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.
Troubled Methadone Clinic to Close in September
The Lake Superior Treatment Center, which treats heroin addicts with methadone, is soon closing.
Developer Pulls Out of Duluth Central Agreement
The Duluth School District says a developer has pulled out of a deal to buy Central High School. Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors says the pre-development timeline is extensive and costly.
Habitat for Humanity Volunteers Repair Disabled Veteran's Home
Volunteers painted, landscaped and leveled stairs at disabled veteran Randall Millen's home Tuesday. Groups from the Home Depot partnered with Habitat for Humanity's A Brush With Kindness to honor Millen for serving his country.
Hibbing Girl Continues to Wait for Medical Marijuana
Minnesota's first medical marijuana prescriptions will be filled Wednesday for qualifying patients, but one young girl from Hibbing will have to wait a bit longer.
DNR To Do Full Environmental Study on Proposed Bayfield Co. Megafarm
The Department of Natural Resources says it will require a full environmental impact study of a proposed hog "megafarm" in northern Wisconsin. The operation would house about 7,500 sows, 18,750 pigs and 100 boars in three barns in Bayfield County.