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Mother Angelica, EWTN Go Digital on Cox Cable

Cox Cable subscribers in Fairfax County were notified recently that EWTN, among several other stations including Trinity Broadcast Network (a Protestant-run channel), was being moved to the digital tier of services March 1 to make more room in the basic analog cable service for more channels.
"We watched it a lot and we're really going to miss the variety," said Kathy Johnson, a Cox subscriber in Fairfax. She enjoyed the many evangelical programs on EWTN including Mass, the rosary, conversion shows and apologetics.
"For elderly and sickly people, that can be their connection to the Church," Johnson said. "They can participate in Mass in their living room."
An analog cable channel uses up to seven times more space or bandwidth than a digital channel. Digital service costs about $7 more per month and Cox representative Alex Horwitz said, "The majority of our customers are digital customers - so EWTN will still be available to most of our subscriber base."
While this may be true, Ron Meyer, regional marketing manager at EWTN, said the cable station has received feedback from loyal viewers who would like to see EWTN be restored to basic cable. He said that EWTN is "disappointed that it was moved to digital cable."
In the neighboring cities of Arlington and Alexandria, EWTN has been available for about the last year and a half on Comcast Cable, but only through the digital cable service.
Digital cable has sharper clarity and sound than analog cable and since it uses less bandwidth, digital customers have access to more channels.
"It's like listening to a CD versus a tape, or watching a DVD versus a VHS," said Horwitz. "The future is digital."
No extra equipment is required to subscribe to digital cable and it is not necessary to buy a newer television.
However, by only being available on a more expensive cable package, EWTN is no longer available to those on fixed budgets.
"I feel like my hand is being forced (to subscribe to a digital package) to get what I already had," Johnson said. "That doesn't seem like good business."
To contact Cox Cable and let them know how you feel about moving EWTN from basic cable to digital cable, write to Cox Communications - Herndon, 3080 Centreville Road, Herndon, Va. 20171 or call 703/378-8422. According to their Web site, it is best to call mid-afternoon.

Copyright ?2006 Arlington Catholic Herald.  All rights reserved.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2006