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Cablevision Adds HD Premium Channels

Cable operator Cablevision Systems is adding this week 15 high-definition channels from premium programmers HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz and Encore.

The new HD premium channels are taking the place of the 15 channels from Voom HD that Cablevision previously carried. Cablevision's programming arm, Rainbow Media Holdings, had previously announced in December that it was ceasing domestic operations for the Voom HD services. Satellite operator EchoStar, the only other multichannel operator to carry the Voom HD programming that originally served as the basis of a failed standalone satellite service also called Voom, dropped the Voom channels in May and is currently embroiled in litigation with Rainbow over that move.

The 15 new HD channels brings Cablevision's total offering of HD services to 70 channels. But they require subscription to premium programming packages, while the Voom channels didn't. The networks will become available to customers across Cablevision's service area over a three-day period that began Wednesday.

Cablevision says that HD penetration has reached nearly 50 percent of its iO TV digital cable households, with 1.3 million customers taking HD service.

"Cablevision is pleased to add 15 new channels to the iO TV high-definition lineup, and expand the range of entertainment options available to customers in the superior HD format," said John Trierweiler, Cablevision's senior vice president of product management, in a statement. "We continue to enhance the iO TV experience by delivering more value and customer choice without the extra equipment costs or programming package fees charged by our competitors."

The new channels can be found on iO TV in the following channel positions and require an HD capable set-top box.

772 Encore HD                                             793 HBO Latino HD
773 Starz Kids & Family HD                       794 Action MAX HD
774 Starz Edge HD                                      795 More MAX HD
775 HBO Signature HD                              796 @MAX HD
776 HBO Family HD                                    797 Outer MAX HD
777 HBO Comedy HD                                 798 Showtime Too HD
778 HBO Zone HD                                       799 Showtime Showcase HD
779 HBO2 HD