WABI TV5 Will Continue Analog Broadcasts 

WABI TV5, the CBS and CW television affiliate in Bangor, has announced its intent to continue analog broadcast operations through the new Digital TV transition date, June 12, 2009. The decision comes as a result of the DTV Delay Act recently passed by the U.S. Senate and House.

While the Act does include provisions for stations to shut down analog earlier, subject to individual considerations, TV5 management has elected to continue analog broadcasts through the new transition date, in the greater public interest.

There has been great growth in digital reception, said TV5 General Manager Mike Young, but there are still a significant number of viewers in our area who can only receive over-the-air analog signals. Young admits that the decision is not without cost to the station.

Well have to endure the considerable unplanned expense of continuing to operate two full power transmitters one in analog and one in digital, Young said, but we feel that we have an obligation to those viewers who need more time to make the digital switch.

Young explained that some viewers need more time because they are waiting for digital converter box coupons to become available. Winter weather was also a factor in the decision to continue analog operations.

Its been a harsh winter so far, and we expect more of the same, Young said. Its important that at least one analog station stay on the air for emergency information. And some viewers may need to install new rooftop antennas in order to receive digital signals. That will be much easier, and safer, in the spring.

WABI TV5 signed on as Maines first television station on January 25, 1953. The station began limited free over-the-air digital broadcasting in 2002. TV5 currently offers a full-time digital simulcast of its analog channel, including CBS programming in high definition, and a secondary, standard definition digital channel, affiliated with The CW television network.