Upgrade needed for some Comcast customers

PHILADELPHIA - September 2, 2009

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Action News has been receiving questions from viewers about letters and phone calls they've been getting from Comcast about upgrading their service. Our viewers want to know is this legit and will it cost me anything? So we went straight to the company for answers.

Comcast Cable is rolling out a change in service for some of its customers.

You'll be affected if you're a customer with Expanded Basic service and no digital set-top box or other digital device attached to your TV.

Once Comcast makes the change in your area, unless you've taken action, you will lose channels ranging from 26 up through 99.

"These are channels like ESPN, MSNBC, CNN, or MTV. Customers will need a piece of digital equipment in the home, attached to the television set in order to receive those expanded basic television channels," Jeff Alexander of Comcast Cable said.

Comcast says the good news is it will provide you three digital devices for free and once you install them, the company says you'll get a lot more for your money, including 25 extra channels, but your monthly bill will not go up as a result of this upgraded service.

"It is a digital service upgrade; we're calling it World of More," Alexander said.

However, if you're an Expanded Basic customer and you do not install digital devices on all your TVs, Alexander says, you will revert to a Limited Basic level of service and your bill will adjust to reflect that.

Comcast will notify you in advance of the change in your area so you have time to get your devices.

Additional devices after your first three will cost a minimum of $2 a month.

If you want Comcast to install them, that will cost about $18.

Again, this only affects Expanded Basic service. Limited Basic customers will not be affected. Comcast has already switched over some cities and townships and says it will complete the entire upgrade for our viewing area by 2010.

It should be noted, this has nothing to do with the broadcast switch to digital mandated by the federal government back in June. This digital upgrade is a business decision made by Comcast.

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