LUS Fiber has announced a long awaited upgrade to its cable service: a new digital cable operating system developed by Microsoft touted as the answer to the state-of-the-art television features LUS has long promised. The upgraded software, Microsoft Mediaroom, is already being used in several other markets, serving more than four million consumers worldwide. The upgrade will require existing LUS digital cable subscribers to changeout their cable settop boxes, and in a press conference yesterday, LUS Director Terry Huval said LUS technicians are already calling cable subscribers and scheduling appointments to deliver the new system.
"During the deployment of our LUS Fiber system, a number of our customers asked us for more advanced video features," Huval said. "Microsoft Mediaroom provides the platform that will deliver the features our customers want and, because it's a web-based system, it offers us endless possibilities for future applications and expansion."
Faced with mounting complaints over its digital cable interface and glitchy digital video recorders (DVRs), the upgrade comes at a welcome time as LUS prepares to complete its citywide fiber rollout next month. The new features Microsoft Mediaroom will bring includes whole home DVR, which links set top boxes in the home so you can record a program on one TV and watch it on another; instant channel change, which allows for seamless viewing while channel surfing; and advanced program searching, where viewers can search for programs by title or genre.
City-Parish President Joey Durel, who has been touting the new cable upgrade in recent public appearance, stated in a press release: "We are excited about the unique features of Microsoft Mediaroom and are moving as fast as possible to upgrade our existing customers to the new system."
Not to be outdone, LUS' chief competitor, Cox Communications, today announced the launch of nine new channels, including six new High Definition (HD) channels, a new interactive Music Choice Channel, a digital shopping network and a leased access channel. Channels launches for the market includes: Wize Buys (ch. 117), Leased Access (Ch. 195), Pay Per View (PPV) HD (Ch. 701), FSN Houston HD (Ch. 721), Fox Soccer HD (Ch. 783), Starz Edge HD (Ch. 798), Style HD (Ch. 789), We HD (Ch. 799), and SWRV (Ch. 900). With this launch, Cox now offers 81 HD channels in its Acadiana Market which includes all or parts of Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion Parishes.