Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sunflower QAM channels in Lawrence

At last, a a break from speculating about the Knology purchase of Sunflower back into some good technical information on cable TV in Lawrence.

A very helpful individual named Sigmund on the Lawrence Journal World forums has done the hard work and put together an updated list of all the QAM mappings for the Sunflower Broadband Bronze cable networks.

As I have discussed last year, QAM channels are the actual digital cable channels that you watch on your TV. Most people watch these using a set-top box, which makes things easier, but at the cost of allowing "TV geeks" to use their own equipment (such as a PC-based tuner).

Anyway, Sigmund has written an absolutely wonderful blog post discussing the current state of QAM programming and Sunflower, as well as providing an up-to-date QAM channel guide.

Sadly, you'll notice the channel guide is missing some important channels, such as ESPN and Comedy Central. Commenter MizzouJayhawk notes that these channels have disappeared because of new contracts between the networks and cable company that require encryption...just like a "premium" network such as HBO.

Anyway, stop what you are doing and go read Sigmund's excellent post, and update your channel mappings in preparation for the fall TV season if you haven't already.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And, it's official

Sunflower Broadband has been purchased by Knology for (cue Dr. Evil laugh) $165 million dollars

From the MBA-speak in the Knology earnings announcement:

-- Highlights of the Sunflower transaction include:

-- Acquisition of a very well managed business with solid
operational and financial metrics
-- Maintains Knology's strategic niche, operating in secondary and
tertiary markets with favorable demographics and positive economic
growth characteristics
-- Consistent culture and value system with focus on customers and
-- Similar hybrid fiber/coax network architecture
-- Incumbent cable operator, adding approximately 54,000 homes
passed to Knology's existing footprint and approximately 105,000
RGU's to Knology's operations
-- Geography offers attractive edge-out possibilities, tack-on
acquisition and larger acquisition opportunities bridging Knology's
southeast and upper Midwest footprints

So what will this mean for Lawrence broadband customers? Time will tell. I am sure a lot of details will start to come out about the announcement today and in the weeks ahead, and we will try to keep you informed here at the Lawrence Broadband Observer.

UPDATE: This rather folksy history of Sunflower written by her soon-to-be-former sister company, the Lawrence Journal World, contains a nugget of news: the local cable network Channel 6 which provides local news, features, and community access will continue to operate on the Knology system in Lawrence.