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Are We Ready for DTV — Part 2 

One month from today, TV stations will stop broadcasting their analog signal.The switchover to digital has meant a lot of work for a lot of people. Lots of viewers had no problems getting their houses ready for the digital switch, but for others, there were snags along the way.”Just because they got analog at one time, they’re not necessarily going to be getting digital,” says Anthony Delfin, an outdoor antenna and satellite installer. “So it has not been a very friendly transition. A lot of folks, in fact, are quite disappointed in terms of reception.”There’s no data available showing how many Mainers gave up trying to find a digital signal and switched over to cable or satellite.Delfin and his son, Joseph, own Patriot Satellite and Appliance in Brewer. They take calls from folks who aren’t always happy with the DTV switch.”And they feel as though, well hey, I’ve had this for a generation, 20-25 years, and now I’ve got to pay for it? Especially for older folks on fixed incomes, they’re not able to afford cable or Dish Network or Directv, and there’s a lot of confusion about what analog TV is versus digital. So we’ve been answering a lot of questions along those lines.”He says he’s seen an uptick in business for about the past nine months. For some, an outdoor antenna helped them find the digital signal. Others, especially in areas where cable isn’t available, decided to install satellite TV.”Things rolled out very badly with the DTV transition, lets be honest,” says TV5 Program Director Steve Hiltz. “We were all in the dark, even the broadcasters were. We had to switch.”Hiltz says the government sometimes sent out mixed messages.”We waited patiently, we heard about this DTV converter box that never got to market until what, about a year ago. Everyone had to get their coupons right now, and use them right now,” he says.He says now that most of the big issues have been ironed out, he’s hoping for a smooth transition on June 12th.”Here’s the real truth. Digital signals are better than analog signals, it’s a cleaner, better signal and folks who have found it will tell you that.”Even though the majority of people are ready for the analog signal to be dropped, folks who help people find the digital signal are ready for phone calls the day after June 12th.”We may not be able to help everyone,” Hiltz says, “but we will do all that we can.”