 other markets, all using S-A
conditional-access systems. The MSO also added Kalamazoo, Mich., to its HD list
in late January, marking the first launch on a Motorola Inc. conditional-access