More HDTV Cable

Things continue to look up for HDTV fans wedded to a cable provider. Following close on the heels of a similar recent announcement from Comcast Cable, Charter Communications announced last week that high definition television (HDTV) programming will be made available to some of its customers during the second quarter of this year.

The cable giant says that five markets will initially be converted: Alhambra/Pasadena and Glendale/Burbank, CA; University Park, TX; South Miami, FL; and Birmingham, AL. More markets, including Kalamazoo, MI and St. Louis, MO, will be added during the third quarter of the year says the company.

According to Charter, it will initially have the capability to deliver HDTV programming from the HBO and Showtime networks and the major broadcast television networks, where available.

Charter's John Pietri explains, "As more high-definition televisions are purchased by our customers, we need to be responsive to their special needs. HDTV technology provides an incredible viewing experience, and Charter's hybrid fiber-coax infrastructure, perhaps the most advanced in the industry, will provide high definition television owners with the ultimate viewing experience."

"These seven markets are just a beginning for Charter and HDTV," Mr. Pietri said. "We fully expect to deliver HDTV programming to even more markets by the end of the year." Mr. Pietri added that customers with high definition televisions will use a special HDTV device from Charter to access HDTV programming. Details of the HDTV packages will be announced in a few weeks.