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BCTV Cable Channel 2
Belfast -- Searsport

Belfast Community TV’s mission is to reflect and strengthen the unique spirit and character of Belfast, Maine in order to enrich the lives of residents and visitors in the Midcoast region by fostering communication, free speech, artistic expression as well as creating opportunities through television and other electronic media.

Some ideas gained from CTAM meeting
Every few months the Community Television Association of Maine gets together. I like to attend these gatherings because I get to meet with fellow community TV folks to share ideas and discuss issues common to those of us who run small town TV stations. The most recent meeting was held in Bridgeton, at Lake Region Community TV. I was looking forward to the meeting not only because they were serving lobster, but because I hoped to reconnect with their program director, John Likshis.
John and I met back in 1979 when John ran the educational access channel in Portland. Many years later John and I both worked at Maine PBS, he as the head of marketing and I as the studio manager in Lewiston. John runs a vibrant TV station and I envy his impressive studio facilities, and his many programs produced by numerous volunteer producers. John was a great help to BCTV when we were starting up, by practically giving us their old station automation equipment.
Usually I find talking with folks at the meeting as informative as the "official" meeting presentation. The formal presentation was by Karla Ficker, board president and producer of a gardening show on "Valley Vision", the community TV station serving North Conway NH. Karla told us about the many interesting programs produced at Valley Vision. Besides her gardening show, I was particularly interested in "Valley Inc" a program produced with the local chamber and featuring profiles of local businesses. I am scheduling a meeting with our chamber to explore the idea of producing a similar show. Steve Galvin of Norway community TV told me he had found an old (1961) TV series called Diver Dan on archive.org. He said it was sort of a kids show with a camera shooting through a fish tank with a guy in a diving suit and puppets. I have downloaded 24 episodes and they should soon be showing up on BCTV. Steve also gave me some advice on inexpensive file conversion software. Our server runs most happily when provided with MPEG2 files, but many programs I can download off the web are of different file types. I have purchased the software and soon fans of "Uncle Jay explains the news" will once again see these humorous and politically oriented shorts on BCTV. I had stopped showing the program when I discovered that our server occasionally crashed trying to play the mov files. So once again I got some good ideas from the meeting. I would like to thank Diane Mende, of our sister station, Bel TV for giving me a ride to the meeting. Diane is also to be congratulated for being elected as a new board member of CTAM. Feel free to contact me if you are interseted in learning more about CTAM or would like to come to the next CTAM meeting. Lucky for you, the meeting will be held right here in Belfast in late September.