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updated: 6/14/2013 1:55 PM

Mediacom subscribers get more channels with network upgrade

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Mediacom cable subscribers in Elburn, Gilberts, Hampshire, Kaneville, Maple Park and Sugar Grove in Kane County and nearby counties can look forward to 51 additional high-definition channels, bringing the total to 105 after the company upgraded its network.

Mediacom, which serves smaller towns, competes with DirectTV and Dish in Kane, DeKalb, LaSalle, Livingston and Ogle counties where the upgrade has been completed.

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Subscribers in McHenry County likely will see the additional channels beginning next week, said Mediacom spokeswoman Phyllis Peters.

"This was our final step in a digital upgrade," she said.

Mediacom subscribers pay $32.58 per month for the basic/local package, $75.58 per month for the family package, and higher fees for other packages, depending on what's selected. The network upgrade has not increased those monthly fees, she said.

Customers using nondigital, older TVs have received digital adapters, the company said.

The new HD channels include ABC Family and the Hallmark Channel. HD versions for Fox Business, CBS College Sports, ESPN U and other sports channels were added to the Sports and Information Digital Package.

For years, the networks had provided content in both analog and digital formats. Comcast and others upgraded in recent years, while Mediacom just completed its upgrade by eliminating all of its analog technology, she said.

"We've opened and repurposed our bandwidth and now have the capacity to meet today's needs," she said.

The company is also thinking about tomorrow's needs. Mediacom plans to double its Internet speeds and offer TiVo capabilities in the future, she said.

Surfing: Buffalo Grove native Tim Jahn, co-founder and chief technology officer at Chicago-based Matchist.com said the site won the New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business last week. The site, which matches projects to three top developers, won $30,000 in cash and over $100,000 in prizes. The competition had 9 finalists out of 100 that applied. Successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the Chicago community were judges including Bryan Johnson, founder of Braintree and Matt Maloney, CEO of GrubHub. Matchist.com Co-founder of the site is Stella Fayman.

• A Microsoft retail store is opening inside Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Saturday, June 22. It's the second area Microsoft store. The other is in Oak Brook Center.

• Boston-based Nara has added Arlington Heights. Nara is a restaurant recommendation website and mobile app that's like Pandora and Yelp combined. Nara works by learning your dining preferences to form a tailored list of restaurant recommendations.

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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