Cable TV is said to be on the home stretch of an upgrade from analog to digital service and is expected to start rolling out the new service by December.
LuAnne Hodge, Vice President and General Manager of BVI Cable TV told BVI Platinum News that the company is finishing works on the headend, which is the main site where all the signals come in.
She said once that is completed, testing will begin at different parts on the island in regards to the digital signal quality.
"By the time that testing is over, we will be able to distribute new digital boxes beginning December 10, 2012," Hodge stated.
She explained that everyone is not going to be coming online at the same time, but by March 1, 2013 the analog system, which uses the Pioneer branded analog boxes, will be turned off.
"So you will have to get the new digital boxes in order to be able to receive our improved programming. After March 1 next year, the current boxes will be inoperable. The new boxes will be distributed at our offices. What will happen is that at varying times, certain areas will be switched on to digital until we cover the entire island," Hodge pointed out.
Some of the benefits of the new digital system include better picture quality, more channels due to greater bandwidth because of the digital compression, better sound, interactive digital program guide, pay-per-view channels will be added to the channel line-up by spring 2013, parental access and much more.
Hodge said that the company plans to add new channels in stages by spring 2013, with greater emphasis on improving the English content offerings. Currently, Cable TV offers a maximum of 75 channels and there have been concerns expressed by residents about the inclusion of Latin content.
Hodge stated that the new move to digital will also eliminate theft, which has affected the company's operations as a large percentage of customers are not paying for cable. She explained that many persons who signed up for the service have never returned to settle accounts.
"Persons who are illegally accessing our service will not be able to do so with the analog boxes. We expect that the theft will no longer continue and those persons with the illegal boxes will have to settle their accounts," Hodge stated.
She explained that the switch of the boxes will be done on a case by case basis, based on the status of the customer's account.
Hodge stated that the new service and additional features will not immediately come at a new cost to consumers.