AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/)
-   Local HDTV Info and Reception (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/)
-   -   Bangor, ME - HDTV (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-local-hdtv-info-reception/233668-bangor-me-hdtv.html)

Jay Ireland 03-03-2003 07:03 PM

I have been monitoring the progress of the local TV stations roll out of DTV throughout the 2002 summer and fall time period in Bangor.

The current result is this:

Bangor ME

WVII ABC DTV Simulcast Analog
WABI CBS DTV Simulcast Analog
WMEB PBS HD/SDTV Multicast Analog

It is important to note that ABC and CBS are not currently capable of passing their respective networks HDTV programming to the local market due to the economics of acquiring the necessary hardware.

I have emailed all the local stations and have not found much enthusiasm
with HDTV technical correspondence, replies are more of a reply as a customer service response not a genuine interest in HDTV.

WVII ABC [email protected]

WABI CBS [email protected]

WLBZ NBC [email protected]

George Thompson 03-04-2003 07:23 AM

Jay, are you familiar with the engineers or owners of stations there in Bangor? I spent some time there right out of college in the '70's at WABI. My former boss in Skowhegan sold the cable systems I managed when he bought WVII. (Grade A or B contours) I just wonder if anyone knows what happened to John Pineau. He also owned WTOS, WSKW and an Auburn station. He gave me my first job out of college as Director of Engineering for Valley Communications. It was fun being chief of WTOS and having access to SugarLoaf.....

Jay Ireland 03-04-2003 02:26 PM


No I am not aquainted with any of these folks. I am new to the area and had hoped to spark some interest on the forum of H/DTV but there doesn't seem to be any. Perhaps an email with a link to this thread may. We'll see.


DrJoe 03-08-2003 07:54 AM

Thanks for the info.

I am being relocated to Maine this summer -- will be working in Portland, but think Iwill have to move into the Auburn/Lewiston area to find affordable housing. According to Titan TV. I'll have a good shot at picking up the stations you listed -- thanks for the info!

I have an area list I maintain for Central Texas, and had started one for Southern Maine-- in this thread. I will email the stations to introduce myself, inquire as to their plans, and add the info to the summary I have on the Southern Maine thread.

Thanks for the info!


gwlbe 05-13-2003 05:25 AM

New member, so be kind. I have monitored the AVS Forum for two years. I have been able to aquire the info I need by being passive - there are plenty of experts and by the time a thread runs its course I have little to add. But, this thread has finally convinced me to join.

TV in Bangor is bleak, but its not the fault of the local owners (CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC is owned by Gannett), the population is too small to support the infastructure needed to provide HDTV.

The NBC HD is great I get a signal strength in the 90s on my DTC 100, PBS is OK in the 60s. From my location I'm in between the two so I have to move my antenna (attic installed modified RS double bowtie). I don't bother because rarely there is anything on PBS to watch. In fact I don't watch NBC that much, local weather and Golf. The CBS and ABC HD are upconverts, I can't receive either. I just ordered a new antenna to see if makes a difference.

ExpressVU looks tempting but additional equipment costs so far has deterred me. BTW I have talked with the ABC and CBS engineers. ABC low power till ordered to go higher, CBS upconvert, the tower is located 20 miles away and no plans to invest for the equipment for true HD. My .02.

Jay Ireland 05-13-2003 06:27 AM


Originally posted by gwlbe
But, this thread has finally convinced me to join.


This is the kind of response I had hoped for, maybe more folks are lurking and may now act.

I would like to think that DTV is still in it's infancy for the area, and it is incumbent upon us to "spread the word" In fact there are many places in the country that have less DTV !!!

I have been seen in the Sears, Circuit City and Best Buy, regularly talking to people to spark more interest. Friends, relatives and neighbors... join a forum, have a HDTV party ... Tell us how it went.

I am using DISH and get all the HD programming they offer, you may have heard of the upcoming new channels.

So this thread is a start and we are the pioneers

I am interested in your equipment and were you aquired it.

gwlbe 05-13-2003 07:35 AM

Jay Ireland

My Equipment:
Panny L300U (the NFC tv)
Mitsy vlp 2000 (blew up under repair)
Panny rp91
Panny rp62
Sampo 613
Denon 2803
DTC 100
Sony mini disk
phillips cd recoder
Yamaha RV9
Teac DBX cassette recoder
Klipsch reference series speakers w/ sw
Dalite hi gain 9' x 5' screen
2 jvc s-video vcr
JBL L100 speakers
Niles outdoor speakers
Sony 51" HDTV (the AFC tv)
Most of it purchased on line or thru Harbor Audio Video in Campden, there are not many choices in Bangor. Best buy is all right, I usually just purchase software there. I tried the panny e20 dvd recoder but after I tried out around 20 disks I envoked the 30 day rule. Most of my equipment was purchased to simulate a Led Zep concert which it appears after May 27th I will have the oppertunity.

