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Digital conversion may increase cable bills

Posted: 9:09 PM, Jul 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-30 00:09:51-04

The move from analog to digital television will soon be complete in the Valley. 

And many of you have let me know, you're not happy about it.

That's because subscribers to Cox Communications basic cable service--which right now is available through wall outlet--will soon have to use a converter box in order to see the programming.

So why the change? Back in 2009 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to allow cable providers to scramble their broadcast signal. Mostly to prevent people from stealing cable service from wall outlets.  

Cox calls the converter a “mini-box" and is needed to unscramble the signal for paying customers. 

But it comes at an additional cost. By law, the converters are being offered to customers at no charge for one year after. After that, the cost goes up to $2.99 per month, per television.

A Cox spokesperson tells me they are the last cable company in the state to make the switch.  Adding that customer will see an immediate difference like "...better picture and sound quality, the on-screen program guide, and in many cases, access to more channels..."

So, are you using the new mini-box?  Let me know what you think by email joe@abc15.com , on Facebook or Twitter.