Insight Communications, a cable-television, Internet and telephone service provider for Lexington, announced service changes this week, including additional high-definition TV channels and the launch later this year of faster broadband Internet service.
Called Digital 5.0, the changes to cable TV include the additions of HD channels ABC Family (Channel 982), WGN America (Channel 940) and Lifetime (Channel 985).
Insight also is removing some analog versions of channels, including C-SPAN 2 and Marketplace 6. Analog versions take up more bandwidth, which the cable company has said will be better used to provide additional digital and HD channels.
The company also has launched a service called Total Home on Demand, which allows customers with Insight digital receivers to begin watching an on-demand show in one room of their homes and finish it in a different one. Insight's DVRs also have added overlap protection and live recording extensions, so if programs run long, they'll continue to be recorded.
Digital 5.0 has been rolled out automatically throughout Lexington this week, and it doesn't come with additional costs, Insight spokesman Jason Keller said.
In his blog, Insight chief executive Michael Willner addressed the prospect of additional HD channels.
"I know many of you are counting on more HD channels. And I want you to know that we are totally committed to more HD — much more," he wrote. "Our Digital 5.0 release is not primarily about HD, though. ... Even before we announce a new release of service, we're already long working on the next."
The company also announced this week that it will offer 30 Mbps Internet service to residential customers by the end of the year. The service will offer download speeds of 30 megabits a second and upload speeds of 3 megabits a second.
The company now offers 10 Mbps service, as well as 20 Mbps service for an additional $10 a month. Upgrading to 30 Mbps service will cost an additional $15 a month on top of the 20 Mbps service price, Keller said.
Willner wrote that users of 30 Mbps might need to upgrade their wireless routers. The company has found through testing that 802.11 G standard wireless routers, although expected to transmit as much as 54 Mbps, aren't performing as well as expected. He suggested that users upgrade to N routers.
The upgrade to 30 Mbps broadband will be the last under Insight's current technology platform. The company uses what is called DOCSIS 2.0, a system for moving data over cable lines, and is upgrading to the newer platform DOCSIS 3.0, which was released a few years ago.
"It allows for much faster Internet speeds than what customers currently have," Keller said, noting the possibility of speeds of as much as 100 Mbps.
No time frame has been announced for the switch to DOCSIS 3.0.