I received a notice from Rogers Cable in the mail this morning, about their decision to shuffle some channels about in the cable lineup. The notice is a little confusing: two stations are moved from channels 61 and 69 to 95 and 96, but does this mean that they are becoming digital-only stations? 95-96 do exist as analog cable channels, but Rogers never used these high channel numbers in the analog lineup, so I am not sure. I am concerned because I am not a fan of proliferating set-top boxes and remotes, so I remain a happy analog cable customer for now… but I fear that the beginning of the end is near, and set-top boxes will soon be inevitable.
But I am even more concerned about another change: the station on channel 64, WPBS from Watertown, is altogether being removed from the lineup, to be replaced by a PBS channel from Detroit. Rogers has done this in the past, replacing US network channels that were coming to us from Watertown with their Detroit equivalents, and I can’t say that we are better off with that change. However, WPBS is special: it has many supporters, even many volunteers in the Ottawa area, and the channel has been serving the Ottawa valley faithfully for many decades.
Rogers claims that they’re doing what they’re doing in response to customer demand. Forgive my French but… piss off, will ya? Months ago I phoned Rogers about a simple problem, namely that the audio on several analog channels (including music channels) is missing either the left or the right channel (yes, I checked, it’s not my equipment.) You’d think that a company concerned about their customers would fix such a simple and embarrassing technical issue. But they didn’t. So I can perhaps be forgiven if I call their sad little excuse a flat out, unadulterated, shameless lie.