Comcast Jumping To 101 HD Channels In Washington State

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Comcast this week will begin launching 33 high-definition networks in the Seattle market -- after announcing the addition of 31 HDs to the lineup two months ago -- bringing its HD count in the area to 101 channels.

The HD channels are being delivered in bandwidth freed up by Comcast's Project Cavalry, in which analog channels are migrated to digital-only distribution and expanded basic cable customers are provided low-cost digital transport adapters (DTAs) to continue receiving the programming.

The operator is introducing the HD channels on a rolling basis. The 31 HD channels announced in May are 50% launched in Washington state; Comcast said some areas will receive both HD channel upgrades at once, adding 64 new HD networks. The full launch is slated to be complete at the end of the year.

The Comcast lineup in the area will now include ESPNU HD, MTV HD, Comedy Central HD, MSNBC HD, Big Ten Network HD and Tennis Channel HD.

Comcast is using Pace DTAs in Seattle. A total of 40 analog channels -- within the 30 to 74 channel range -- have either been moved or are being moved to a digital-only feed.

"This is a rolling launch across western Washington that started a few months ago and will be complete in December 2009," Comcast spokeswoman Shauna Causey wrote in an e-mail.

Other markets where Comcast has initiated the Project Cavalry analog-reclamation initiative include San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Philadelphia and New Jersey. The company expects to spend $1 billion on the digital conversion, targeted for completion nationwide by the end of 2010.

In the Seattle area, Comcast will offer the new HD programming to customers in the following communities: Everett, Brier, Clearview, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Black Diamond, Covington, Enumclaw, Maple Valley, Pacific, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Carbonado, Eatonville, Graham, Orting, Roy, South Prairie, Wilkeson, Algona, Auburn, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, SeaTac, Tukwila, Edgewood, Fort Lewis, McChord AFB, Parkland, Puyallup, Sumner, Vashon Island, Arlington, Beverly Lane, Goldbar, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Silver Lake, Snohomish, Startup, Sultan, Woodscreek, Centralia, Chehalis, Lacey, Lewis County, Mason County, Olympia, Rainier, Rochester, Shelton, Tenino, Thurston County, Tumwater and Yelm.

The top MSO also is launching five standard-definition networks in the Seattle area: ESPNU, Hallmark Movie Channel, HBO Comedy West, HBO Zone West and TMC Xtra West.

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