Archive for the ‘HDTV’ category

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube Clips

September 21, 2008


We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available.  Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12.  Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at .


01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)

In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels.  “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications.  PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society.  It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”

Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing.  “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today.  Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”

Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) & Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R)

02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement

In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority.  He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access.  “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.

Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this.  It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”

03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)


04: Barbara Popovic, Alliance for Community Media, Testimony – (Written-pdf) (Oral-pdf)


05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)


06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)


07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories


08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions


09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions

Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?”  Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute.  But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us.  We would need something to act on.”

10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions

Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something.  It ought to be right up there with the other major channels.  And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”


11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions

Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access.  “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers.  So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”


12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions

"Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky to NCTA's Howard Symons: "Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service.  In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.”  Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that!  Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”

13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint

“I’m surprised that it really requires that.  I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”

14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2


15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano


16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2

Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters.  “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’  Is that enough for you to get rolling?”

Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”

17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2


18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement

“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media


Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/15/07

October 15, 2007

AT&T’s U-verse stirs local access furor
by Luther Turmelle
New Haven Register (CT)

Will AT&T’s challenge to cable television in the state, U-verse, change local access programming as it now exists?  Stay tuned, industry observers and local cable activists say.

The issue has raised enough concern that local access channel officials from around the state have arranged a meeting with AT&T officials for Oct. 29 to discuss their concerns. And last week, a Wallingford councilman expressed concern that U-verse could have a lasting impact on local access programming.  “The way this is being delivered, fewer and fewer people are going to be able to access these channels,” said Michael Brodinsky, a Democratic councilman from Wallingford.

Brodinsky based his claim on the fact that with the U-verse system, cable access programs will no longer have a dedicated channel — as is now the case with cable — but will be part of a “portal,” or home page from which residents will be able to select not just their own community’s programming, but also telecasts from other communities around the state.   —>

Community television weakened by FCC
by Rob Brading
Gresham Outlook

When Congress didn’t enact telecommunications legislation in late 2006, local governments and advocates of media that’s less concentrated, more diverse and more local breathed a sigh of relief. Less than a year later, those same folks are wondering if they should have paid more heed to the old adage about being careful what you wish for.

Congress didn’t act on legislation that would have severely weakened or eliminated local video franchising for telephone companies, so those companies took their lobbying prowess to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC, an appointed body that for the last several years has ignored overwhelming displays of public opinion on issues such as the concentration of media ownership and given media giants ever more power and reach, stepped in with a foot print that dwarfs Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23s.   —>

GenderVision Calls for Volunteers/Interns
by Nancy Nangeroni
GenderVision (MA)

GenderVision, soon to be a new community TV program out of Beverly, MA, featuring longtime GenderTalk Radio ( co-hosts Nancy Nangeroni & Gordene MacKenzie, is seeking volunteers and/or interns to help with the following:

* Graphic design: Our color selection, logo, set & website design all need your creative touch.
* Web/online distribution: Collaborate with our crew to create a new website to complement our new video offering, and help us establish online distribution of our video series via established hosting services such as YouTube,, other cable stations, etc.
* Promotion/Publicity: You’ll help us reach out to our viewers, locally, nationally and internationally, to keep them informed about this exciting new program. You’ll use established channels, and develop some new ones, to help us reach a large and diverse audience.
* Research: You’ll help us line up permissions, source materials like photos and film/video clips, topical information and potential interview guests
* Production assist: You’ll help us during the program shoot onsite at BevCam, welcoming and guiding guests, gophering, assisting the director, etc.

We look forward to collaborating with you; distance is no barrier in this work (except production assistance).  To become part of this exciting, cutting edge GenderVision production crew, please send an email to nancy [at] detailing your talents, experience and interest. All experience levels welcome.   —>

PTTV eyes webcasts across Peninsula
by Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News (WA)

PORT TOWNSEND – Public access television has a future on the Web in Jefferson County, says a community broadcasting leader, and one day could extend its reach west into Clallam County.  Karen Nelson, newly elected chairwoman of the Public Education and Government board, or PEG, says Port Townsend Television intends to establish Olympic Peninsula Network Media to connect the region through webcasts.

“So by the end of the year, we plan to come out of the closet with new OPEN Media,” Nelson said.  “We’re growing it for the region, a way of communicating what’s going on in the local region, then we will broadcast it regionally.”

The move comes at a time when a local television broadcasting gap has been left in the Port Angeles-Sequim market after Peninsula News Network, on cable television channel 3, discontinued operations.  PNN operated under an agreement with Port Angeles-based WAVE Broadband until it ceased operations in June, citing a lack of advertising revenues.   —>

Community Technology Foundation Announces ZeroDivide Fellows Class III
Fellowship Focuses on Community Technology, Social Enterprise to Advance Social Justice
AScribe Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO – The Community Technology Foundation (CTF) announces the selection of 16 individuals for Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought after two-year Fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology (ICT), including digital media.

