Charter Doubles Down On HD In Louisiana


Charter Communications said it will expand its high-definition TV lineup to up to 44 channels in its Louisiana systems, more than doubling the number of available HD channels.

In the six Louisiana parishes where it offers service, Charter will be adding the new HDTV channels “over the next eight weeks or so,” said spokeswoman Anita Lamont, noting that channel lineups will vary among systems.

After Hurricane Katrina struck the southeast in 2005, Charter rebuilt its Louisiana cable plant to operate at 860 Megahertz. That, along with various bandwidth-management techniques, made space available for the additional HD channels, Lamont said.

The new channels include Discovery HD, Animal Planet HD, TLC HD, The Science Channel HD, A&E HD, History HD, Smithsonian HD, Golf/Versus HD, Wealth TV HD, AMC HD, IFC HD, We HD, Fuse HD, HGTV HD and Food Network HD.

In addition, the Louisiana systems are adding several premium high-definition channels, including Showtime 2 HD, Starz Edge HD, Starz Comedy HD and Starz Kids & Family HD.

Charter has a corporate goal of doubling its linear HD lineups by the end of 2008, from the low 20s to more than 40 in each market. The operator will use various bandwidth-saving technologies, including switched digital video. Charter’s Los Angeles system recently initiated an SDV trial.

In addition, Charter plans to expand its HD video-on-demand services, with the goal of providing more than 100 HD “programming options,” including VOD, in nearly all its markets by year-end.