Seattle and surrounding cities and towns represent Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) latest target for a conversion to all-digital programming. The conversion will take effect in Seattle, Spokane and Bellevue, Wash., early next year, but will happen sooner—later this year--in some areas around Seattle, including South King and Snohomish Counties, and Tacoma and Burien.
Basic cable TV customers will need to get digital terminal adapters from Comcast in order to avoid service interruptions. Though Comcast is providing plenty of advance warning to its Washington state customers about the all-digital conversion, the switchover is sure to catch some customers by surprise. That seems to be the pattern for many cable TV companies as they make the move to all-digital in pursuit of better high-speed broadband and increased programming options.
Comcast itself has some experience with customers ignoring numerous notices about the conversion, then showing up all at once to claim the digital terminal adapters. Back in January, a Florida newspaper ran a video of hundreds of customers waiting in line for new equipment from Comcast after they woke up on the morning of the conversion to find they had no cable TV.
- see this Seattle Times blog post
Comcast customers in Florida didn't act on conversion notices
Comcast completed a digital conversion in Yuba, Calif., in June