June 25, 2018
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After shaky start, MPBN again televises basketball tournament games

By Joe McLaughlin, BDN Staff

Viewers tuning in to watch high school basketball tourney games on MPBN-TV on Wednesday may have encountered some confusion about what channel was showing games from Bangor and Augusta, but those early problems should be resolved, according to Gil Maxwell, the network’s chief technology officer.

“The first day is always the roughest. We have a ton of programming of equipment for signals all over the state,” Maxwell said.

Games will be telecast through Saturday from Bangor and Augusta and then next Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, from Bangor, Augusta and Portland.

Preparation is done before games are telecast but there is no way to test the programming without disrupting MPBN’s regular shows, Maxwell said.

“We don’t know if it all works until we go live with it and then we find out what is working,” Maxwell said. “It’s a major undertaking and people get frustrated and I understand, but it’s pretty amazing when you think that we’re transmitting 44 games over five days. This week is the worst because we’re doing 36 games in four days from different locations across the state and transmitting statewide.”

Some of the confusion about what channels the games are on results from the different ways viewers receive games such as over the air (antenna), cable or satellite, according to Maxwell.

For those with an antenna, the Bangor games are on channel 12.1 and the Augusta games are on 12.2.

For those with Time Warner Cable, Bangor games in SD, or standard definition, are on channel 1998, which requires a digital adapter or tuner. For those with HD service, the games are on channels 510 and 712.

Games shown from Augusta are on channels 3, 10 and 13 and games from Portland are on channel 9.

For those with satellite, such as DIRECTV, the channel showing regular MPBN programming is the channel that will carry the games.

Viewers who have a cable service that goes directly to an HD TV can access the games by scanning for digital channels. The result should be digital channel 86.1 for games from Bangor and 96.2 for Augusta games.

One change MPBN is making this season is that it is not switching games from the different venues. In past years, it would begin with Augusta games in the morning on a channel and then show Bangor games on that same channel in the afternoon.

“If you tune us in and if you have regular cable and you see Augusta, then you’ll see Augusta through this week. If you tune in and see Bangor, you’ll keep seeing Bangor on that channel,” said Maxwell, explaining that the change was made to decrease confusion for viewers.

For the state finals Feb. 28 and March 1, the channel schedule for games are Time Warner are:

— Bangor games: in SD on channels 3, 10 and 13; in HD on channels 510 and 712.

— Augusta games: in SD on channel 1998 (box needed); in HD on channels 510 and 712;

— Portland games: channels 3, 10 and 13.

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