Laguna Woods Village TV will be making a transition to a fully digital cable service starting early 2018, eventually removing all of its analog channels.
Chuck Holland, who is in charge of broadband services, said the transition to digital is necessary to bring Laguna Woods Village TV on par with outside competitors, such as Cox or Charter Communications. Since the Federal Communications Commission ceased the requirement to continue analog TV services in 2008, independently run Village TV is almost 10 years behind, Holland said.
“It has to happen for the good of the community,” Holland said. “Change is difficult, we get it. There’s still probably a lot of analog TVs out there, but we have to make the move (to digital).”
With 200-plus channels on Village TV, the 55 analog channels will be transitioned to standard definition within the next year or two. For every one analog channel, Holland said he can put 15 digital channels on the network.
“So you can see that 55 channels is taking up quite a bit of space on our network,” he said.
The transition, which Holland refers to as the broadband improvement project, will increase the amount of bandwidth and internet speeds by eventually removing the analog channels, he said.
“We’ve got to remove those analog channels to free up the bandwidth space and transmission capacity to offer all of those new services,” Holland said. “We (will) conserve energy and it’s more efficient for us to utilize the new technology instead of bandaging the old technology.”
Starting sometime in February, the analog channels will be converted to standard definition, with the same channel numbers. All of the same programs will be available to those who have digital TVs, or if residents want to keep their analog TV, they can rent a set-top converter box for $7.25 per month.
“If they pay for a set-top box for the analog TV with the monthly fee, they can continue to use their analog TV,” Holland said. “It’s like…