This is for all students at USAO who will be living on-campus during the Summer/Fall 2011 semester (and onwards).


Suddenlink (USAO’s cable-TV provider) has informed us that they are going completely digital with the cable TV service on our campus. Digital TV offers superior picture and sound quality.


When will this happen?

      June 1, 2011.
 

What does this mean for you?

There is no extra monthly fee for the digital cable TV service.

However, if you have a TV without a built-in QAM tuner, then you will need to acquire a DTA (digital television adapter) for your TV to be able to receive the digital cable-channels. This has to be done by the 1st of June.

Once we go fully digital, you will be able to receive HD (high-definition) versions of the local-broadcast and some cable-TV channels. Even the SD (standard-definition) channels will have much better audio and video quality.

NOTE: Most TVs sold in the US after 2006 include a QAM tuner - though some low-end and less expensive models still do not include the functionality to tune digital channels (as of TVs made in 2009). The FCC has no current requirements for TVs to have QAM tuners. Some TVs do have the QAM feature but do not describe it in the user manual, choosing instead to place it under the category of a channel scan on the TV’s menu-options. Some of the older non-standardized QAM tuners might not recognize the channel lineup from Suddenlink correctly, in which case you might still need a DTA for your TV.

We recommend that you check the specifications in the user-manual booklet that came with your TV it to see if it has a built-in QAM tuner. If necessary, look in the menu-options of your TV. And as a final touch, you might even do some online research if needed.

Suddenlink began its simulcast on April 5. That means that Suddenlink is currently broadcasting its cable TV signal on both analog and digital channels. This will allow everyone to reprogram their TVs to determine if the TV will pick-up the digital programming. Just scan for channels like you would anytime but FOR DIGITAL SCAN, not analog. Depending on your TV model, you might end up with 2 of every channel (one analog version, and the other digital – the difference in quality should be apparent).

The only TVs needing a DTA (digital television adapter) converter are those that:

1)  TV does not pick up channels 48-51
2)  Does not have the option to scan for digital channels

If you’re a student who lives on campus at USAO, you can go by the Suddenlink office located at  1108 S. 4th Street and pick-up a DTA for a refundable deposit (around $40-$50). You can also upgrade your cable TV services (e.g. adding HBO, and DVR capability). The billing will be between Suddenlink and the student, and the college will not be accountable/responsible for the transaction.


NOTE: Without a DTA (or a built-in QAM tuner), there is no other way to watch cable channels on your TV in either Sparks Hall and/or Lawson Hall after June 1. We regret the inconvenience that some students might incur because of this. Please understand that this conversion to a digital cable service is happening as a result of corporate policy by our cable provider, not because of any decision taken by USAO. Nonetheless, this is a move in the right direction because going digital will only increase the quality of service that we currently have.

Read more:

QAM tuner:
http://fpb.cc/telephone/
http://www.qamtuner.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_%28television%29

DTA - Digital Television Adapter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television_adapter

Cable Vs. Digital TV:
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5853207_cable-vs_-digital-tv.html#ixzz1HSbCdOIW


If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the office of Information Services at USAO: ithelp@usao.edu or 405-574-1245