Access Channel 5, along with all other area public, educational and governmental access cable channels, is now carried digitally on Time Warner Cable TV systems in the northeastern United States. The recent change still has some viewers wondering where their local channel disappeared to. The change is part of a shift by cable companies to move all programming to a digital format.
"We are still carried on the cable system," said Chuck Kelsey, executive director for Access Channel 5. "But we keep getting calls from people wondering how come they cannot get us anymore." Kelsey said that despite subscribers receiving a letter from Time Warner explaining all this, it is very confusing to many people.
"If your cable service utilizes any type of converter box provided by the cable company, you should be receiving channel 5 with no problem," according to Kelsey. "If you have a converter and cannot recieve our signal, you need to schedule a service call with Time Warner."
However, subscribers using a newer, flat-panel television that is directly connected to the cable system, with no cable box, will still work. The user needs to "auto-scan" their television in order to pick up new or re-located channels.
"On the flat-panel sets without a converter, we will be found on channel 21.4 (or 21-4)," Kelsey said. This channel number will be different in areas outside of our service area. Access Channel 5 serves viewers in the towns of Chautauqua, North Harmony (down 394 to BOCES), Sherman, Ripley, Westfield and Portland (the western half), as well as the villages of Mayville, Sherman and Westfield.
Viewers using only an older television set will not be able to watch any digital channels without a converter or digital adapter box provided by Time Warner. The digital adapter box is free for a period of time, but will at some point cost 99 cents per month.
"An older set is one with a glass picture tube and is almost as deep in size as it is wide," Kelsey explained.
Because there is a possibility of some other issues that could cause difficulties in receiving certain digital channels, Kelsey suggests that a call to Time Warner may be needed to resolve select, individual problems that may remain.