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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:36 PM   #1
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Community TV on the Web?

I've been kicking this idea around for some time, and it is starting to get a bit overwhelming so I will ask for some advice. First, is anyone aware of a community that is doing this? I don't mean You-tube posting of homemade videos, but an actual "TV" channel that is "broadcasting" just on the web.

This opens up a very long explanation of all of the possibilities, but a quick list would be:

A regular schedule of programs (ie: block programming) that would air either live or as playback.

Open slots for organizations to purchase time (either 15 or 30 minute blocks?). These could be either non-profits or local businesses. Non-profits would have to acquire sponsors. Businesses could highlight products/services or produce info-type programs (like HGTV/Food Net, etc) that would compliment same.

Long form program slots (Sunday services from a local church, interactive coverage of a charity auction, etc.)

We would originate programming from a studio set-up, but would also need to be able to air playback and would love to be able to do "live shots" from a remote location for events like the long form stuff.

The production equipment can be had, and I am learning as much as I can about the origination on the web (I am working to partner with someone with much more knowledge in this area), but is it "marketable". Even on a small scale, the costs could easily run around $1000/day.

I think this idea is a bit early in it's application, but look at the "Current" channel. It seems that the "interactivity" side of broadcasting is already starting to take hold. The Web is all about the immediacy of information.

Just wondering what others think. I've already gotten the "your nuts" answer from my shrink, so please try to start with something else. Any ideas will be most appreciated and welcomed.

Best,

Kfox
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Old August 6th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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Yes, MCTV Millbrae Community Television streams its cable content over the web. I do a lot of freelance Directing/shooting for them.

http://www.mctv.tv/


Also a number of other community cable stations stream their content over the web, here on the Peninsula just south of San Francisco.

So yeah, it's being done.

(I should add that this is the same content - for the most part - that 'airs' over comcast stations that are dedicated to each city. When I direct city council meetings for instance, it's live on Comcast and simulcast streamed over the net)
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Old August 6th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #3
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Not re-broadcast

Richard:

Thanx for the reply. I am actually talking about a signal that is originated for the Web, not a simulcast of a Broadcast or Cable channel. Basically a "stand-alone" web-broadcasting station.

Best,

Kfox
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Fox View Post
I am actually talking about a signal that is originated for the Web, not a simulcast of a Broadcast or Cable channel. Basically a "stand-alone" web-broadcasting station.
Seems to me that would defeat the mandate of a community TV station. Being web-only would marginalize access to only those who have a computer and a highspeed internet connectionů that pretty much takes the access out of public access, if you know what I mean.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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Kevin,

The technology is the same. Whether or not there's a market for a local 'web only' broadcast - only your local research will indicate.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. The market research is what we are working on now. Mike brings up an interesting point. Currently in our community we have four cable channels on Comcast that are "community" channels. Two are for the local schools (one city, one county) and the other two are for the respective governments. "Public" access to them is basically non existent. A fifth channel is a local bulletin board channel that hosts a "public access" show five times a week/20 mins. per show. Their schedule is already booked about 6 months in advance. (the show has been on the air since the cable system was constructed back in the 70s). On the air we have a local ABC affiliate that offers local news in the morning and evening, but is just a repeat of network programming the rest of the time.

Thanx again for the thoughts. On to more research!

Best,

Kfox

Last edited by Kevin Fox; August 11th, 2008 at 10:01 PM. Reason: add "local" news to abc affiliate
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:06 PM   #7
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Why would you have web video for a community? Suddenly that just makes it accessible to everyone, and if that's the case, why not just create a YouTube channel or something?

I understand the desire for a unique presence online and such, but the bottom line is that it doesn't matter. If you're going online with the intention of getting more eyeballs on your local community, the best way to do it is still by putting the work on the various video networks.
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