Town Government &
Committees: Cable TV Advisory Committee
2014 Annual Report
The Committee in 2014 continued to focus on improving programming for the Education Channel (Comcast Channel 22 and Verizon Channel 29). The Committee prepared and recommended to the Board of Selectmen for approval a supplemental agreement with Hingham Community Access & Media Corporation ("H-CAM"), a non-profit Public Access corporation established by the Town in 2011, to program and operate the Education Channel. The contract was approved by the Board of Selectmen and took effect on October 30, 2014. Under this agreement, H-CAM has hired a full-time Educational Access Coordinator who works with school community members to develop and produce original programming for the Education Channel. H-CAM manages playback of all content for the Channel through the digital video server, including programming provided to it for broadcast by the School Department and student-created programming, as well as the programming developed and produced by the Educational Access Coordinator. In addition, H-CAM maintains the Education Channel Bulletin Board, and operates and maintains broadcast and production equipment for the Channel.
The subscriber revenues provided by Comcast and Verizon are used to fund this Education Channel partnership. The subscriber revenues were also used in 2014 to fund a television production class at Hingham High School. These funds come from the 4.2 per cent of Hingham cable subscriber revenues which Comcast and Verizon pay to the Town under the terms of their franchise agreements. This money can only be used to support Public, Educational, and Government ("PEG") Access cable television, and is not available for the General Fund.
In addition, in 2014 a lecture hall (Room 103) at the Hingham High School was equipped for recording programming for the Education Channel. This room can be used by teachers to record lectures, for meetings, by school clubs, and for other presentations. Cable capital funds were used to equip this lecture hall. These funds are separate from the subscriber revenues. They were provided by Comcast and Verizon in consideration for the ten-year franchises granted to them by the Town. They are kept in a separate account and used by the Town for capital expenditures related to the PEG channels. For example, they have been used to install robotic cameras and related equipment in the Selectmen's Meeting Room, other Committee meeting rooms in Town Hall, and the School Committee meeting room.
A major improvement to the broadcast quality for all three PEG channels in 2014 was made possible by the purchase and installation of a new video playback server which serves all three channels. The server is located in Town Hall. The new system is remotely accessible and manageable. It has many technological improvements over the old server that has enhanced all three channels. For example, the station logo can now be shown on the screen, as well as information on what content the viewer is watching. The process of making program assets playback-ready has been simplified, and programming can now be scheduled further out than one week, which was a limitation of the old system. The Committee recommended and the Board of Selectmen approved the expenditure from cable capital funds for this new server.
Sandra Peavey, Chair
Katy Gallagher-Wooley, School Rep.
Robert Kirk, H-CAM Representative
(Appt. by Selectmen)
|Sandra Peavey, Chair
|Phillip S. Thaxter
|Robert Kirk, HCAM Rep.
(Head of Hingham High School studio and programming)