Updated: 07/15/2014 6:15 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 4:33 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
Charter Communications is going all-digital across the nation, and by Aug. 12, the Duluth-Superior market will follow suit, meaning changes for Twin Ports customers.
Those changes will include more than 200 high-definition channels, 10,000 video on demand options and Internet speeds that will double to 60 Mbps, but first, customers will need to obtain a digital set-box for any TV that doesn't already have one. If they don't, their TVs will lose signal.
"Anybody who has Charter services and they have their cable plugged directly into the wall, those televisions are going to need a set top box on their channels," Kimberly Noetzel, Charter's senior communications manager, said.
Noetzel said many Charter customers are eligible to receive one or more digital boxes at no cost for one or more years depending on their subscription package. After that free period, each additional box will cost customers $6.99 per month.
Stacey Verhel is a Charter customer and said she is excited about the change, as it will benefit her family full of TV lovers.
"I just think it's going to make it a little more interesting to have this extra box in the other room, so when somebody will be yelling, it will be either me my husband or our son, and then we'll just kind of go back and forth," Verhel said. "It's actually going to kind of be fun I think."
Chuck West has been a Charter customer for 10 years and said he also is anticipating the switch.
"I don't have to fight over the main TV. I can have my own TV again now," West said.
However, the eventual cost is throwing some users off. Eyewitness News reached out to Charter customers on Facebook Tuesday to hear their reactions.
Lori Kemper wrote, "I received the letter today regarding the switch. What annoys me is that they are offering only one box free and only for 12 months. Which means that if I get the number of boxes I need to fully utilize the service I am already paying for, my bill will increase substantially."
Michelle Pendell commented, "There is too much extra cost hidden in the offers, so not sure myself if I will be staying with them."
Lori Rilling shared a different opinion.
"I got my letter yesterday, and I think it will be good. If it speeds up my internet, I am all for it. I have a digital DVR.. so I don't think I have to do anything, but if I do, no big deal ..."
Noetzel said Charter is making it convenient for Duluth-Superior customers to get their digital boxes.
"We've expanded our store hours and expanded our staff," Noetzel said. "We also have a direct ship option. If customers don't want to come into the store, they can call us and we can get a box shipped directly to their home at no cost."
Charter is making the same upgrades in other areas on a community by community basis.
Minnesota, Wisconsin Try to Reboot Income Tax Reciprocity
State tax officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin say they're working to reinstate a system that allowed 80,000 people who work across their shared border to file one state income tax return.
Wisconsin Assembly Committee Takes Up Right-to-Work Bill
Testimony has begun at a public hearing on Wisconsin's right-to-work bill, after the measure rapidly passed the Senate last week. The full Assembly is expected to vote Thursday.
Apostle Islands Ice Caves Open for Short Season with Growing Popularity
This time last year the Apostle Islands Ice Cave season was about to wrap up, but this year, it's just getting started, and the shorter season had crowds flocking to the attraction for its opening weekend. Just days ago, park officials gave the okay for the ice caves to open up to the nearly 11,000 visitors who came over the weekend.
Reward Offered in Red Lake Burning Puppy Case
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to whoever left a puppy to die in a burning trash bin in northern Minnesota.
New Candidate for At-Large Duluth City Council Seat
The Duluth City Council at-large seat now has a new candidate in the running. Noah Hobbs announced on Sunday that he's running for the position.