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WABI TV5 and The CW Begin VHF Broadcasting December 13 

WABI TV5, the CBS and CW network affiliate in Bangor, has completed installation and initial testing of antenna and transmitter equipment for its planned switch from UHF operations to VHF operations, and has set a date and time for the switch-over. By FCC requirement, UHF operations will immediately terminate as VHF operations commence. Barring unforeseen difficulties, a “hot” switch from UHF to VHF will take place at 2:00pm on Monday, December 13. Upon the switch, viewers who receive channels 5.1 (CBS) and 5.2 (The CW) “over the air” via antenna, will likely need to rescan for channels, as their set or converter box will still look for the stations on the UHF frequency, and will need to be re-programmed to pick up the new VHF signal.  TV5 Program Director Steve Hiltz says that the station will air a number of announcements to prepare viewers for the switch to VHF.  “We realize that some people may miss earlier announcements or other reports,” Hiltz said. “So we’ll continue to air announcements right up to the switch on Monday.” Hiltz says that many viewers have asked if the switch to VHF will improve the station’s signal to their homes, while others wonder if this means that they won’t be able to receive the signal after the switch.  The answer to both questions, said Hiltz, is “we don’t know.”  Hiltz explained that individual circumstances make accurate prediction of signal performance in every location impossible. However, Hiltz says that TV5 is very optimistic about the switch from UHF to VHF, as the station’s plan includes provisions for dealing with the relative strengths and weaknesses of the system.   “How the signal will react in each and every home is – as with any broadcast signal – anyone’s guess,” Hiltz said. “However, our technicians have done extensive engineering studies and they’ve been working with industry specialists to create an antenna design and transmitter set-up that will optimize our signal. On balance, we expect to reach at least the same number of viewers as we currently do – if not more.” Hiltz says that cable and satellite viewers should not be affected by the change, as those operators will handle the switch for their subscribers.For more information about WABI TV5’s switch to VHF, please follow this link.