Insight Communications, Lexington's cable provider, has begun converting some of its channel lineup, including popular networks like TNT and A&E, to all digital.
For months now, the company has touted its switch to all digital, which is requiring customers to install new equipment on televisions that aren't already connected to an Insight digital cable box.
In three waves, the company has converted 18 of its upwards of 70 channels that will be changed.
The goal is to have the entire lineup converted by the end of the year, said spokesman Jason Keller.
More than 97 percent of residential customers in Lexington now have the capability of being fully digital, either by having an Insight digital box or by requesting and installing the equipment, which is called a mini-box. The mini-box plugs into the back of a television and essentially functions like the converter boxes that were popularized by the move from analog to digital over-the-air network TV.
Insight has been running messages on televisions that are not yet equipped with mini-boxes or hooked to digital cable. Those who have seen the messages but have not yet requested equipment can do so by ordering online at 610upgrade.com or calling 1-888-327-2559. For issues with installation, call (859) 514-1400. The equipment is available for pickup at the former Champs skating rink at 2555 Palumbo Drive or 3061 Fieldstone Way inside the Beaumont shopping center.
The conversion will allow Insight to add about 50 more high-definition channels and home Internet service of up to 50 megabits per second.
KET adds election site
KET has bolstered its election resources by creating a Web site — www.ket.org/election — that includes historical videos of congressional candidates. The videos come from appearances on Kentucky Tonight and One to One with Bill Goodman, as well as at the Fancy Farm political picnic. They date as far back as 1988.
"No one in Kentucky is going to have such a deep collection of these candidates," said KET spokesman Tim Bischoff.
New music video channel
Fox affiliate WDKY (Channel 56) has added a digital sub-channel that shows only music videos. Called theCoolTV, the channel is carried in a variety of markets including Louisville (WDRB-41.2) and Cincinnati (WSTR-64.2).
WDKY General Manager Michael Brickey said the station will begin airing music videos from local bands in the near future.
The station is negotiating with local cable operators, including Insight, to have it carried on cable, too.
A WEG radar
For a time recently, NBC affiliate WLEX (Channel 18) added a digital sub-channel beyond its main channel and Wazoo Sports feed. The station launched a 24-hour weather radar specifically for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Games' organizers had asked for access to a radar so they could monitor the weather during the 16-day event, explained WLEX General Manager Pat Dalbey. WLEX decided that launching a sub-channel was the easiest method, he said.
"Fortunately, they didn't have to use it much as the weather was good except for the first day or two," he said.
WLEX has since removed the radar channel and has no plans to add it back, he said.
CBS affiliate WKYT (Channel 27) has a 24-hour weather radar channel available at 27.3 over-the-air, and ABC affiliate WTVQ (Channel 36) has a 24-hour channel that shows weather and news highlights. It airs as 36.3 over-the-air and is available on channel 436 on Insight cable.
Comings and goings
■ Nikki Burdine has joined WLEX as its new weekend anchor. Burdine takes the role previously filled by Kristen Pflum, who is now co-hosting the station's 4 p.m. weekday newscast. Burdine will be a reporter on the days when she doesn't anchor, said News Director Bruce Carter. Burdine came to the station from Hagerstown, Md., and is a native of Tennessee.
■ WTVQ has hired reporter Ryan Dearbone, who most recently worked for WBKO in Bowling Green. Dearbone replaces Chris Dietz, whose contract was not renewed.
■ WTVQ reporter John McGary recently resigned, according to General Manager Chris Aldridge, who declined to offer a reason. McGary could not be reached for comment. Aldridge said his position will be filled.