Ooshka 10-07-2003 09:15 AM

There is word that the local CBS affiliate WABI will be broadcasting at full power by January and will pass CBS HD signals by then.... The Superbowl in HDTV will be cool!

gwlbe 12-15-2003 09:35 AM

Great news.

jkurlanski 12-15-2003 09:47 AM

That's great for up North! I'm just wishing WMTW (ABC Portland/Poland Springs) could get up to speed before Monday Night Football is over...almost too late. Is the ABC affiliate in Bangor broadcasting HD?

Jay Ireland 12-15-2003 10:03 AM

No, ABC is upconverting, and it's a low power broadcast. NBC is HD, PBS is capable but prefers multicasting, haven't seen any HD from them since initial test broadcasts last year

gwlbe 02-01-2004 04:14 AM

WABI HD looks great , thanks channel 5.

Brassua 02-05-2004 07:37 PM

Hi guys! I'm located in Bucksport which is the southern part of the Bangor Area and I've been enjoying DTV over the past year or so from CBS, NBC and PBS out of Bangor but I can't seem to get the ABC signal at all, I guess it's too weak right now for me to get it. Got a question for you all, which antenna are you using to haul the digital channels from around Bangor? I've been using the large Radio Shack (best one from 8 years ago) roof mounted VHF/UHF antenna with pretty good luck except for the fact that the antenna has been losened up to the point where it will move in big winds now. I'm going to be getting a new one for the roof when spring arrives (if ever) and was wondering which one was the best for long range VHF/UHF and HD reception.


Ooshka 02-06-2004 05:11 AM

Channel 7 is running extremely low power, (I Have heard about 250 watts) so it is not at all unusual that your not getting the signal where you are. I am right in Bangor and can't get it.

Channel 5 is usually running about 75% power. Channel 2, I am not sure but believe they are running nearly full power. I get a signal in the 80's on my dtc100.

My antenna is an Omni I bought at clearance from Radio Shack, I would have preferred to get a better one, but I couldnt pass up the price.

If your right near downtown Bucksport, I would suggest replacing the antenna with a similar model to the one you have. Bucksport is in a hole for signal reception. There is a good site you can use as a reference in making your decision. it is: www.antennaweb.org.

Tell me, have you been experiencing any trouble with WABI's audio? I am trying to figure out if mine is a slighty weak signal problem or if they are still experiencing difficulties.

Hope this helps.

DrJoe 02-06-2004 05:57 AM

According to the FCC, the stations in the Bangor area are broadcasting at the following effective radiated power (ERP) levels:

WVII-DT (ABC) 14 -- 1.84kW ERP STA (532kW ERP) OTA
WABI-DT (CBS) 19 -- 234kW ERP STA (363kW ERP) OTA
WLBZ-DT (NBC) 25 -- 500kW ERP STA (1000kW ERP) OTA

WVII, WABI, and WLBZ are broadcasting under "special temporary authorities" (STA's) -- lower power than their licenses actually permit. The first power is the STA, the second (in parenthesis) is the+ full rated power.

STA's have been given by the FCC to allow stations to save money for the short term, I don't remember when they are scheduled to run out (2006?); they could be rescinded at an earlier date (or extended) at the FCC's discretion.

At 1840W, WVII is using a very large microwave oven to power their transmitter (in Austin, from where I moved last summer, FOX was broadcasting at 300W -- so it could be worse).

Take care,


Brassua 02-06-2004 08:31 AM

Thanks for the info about Channel 7's operating strength, guess that explains why I can't get right now.

Yeah Bucksport kinda is in a hole for reception but with my big antenna on the roof I've been relatively happy with what I do it, I even get Channel 13 out of Portland fairly good but that is the analog signal and not the digital one.

Ooshka, No I haven't noticed any audio problems with WABI's DTV 19 signal, of course I don't watch WABI DTV a lot other then the news and a few programs so that might explain why I'm not hearing that.

I have thought about getting a new large Winegard antenna to be mounted on the edge of the roof (eve) and I'm also interested in that new Winegard SquareShooter antenna for local HDTV reception but not sure if it would really work well around here.

Jay Ireland 02-13-2004 02:16 PM

Originally posted by Brassua
Hi guys! I'm located in Bucksport which is the southern part of the Bangor Area and I've been enjoying DTV over the past year or so from CBS, NBC and PBS out of Bangor but I can't seem to get the ABC signal at all, I guess it's too weak right now for me to get it. Got a question for you all, which antenna are you using to haul the digital channels from around Bangor? I've been using the large Radio Shack (best one from 8 years ago) roof mounted VHF/UHF antenna with pretty good luck except for the fact that the antenna has been losened up to the point where it will move in big winds now. I'm going to be getting a new one for the roof when spring arrives (if ever) and was wondering which one was the best for long range VHF/UHF and HD reception.


I am using the Radio Shack #15-2154 Model VU-120XR, had hopes of getting a tower in the future, we'll see.


I get spotty reception from ABC due to low power broadcast

Click the WWW button in my post for links to some helpful antenna and other H/DTV sites

Have fun

CPanther95 09-30-2004 06:38 AM

Official Bangor thread.

