Insight Drives Digital Upgrades


Insight Communications has completed digital-simulcast upgrades across its footprint — delivering all channel lineups in digital format — and expects to kick its top broadband tier to 30 Megabits per second by the end of 2009.

By simulcasting every channel in digital, Insight eventually will be able to free up bandwidth by eliminating the analog versions. That, in turn, will allow Insight to provide new services, such as additional HD and faster broadband in the future, Insight CEO Michael Willner wrote in his blog last week.

“We've made every channel 100% digital for incredible picture and sound quality,” he wrote.

Insight will continue to deliver a lineup of 61 to 69 analog channels, depending on market, according to spokeswoman Sandy Colony.

As part of the “Digital 5.0” video upgrade, Insight is adding two digital video recorder features: overlap protection and live recording extension. Insight uses the i-Guide interactive program guide, developed through a joint venture of Comcast and Rovi.

On the video-on-demand front, Insight is introducing “Total Home On Demand,” which will let subscribers start watching an on-demand program in one room and pick it up in any other with a digital set-top. Insight also is offering some movies on VOD the same day they're released on DVD and certain movies are now available to view for 48 hours after rental.

Meanwhile, Insight is gearing up to launch a 30-Mbps downstream and 3-Mbps upstream Internet service by the end of 2009 — but won't be moving to DOCSIS 3.0 in the near term. The Broadband 30.0 service will mark the last speed upgrade prior to the operator's launch of DOCSIS 3.0 next-generation, according to Willner.

Insight is not disclosing where the 30/3 service will be available first or what the pricing will be, nor when DOCSIS 3.0-based services will be deployed. “For today's needs, Broadband 30.0 will bridge us very effectively to the time we launch DOCSIS 3.0,” Willner wrote.

According to Willner, the 30/3 tier will be faster than any other service provider in its markets. The MSO is the ninth-largest U.S. cable operator with about 722,000 customers in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.