Cable Access TV for Greenfield Massachusetts & Franklin County
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Wednesday, December 31 1969

Blog

Jun 10 2016 - 2:54pm

Big news!  We now have two 360 degree cameras for shooting still images and video!  They aren't quite out of the box yet, and we don't know when we'll be putting them in the hands of producers, but we want you to start thinking of creative ways to use them.  Don't have any idea of what we're talking about?  Check out these two YouTube videos: Jungle Book Promo & Where's Waldo Adventure.  The idea is for you to navigate around the world inside the video, while it's playing, by using a click and drag motion with your mouse or swiping around on a touchscreen.  How cool is that?!?  Our staff has just begun to experiment with these cameras, and we hope to have a few simple videos for you to experience next week, but if you stop in at a good moment, feel free to ask us to show you our tests.  

Jun 3 2016 - 7:59am

GCTV lost a good friend this week when Attorney Ed Smith passed away on Tuesday.  Ed did a lot for our station over the years, both as a board member and a legal advisor.  We can't say enough good things about him and our hearts go out to all his friends and family.

Ed's association with GCTV began when, as the town's lawyer, he attended the first exploratory meetings as Greenfield discussed having a non-profit PEG (Public, Education, Government) Access Station.  Then he proceeded to do much of the initial legal work and research about how to make this happen.  He joined our board of directors in 1997 and stayed on for 19 years, until being designated Board Member Emeriti.

Our executive director remembers that Ed was immensely helpful getting WMCB on the air as well, with legal filings and reviews when the first applications for our low power radio station license were being done, and he donated his services to handle the closing when we purchased our first floor space.

GCTV Board President Garry Longe shares this about Ed, "He was an extremely knowledgeable individual who was quiet and reserved in person but when he spoke and advised you really listened to what he had to say due to his ability to communicate a concept".

Rest in peace Ed.

May 27 2016 - 5:52pm

This week, and throughout much of the 2016 Budget season, Greenfield residents have had a chance to watch a slightly different budget process than they've been used to.  There was much discussion of tax relief and the balance between oversight and micro-managing.  No matter what side of the debate you're on, it's important to stay informed about what your elected representatives are doing.  That's where we come in.

We filmed every step of this process and have made it available on Cable Channel 15, and here on our website, so that you can get the answers you want, when you want them.  We encourage you to go back and watch the Ways & Means committee meetings where department heads explained, and in some cases defended, their budgets if you are interested in how your money is being spent.

Maybe you want to fact-check, get ammunition to support your arguments when convincing a friend of the merits of something, or just understand the rationale behind a certain decision.  We spend many hours covering Greenfield government meetings and you are the beneficiary.  This week alone, our staff filmed a short town council meeting followed by the three and a half hour Ways & Means deliberation on Monday night, a special three hour school committee meeting (video available next week due to technical difficulties) featuring Assistant Superintendent Finalist Candidate interviews on Tuesday night, a public hearing on the budget Wednesday night, and finally, last night's four hour budget extravaganza.

Lest you think that makes us done for the long weekend, our cameras will be recording tonight's Greenfield High School graduation ceremony and Monday's Memorial Day parade.  Stay tuned for those videos!

May 20 2016 - 2:58pm

First, an update on the Cable Advisory Committee (CAC) Public Hearing that we encouraged you to attend in our blog post last week.  Unfortunately, the CAC did not have a quorum of its members present on Thursday so the meeting has to be rescheduled.  We'll let you know once we have the new date and we'll include it in our events calendar.

In addition to assisting our independent producers and DJs to create their own shows, our staff recorded 2 Greenfield Town Council Ways & Means Committee Meetings this week; along with a full council meeting, last night's Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony, this morning's chamber breakfast, and this afternoon's celebrity cooking competition at Franklin County Technical School (FCTS).

While all of that was going on, we had some electrical work done in our facility in order to provide more lighting, secure conduits, and provide an "On Air" indicator for our live radio studio.  We also managed to find time to cover the Mental Health Fair on Wednesday and interview organizers of this coming weekend's Anti-Racism Film Festival.

Next week, we have 4 additional government meetings to look forward to and several independent productions that will be taking place in our TV studio.  Be sure to check our website daily for these videos and more!

May 13 2016 - 1:27pm

If you have feedback about the way Comcast is providing cable television in town, or ideas about what we might need in terms of future service, this is your chance to make your voice heard.  On Thursday, May 19th, at 4PM, the Greenfield Cable Advisory Committee (CAC) will be holding a public hearing at town hall, "...for the purpose of obtaining public input regarding issues of past and present performance and present and future community needs pursuant to the Committee's renegotiation of the Cable Video Services contract between the City of Greenfield and Comcast...".

As our funding comes directly from the terms of this contract, we encourage everyone to attend and let them know how beneficial you find our presence in the community.  If you appreciate being able to watch local government meetings and large community events (Franklin County Fair Parade, Greenfield Rag Shag Parade) live from the comfort of your own home, having thousands of informative videos on local subjects available to watch online anytime, and readily available training & equipment to help you get your own message out, then please show up and support us.  Thanks!

May 6 2016 - 2:55pm

You would not believe the number of equipment emergencies we’ve dealt with! Oh, wait, if you watch our channel, or listen to WMCB 107.9-lp FM, maybe you would because you’ve seen, or in the case of the radio station not heard, their effects.

