New Reorganized Bright House Channel Lineup Good but Not Great

Starting December 11, Bright House Networks here in Indiana is completely reorganizing their channel listings. You can read about the changes at their website http://brighthouse.com/newlineup. They provide a link like this where you can download a PDF of the new channel listings. I found it very confusing because they list the channels according to packages such as Basic, Standard, Digital, Premium etc. instead of listing them numerically or pointing out the new categories under which they are organized such as music, sports, news, entertainment, family etc.

I decided to make an edited version of this chart for myself to try to make sense of it. In some cases my version isn’t a whole lot better because their new reorganized system isn’t as organized as I think it ought to be. Click here to download my edited version.

Here is my commentary on what is in this chart.

The “Category” column is a way that Bright House categorizes its channels depending on which packages you have purchased. In some instances channels were listed in more than one category. I only listed one category and I was inconsistent in which of the two I chose. That really isn’t the point of this table. The analog column is a little bit of a misnomer because not all of the single-digit and two digit channels really are available on analog (i.e. without a converter box of some sort). I didn’t bother to keep track of those. It seems like the one and two digit channels are pretty much irrelevant. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the analog channels disappeared sometime soon. There are also some digital channels available if you have a digital tuner but no cable box but I’ve not noted any of those. We will have to wait and see which ones are available once the changeover takes place.

Here are some of the inconsistencies I wasn’t able to work out. For some reason channels 15 and 22 don’t seem to have a 100 series equivalent listed. It also says that HD Showcase on Demand is available on both 797 which was its existing number and 1130. Similarly HD Movies on Demand are listed in both 798 and 1600. That sort of violates the rule that all of the HD channels are 1000 and up. Public broadcasting WFYI is listed on 20, 1020, 349, and 1349. These may actually be two different sets of channels. That station has several sub channels such as WFYI 2 WFYI+ etc. some of which are listed separately. We will have to wait and see what really shows up.

I’m a little bit surprised that in this reorganization they haven’t done as much reorganizing as I might have done if I were sort everything out and starting from scratch. Here are their categories is best I can figure out.

The fact that the SD and HD channels are completely separated and that the numbering system is completely consistent between SD and HD is the very best part of this whole reorganization especially in the premium channel movie section. In the old system we had HD and SD premium channels intermixed with one another. Some were in the 200 range while others were in the 700 range.

The first group seems to be broadcast channels (3-20,1003-1020) which seems to make pretty good sense.

Is what I would call kids and family (101-128,1101-1128) which is a reasonably good grouping.

Then we get a strange mix of standard or basic cable channels (131,174-1174). I would’ve organize these much better. It starts off with TBS, TNT, FX, AMC, USA, A&E which is a nice grouping. I was going to comment that AMC ought to be down in the 600s with the other movie channels but I just noticed is duplicated there. That’s confusing. These are followed by Tru TV, Spike, G4 which isn’t too bad.

Then we go into a bunch of “educational” channels such as Discovery, History, Destination America, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, Nat Geo Wild, Investigation Discovery, C&I, Biography, H2, Military, Military History, Science, Smithsonian. Okay so we could call that a group but then we jump to Syfy, Chiller, Comedy Central, BBC America, Cloo. It seems to me they should have been listed with the other basic cable entertainment channels such as TNT, Spike etc. without all of the educational channels in between.

We get three channels of reruns (175-177, 1175) TV land, WTHR Me-TV,WXIN Antenna TV which is a nice cluster.

Next we get the music category such as MTV, VH1 etc. which is pretty well organized (182-199, 1182-1997) except I don’t know why MC on demand is 199 SD but 1997 HD.

The next category I think the cable company would probably categorize as “lifestyle” (201-244, 1201-1229) since they have a channel called “Lifestyle on Demand” this includes HGTV, food network, Cooking, travel, fitness and health, style etc. The fact that they put the grossly misnamed “The Learning Channel” in this category rather than up there with discovery etc. is proof that Honey Boo-Boo is not just the symptom, it’s the disease. I’m a little surprised that Bravo is down here rather than up with TBS, TNT, A&E and other basic entertainment channels. Also BET could’ve been up there with the weather entertainment channels. Being black isn’t a lifestyle. I’m not really sure what some of the other channels in this area are all about. Some of them such as GSN maybe should’ve been up there with the rerun category.

Religious channels are grouped nicely (251, 255-1255) These are followed by shopping channels (266-284, 1266-1268) however it’s a shame there’s no option to disable these channels. At least with them all grouped together they are easier to avoid. For some reason 298 is Movies on Demand is its old channel number. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a mistake in the original chart.

Next we get news and public affairs (301-361, 1301-1349) which includes your usual CNN, Fox News, MSNBC as well as business channels FOX Business, CNBC, Bloomberg. Also includes the weather channels, C-SPAN, government access, extra PBS channels and additional copies of the local rerun channels.

The most reorganized and best reorganized are the sports categories. It starts off with (401-409, 1401-1409) which is all of the ESPN right next to one another. Then we get local sports (410-413, 1411-1413) hometown sports, Fox sports Indiana, Big Ten. Then at 416-425, 1416-1425) we get all of the leaf networks such as NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL followed by NBC sports and CBSSports. Race fans will be glad to see (427-428, 1427-1430) which are Speed, Fuel, Velocity, Mav TV. Some of these sports channels are only available in the premium Sports Pass package such as NFL Red Zone and MLB Strike Zone and CBS Sports. The remaining sports Pass channels (435-487, 1435-1486) such as other regional Fox sports, outdoor, sportsmen, fishing etc. The extra Big Ten Network channels follow that along with Pac 12 which is part of Sports Pass. The big premium sports packages such as ESPN game plan, NBA league Pass, MLB extra innings, NHL Center ice are all in the range (500-554, 1500-1554).

Pretty much everything else is movies starting at 600. It kicks off with HMC, AMC, TCM, LMN, Sundance, IFC. Then a jumble of other movie Pass channels and standard cable movie channels such as Fox movie, and Reelz. Then we get premium “HD Pack” from 1619-1624 which is okay for things like HMC and MGM but really out of place for stuff like Smithsonian.

The rest of the movie sections are very well organized. Encore (637-647, 1637-1646), HBO (660-674, 1660-1668), Cinemax (680-688, 1680-1688), Showtime (702-711, 1702-1711), The Movie Channel (720-722, 1720 was 1722), Starz (730-735, 1731). As mentioned earlier the reorganization of this section was the most sorely needed part especially separating SD from HD and numbering them consistently. They did a great job. I still wish we could get more Starz HD channels especially Starz HD on-demand which is unavailable on Bright House.

Next we get various subscription on demand mostly adult (750-784, 1755 -1758) such as Playboy, Hustler, etc. Also included in this range are pay-per-view channels both entertainment and adult. There are some music channels in the range 792-796. The 800 series are all Spanish-language some of which are available elsewhere such as the PBS Spanish station and the HBO Spanish channels. There are more music channels in the 1795-1799 and 1951-1997 range. They are not described as HD even though they are over 1000 so there’s a little inconsistency.

ESPN 3-D is the only channel in the so-called 3-D Pass package at 1747.

Overall it’s a big improvement over what we had before but I really think they could’ve been a little more consistent in that 100s range in separating out the educational channels from the entertainment channels.

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