“The ZeroDivide Fellowship is about building a movement of technology users who can turn information into action to improve society,” said Tessie Guillermo, CTF President and CEO.  “These ZeroDivide Fellows exemplify the diversity of California’s communities, representing communities of color, rural communities, people with disabilities, and other underserved communities,” said Laura Efurd, Chief Community Investment Officer. “They have the passion and drive to use technology and digital media to advance social justice, and to influence technology policy to reflect the needs and desires of their communities.”

The ZFellows will build their technology and advocacy skills, engage in discussions with key policy makers, and explore collaborations with the ICT industry. During the fellowship, ZFellows will explore new strategies and relationships, work across traditional boundaries, and develop new ideas and solutions that will advance the field of community technology. The ZFellows will share their learnings and experience with their communities through the completion of a strategic impact project.   —>

Paper Tiger Television – 25th Year Anniversary
7pm & 9pm, 15 & 16 October 2007
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at E. 2 St) New York, NY 10003

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, progressive downtown media organization and one-time public access channel Paper Tiger Television hosts two nights of programming at the Anthology Film Archives. Over the years, PTTV has helped hundreds of New York media activists, students, art historians, video artists, and others produce videos with various goals and for various audiences. They are mostly known for the culturally critical documentary tapes with a certain PTTV-look that eschews slick production values for a sense of artistry and play.

Recommended tonight at the 7pm screening is sociologist Herb Schiller’s 1981 tape Herb Schiller Reads the New York Times: The Steering Mechanism Of the Ruling Class, which delivers on its titular promise. The video is an early manifestation of a video “reading” genre that PTTV pioneered. The form is one in which an intellectual or artist performs a critical, something theatrical, reading of a popular cultural publication, usually with the intention of deconstructing the language of the text and exposing the transparent constitutive ideologies in the process; Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs made a tape reading Rolling Stone for the series in 1982, Martha Rosler reading Vogue in 1982, Alex Cockburn reading the Washington Post in 1983, Noam Chomsky reading the New York Times in 1986.

Tomorrow’s show at 7pm focuses on tapes dealing with race and class in New York, and includes Tompkins Square Park: Operation Class War, a 1992 documentary on the now deeply entrenched class divides of a then-gentrifying Lower East Side. The 9pm program features several tapes centered on LGBTSTQ perspectives, including Fenced Out, a 2001 documentary on the legal struggles for Christopher Street Pier, a long-established safe-haven for lower-income and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender and questioning youth of color and an important 60s historical site of the modern gay liberation movement.

Art & Commerce: Death by YouTube
by Andrew Keen

Is the Web 2.0 cultural revolution of user-generated content good news for the ad industry? Will the explosion of fashionable blogs and social networks increase the size of the advertising economy? Can the YouTubification of professional creative content and the wikifying of mainstream authoritative media benefit advertisers and advertising companies?

The answer to these three questions, I’m afraid, is unambiguously negative. No, no, no. Web 2.0 is, in truth, the very worst piece of news for the advertising industry since the birth of mass media. In the short term, the Web 2.0 hysteria marks the end of the golden age of advertising; in the long term, it might even mark the end of advertising itself.

It’s not possible to talk about the meteoric rise of Web 2.0 without discussing the equally dramatic fall of mainstream media. These two profoundly significant historical events are occurring in parallel, each a cause and an effect of the other. And the fate of the advertising business is intimately bound up with both Web 2.0’s growth and mass media’s decline.   —>

AMD Tunes into Cable HDTV
by Jeremy Charette
Digital Media Thoughts

“Those looking to tap into cable HDTV channels on their computers will soon have a new option. AMD announced the expansion of its ATI TV Wonder line on Monday, with three new models that pick up Clear QAM high-def content. The ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB will be the most flexible of the bunch, offering two tuners to allow simultaneous viewing and recording on different channels. Both tuners will work not only with off-the-air HD content, but also unencrypted Clear QAM cable channels, making the new models a significant advance from previous models, which only offered off-the-air capabilities.”

Color me skeptical. My family in upstate NY has Time Warner Cable service, and can get all the basic channels on the TiVos I bought for them with the built-in tuner. Whenever I’ve hooked a device up to my Time Warner service here in NYC, all I get is a couple snowy public access channels. I may pick one of these up just to try it out and see if I get anything at all. If it means being able to downgrade to basic service and save a few bucks every month, I’d be thrilled. Did I mention that I’m skeptical?,12689

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media