It all started on Monday morning, when our new media producer, Alicia, arrived a few minutes early and discovered that her Mac, which had been left on to transfer files over the weekend, had crashed at some point. This was quickly followed by a call from WMCB DJ, and GCTV volunteer, Greg, who informed her that Cable Channel 15 was off the air. When she attempted to log in to our broadcast server, which holds all the digital files that we play on TV, she was unable to connect to it. At this point, she locked up our first floor space, leaving a note on the door asking our executive director, Scott, to come upstairs as soon as he arrived, and headed to the control room to see what was going on.

As soon as she entered, Alicia could see that there was no power to the server and she realized that this, coupled with the crash of her computer, probably meant that there had been a power outage, and possible power surge, sometime over the weekend. As she was working to get the server back on, Scott arrived and was able to take over while she assessed additional damage. Since nothing was broadcasting on our channel, Alicia swapped over to our community bulletin board slides before heading back downstairs to check on the radio station. The WMCB studio was completely powered down but everything restarted and the station was back on the air in short order. Unfortunately, the livestream on www.wmcb.net refused to work.

Later in the day, Scott was able to get the stream going again but our TV channel was a different story. After many frustrating hours of work on our server by tech support, our executive director finally drove down to Easthampton Media and borrowed an old one of theirs. He was able to get it up and running late Tuesday but it isn’t 100% compatible with our systems, yet, so, though we have programming back on the air, we are unable to broadcast Democracy Now! live in its 8AM timeslot and we can’t play WMCB during the community bulletin board.

On Wednesday, the Kiwanis discovered that the company they had hired to install their phone lines for this week’s auction never did the work. They managed to get a tech to come out but he only installed 2 of the 7 that had been ordered. This left Scott once again faced with an immediate technological problem to solve. He worked some magic and managed to turn our phone lines into theirs for the 2 night fundraiser but it took a lot of time. Then, just as the auction began, one of the converters in our control room failed, sending Scott scrambling to ensure that both video and audio reached the viewers at home and listeners on the radio. Thankfully, the webcast wasn’t affected and the problem was fixed in half an hour. Wednesday was also when we discovered that the digital sign in front of town hall was out, meaning that there was yet one more piece of equipment to fix.

Though things have calmed down a bit, we are still working on replacing the show files we lost when our server died, fully integrating the one that is working right now, and transitioning to a new HD server in the near future. We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to recover from this unfortunate experience.

Apr 29 2016 - 12:36pm

Back in February, we told you that popular local DJ Bobby C. would be joining the lineup on WMCB 107.9-lp FM with a brand new, weekly, sports show focusing on the six varsity team schools in Franklin County.  Well, the program's been so successful that Bobby has expanded it to Cable Channel 15.  Now, in addition to listening to Bobby, and new co-host Kerry, on the radio at 7PM on Monday nights, you can tune in to GCTV and see what they look like on Wednesdays at 2PM, Thursdays at Noon, and Fridays at 6PM (starts next week).  Plus, if none of those times is convenient for you, the show is also available to watch online anytime or to download/listen to as an audio podcast.  Make sure to check it out and keep up with the accomplishments of our local student athletes.

Apr 22 2016 - 2:53pm

Why? If you are interested in the ramifications of Kinder Morgan's recent announcement that they will stop working on their proposed natural gas pipeline, you don't want to miss the discussion that members of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) had on Thursday night.  Local officials spoke about what the company's press release means for area towns and expressed concern that the pipeline proposal is likely to come back.  One interesting point that came up during their conversation was the fact that the last published configuration had the route going through Greenfield!  Watch for yourself and stay informed.

Apr 15 2016 - 2:36pm

As we write this, there are 2 DJs recording a new show for WMCB 107.9-lp FM in our pre-recording studio, 1 DJ finishing up her live show, and another DJ waiting to upload her show so that it can air tonight after we close.  We also have 2 women editing their projects for GCTV on our downstairs computers.  The whole week has been like this and it actually began over the weekend, when we filmed Senate President Stan Rosenberg's 2016 Municipal Conference while 3 producers were using some of our equipment to film their own programs.

As that equipment was being returned on Monday, it had to be prepped so we could check it out to 2 more people and get ready to film the Greenfield Human Rights Commission Meeting that night.  On Wednesday, our staff recorded both the Greenfield School Committee Meeting and the Greenfield Town Council Ways & Means Committee Meeting and, yesterday, we had DJs in and out all day, as well as 2 more producers working at our computers and editing their TV shows.  Our staff also put a lot of time in on news stories this week:  interviewing The Salasin Center's guest speaker and the Stoneleigh-Burnham student who won an international art competition, filming both the senior center rally & child abuse flag raising ceremony on the town common, and producing new episodes of From the Mayor's Office and Mayor's Memo.  With all of this activity going on, make sure you are checking our homepage, and watching Cable Channel 15, often for new content.

Apr 8 2016 - 2:41pm

Our staff was saddened this week to hear of the passing of someone who was no stranger to our studio, former Greenfield Town Councilor Jim Hutchinson.  Though he'd been off the council for a long time, Jim could be counted on to show up for every meeting, frequently with public comment to share.  He always had a nice word for our staff, especially our new media producer who ran into him all over downtown and with whom he shared a love of Federal Street Books.  It was easy to tell that Jim was passionate about Greenfield, and what could be done to improve it, and we appreciated reading Chris Collins' words about him in today's newspaper.  Jim will be fondly remembered around here and we hope that he is able to rest in peace.

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