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Cox Going All-Digital in Northern Va.

Cox Communications announced Thursday that its Northern Virginia system, which has 260,000 subscribers, will provide all TV programming in digital format by the first quarter of 2007.

Alex Horwitz, media-relations manager for Cox Northern Virginia, said most of the 260,000 customers in the market are already digital subscribers, but he wouldn't say exactly how many. Cox Northern Virginia covers Fairfax County and Fredericksburg.

Cox Northern Virginia is now broadcasting digital versions of 11 channels in its basic tier, including those of local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates, as well as its entire cable lineup. It expects to deliver its entire basic tier in digital format by the first quarter of 2007.

To receive digital programming, subscribers in the region must install Scientific Atlanta digital set-top boxes on each TV set where they want to view the programming. Cox will continue to simulcast analog channels, so analog-only subscribers won't be affected.