Cable upgrade offers area more channels

By Dave Heaton

Sycamore residents soon will be able to get more TV channels as more cable TV services are implemented into the area with DeKalb to follow in their footsteps next year.

Warner Cable TV, 1430 Sycamore Road, has begun a long-awaited upgrade of its cable service, said general manager Andrew Bast.

Bast said construction for the new system began Jan. 21. The upgrade is being conducted in phases and customers included in the first phase received the new service as early as Feb. 17, he said. The first phase included areas in Sycamore north of Exchange Street.

Bast said the new Sycamore cable system will allow Warner Cable to expand the channel capacity from the present capability of 36 channels to a capability of 60 channels.

The upgrade will allow six new services to be added to the current system, he said. These new services include Turner Network Television (TNT), Black Entertainment Television, American Movie Classics, The Family Channel, Entertainment TV and Comedy Central, all of which will be included in the standard service.

Bast said that although the monthly price for the service will increase, the actual cost per channel for Sycamore customers will decrease from 66 to 62 cents per channel.

Not only will more channels be added, but the new fiber optic cable being implemented will improve the overall quality of the whole system, Bast said.

“Fiber is the most advanced technology in use in the industry today and will offer our customers improved picture quality while providing for enhanced system reliability,” Bast said.

He said fiber optic cable is much better than the standard coaxial wire. “As electrical signals are passed down a line, the impulses lose strength. With fiber, the ratio of the loss in strength of an impulse is much lower than the conventional copper wire,” Bast said.

Warner Cable will begin upgrading in DeKalb in 1993, Bast said. The system in Sycamore will be upgraded first because Sycamore renewed its franchise agreement with Warner in 1989, and DeKalb didn’t renew its contract until 1991.