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Cox HDTV in Las Vegas

Atlanta-based Cox Communications, Inc. is expanding its nationwide rollout of its new high definition television service with HDTV for the Las Vegas market, according to a July 22 announcement. Viewers in Cox's market of more than 600,000 homes in the desert city will be able to avail themselves of new set-top boxes using what the company describes as "completely integrated technology."

Initially, Cox Cable will offer seven channels in high definition, including Las Vegas's local CBS and PBS affiliates, which will be available at no additional charge for customers leasing an HD set-top box. Two HBO and two Showtime channels will be part of the package, also available to current HBO or Showtime subscribers leasing new HD set-top boxes. Discovery High Definition Theater will cost an additional $5 per month to current digital cable customers leasing an HD set-top box for a basic monthly fee of $10.15. Cox officials say that other high definition channels may be added to the lineup "as they become available in the market."

Cox claims that its HDTV service will offer advantages over direct broadcast satellite service, because it will include local channels in high definition at no extra cost to subscribers. DBS customers who want local service pay a premium, according to the Cox announcement.

The Las Vegas HDTV launch is part of the cable industry's commitment to making the digital format a reality for its customers, at the insistence of Federal Communications Chairman Michael Powell. The company is currently finalizing deployment plans for rollout of HDTV in other markets and will announce additional launches over the next several months. "Cox is doing its part to support FCC Chairman Michael Powell's plans for the growth, success, and proliferation of digital television," said Cox Communications president and CEO Jim Robbins.

"High Definition Television is another example of Cox bringing our customers the newest and best in home entertainment services," said Robbins. "Cox's HDTV service delivers picture and sound quality that far exceeds the experience previously available in the home. HDTV provides a picture that is six times sharper, with twice the color resolution, as compared to traditional analog television viewing. With HDTV from Cox, customers can enjoy a home theater experience unlike any other."

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