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Time Warner Communications Plans Fall Launch of Digital Cable in Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 1999--Time Warner Communications will launch its new Digital Cable service in Columbus this fall. The central Ohio rollout will be among Time Warner's first for the new service, which connects to a television the same way as the current system, but uses digital signals to deliver programming.

"Digital Cable will offer our central Ohio customers the kind of viewing experience they've always wanted from television -- digital picture and sound, dozens more channels and an innovative on-screen channel guide -- for under $10 more per month than they're spending now," said Columbus Division President Terry O'Connell. "With 60-70 additional digital channels, we can deliver customers just what they've been asking for: superior picture and sound quality, greater programming variety than ever before and a better way to navigate through all their favorite channels."

Columbus will be one of the first cities to offer the service because the Division has upgraded its central Ohio network to 750 MHz and now has 1,331 miles of fiber-optic cable.

Though the programming and pricing plans have not been finalized, customers who choose to receive the optional service should expect to pay between $3 and $9 more a month, depending on the programming packages they choose.

Time Warner's digital standard tier will offer 10-15 new channels. In addition, the new line-up also includes more pay-per-view and premium channels. Movie fans will appreciate the improved convenience and control of Digital Cable's 30 pay-per-view channels, with movies shown every half-hour or so. Premium customers will enjoy, for no extra cost, the enhanced choice that comes with Digital Cable's 20 additional screens of HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz!/Encore.

As for navigating through all of these additional choices, Digital Cable comes with Time Warner's innovative on-screen channel guide. The guide features bright, clear graphics, easy-to-use menus and a unique "picture-in-grid" that allows viewers to watch a program in the corner of the screen while using the guide.

"This new guide makes it easy and fun for Digital Cable customers to find details about any program that's on today, tomorrow or up to a week from now," said O'Connell.

The guide's security features will have special appeal for parents. A Personal Identification Number allows parents to block their children's access to certain programs by channel, content rating or time period.

Digital Cable will feature all of these features and functions without the drawbacks of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) systems. Just like current cable service, Digital Cable will include all Columbus-area broadcast stations. Digital Cable customers will not have to invest money up front to buy or install the system, and they will be able to hook up all their TVs with inexpensive additional outlets. And if Digital Cable needs servicing, central Ohio customers will get dependable, guaranteed 24-hour customer service from local Time Warner technicians.

Digital Cable takes advantage of Time Warner Communications' recent upgrade to fiber-optic cable, which enables television signals to be delivered digitally to the digital cable terminal in a customer's home. The box then translates the signals so televisions can display them.

Digital signal delivery lets viewers see a consistently clearer, sharper picture. And by enabling several digital channels to be carried in the space previously occupied by one standard channel, digital transmission also dramatically increases Time Warner's channel capacity.

Time Warner Communications serves nearly 200,000 households in 39 central Ohio communities. It is a division of Time Warner Cable, which owns and manages the world's most advanced, best clustered cable television operations, with 80 percent of its 12 million customers in systems of 100,000 subscribers or more. Time Warner Cable is a division of Time Warner Entertainment.
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Feb 15, 1999
Words:610
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