Any changes in HD since the last post in Feb.?

gwlbe 09-30-2004 07:49 AM

No changes in OTA, however, Adelphia is now offering HDTV. I use Direct Tv, but I think this is what Adelphia offers:
InHD 1&2

Ooshka 09-30-2004 08:21 PM

Also, MEPBS switched to MPBN upconvert on 9.1 and PBS-HD on 9.2 a few months back due to popular demand. They were multicasting PBS ORG, PBS KIDS, MEPBS and PBSYOU.


Jay Ireland 12-25-2004 10:53 AM

There are responsibilities of the TV stations to the DTV transition that are required soon. Some I believe are due Dec 31, 2004, and may include increased power, not sure how STA's affect this, also

"The FCC has announced that by February 1, broadcasters must comply with the new digital broadcast television transmission standards, including implementing the PSIP standard to the full extent required by ATSC A/65B. [http://www.atsc.org/standards/a_65b.pdf]

PSIP Transmission Standards. The Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) standard enable improvements to program guides, closed captioning and use of v-chip as well as enable channel number navigation using the familiar analog channel numbers to tune to new digital channel assignments. "

Maybe some of the Network Engineers can chime in and give us some details, any out there?

I emailed these folks back in 2002 and invited them to this thread...

I'll try again, if addresses are still good.

WVII ABC [email protected]

WABI CBS [email protected]

WLBZ NBC [email protected]

CPanther95 12-25-2004 11:11 AM

Bangor is actually a decent HD market - for DMA #151, they're definitely ahead of the curve.

Jay Ireland 12-25-2004 01:04 PM

No surprise, but the local network email addresses are no longer good, I tracked down the newest adresses per their WEB sites, none are to the technical people, just PR. We'll see.

Yes the Bangor market is quite impressive, considering the market size! The middle of nowhere stigma !!!

I've lived between here and Omaha over the last few years, Bangor was on air before Omaha.

Hope to hear from the engineers, Omaha stations have embraced the AVS Forum.

Ooshka 12-25-2004 04:34 PM

I used to work at WABI, Shilz is Steve Hiltz, the current Program Director. He can be reached through there web site at www.wabi.tv. Terry Syde is the assistant chief in charge of the transmitter and more or less the one on top of the dtv transition. I have mentioned this site in the past to him but have yet to see him here. I discussed the PSIP requirements with him a few weeks back, the ruling had only been out a week or so and he hadn't heard about it yet. The actual date for PSIP is sometime in February (I believe it is 90 days after being published in the federal register.)

I also asked Terry about 5.1 audio for CBS programming that supplied it and he indicated that they can do it but it requires a switch be thrown when programming supports it, because so little of the programming is currently available 5.1 they rarely remember to switch. (It will likely require an update to their programming logs to indicate which programming supports it, or an automated system that will auto switch when 5.1 is sensed.)


Ooshka 03-10-2005 06:22 AM

Is anyone else having issues with WLBZ's DT signal? I have always had occasional blips in there signal (Audio dropout and video re-syncing) but for the last week or so there digital signal has been completely unusable to me. I thought it might be a multi-path problem on my part but now i am not so sure. The problem seems to have really gotten worse since they enabled PSIP. (enabled remapping and started passing guide information.) I am using a DTC100 and have reset the box and done a scan to reacquire the channels.

George Thompson 03-10-2005 06:30 AM

Ooshka, when did you work at WABI? Certainly not in the mid '70's...lol when I did. I think Terry may have been the ACE back then too. I was a transmitter super and maintenance manager back then.
I like to keep an eye on one of my first markets. My previous boss at WTOS(Valley Communications) sold his cable systems to buy WVII. Don't know what happened to John.

Ooshka 03-10-2005 08:21 AM

I was in the production dept from 1976-1987. Gil (Maxwell) and Terry were ACE's through most of that time. Gil is now with MPBN. Dale is still CE.

George Thompson 03-10-2005 08:25 AM

OMG, that was a long time ago. There but for the grace of G** go I. LOL. (Rick Knight one of the other engineers and I went on a Spring Break tour in Bermuda one spring.....)
Stuck at the net in NYC for past 24 years.

Ooshka 03-10-2005 07:46 PM

There have been several alumnus from Bangor make it to the city. Greg Snow was in production about the time you were there, He went on to CNN in Atlanta, Gary Thorne was an announcer and sports guy at the station for a time and is now the voice of the Mets. Michelle Marsh started in Bangor and last I new was still anchoring in NYC. There are a few others but they escape me just now.

gwlbe 03-11-2005 01:33 AM

I've many problems with WLBZ too, DTC 100, same problems as you. most of it started when they started multicasting. I got feed up with 2, no HDTV on 7 and "moved". WABI has been flawless. I only get a signal of 71, and it never blips. 25 I get in the mid 80s and I can't lock on for a whole hour without it blipping, unwatchable.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.