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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.

City Funds BCTV
This posting may seem a little late, but when city council was going through its budget and voted to fund BCTV to the tune of $10,000 for the year, we were not sure it was really going to happen, but apparently it has. Yippeee!
The city receives about $55,000 a year in franchise fees, and those fees traditionally are used to fund access channels, but in Belfast that had not been the case. After 3 years, the city council expressed its support this year by indicating that we were a valuable community resource. The vote to fund our request was unanimous. Funding will pay our rent and utilities as well as equipment maintenance and replacement. We are very grateful for the support from the city.

BCTV to go hi-def and tapeless, (Sort of).
It has been a couple years since BCTV bought a new video camera and in the technology world that's a long time. With recent equipment funding from the city of Belfast, we are buying a new high definition video camera that records to memory cards. There has been a recent breakthrough in recording to memory cards that has made the technology very affordable. Our new camera records to standard SD cards. A 32 gig card can be purchased for about $100 and can record 6 hours of video. So what are the advantages of recording to a memory card? You don't have to buy tapes. You don't have "dirty heads" and ruined recordings. There are no moving parts to break. The camera uses a lot less power, so a battery lasts a long time. The camera is more rugged without the fragile tape transports. My favorite feature is that the memory card can be removed and plugged into a computer and the files can be transfered quickly. No more real time tape tranfers. This is useful for those of us who like to record a program with a couple cameras and then using the multi-cam feature of our editing software we can create a progam that looks like it was "switched" from a mobile production truck. I also find it helps turn around an event such as a high school football game quickly. I used to film a game on a Friday night, get back to the station at 9pm and download the 2 hour game in real time. Around 11:30 pm I would do the post production and be done around midnight. If I can download the memory cards in a few minutes, I might actually get the game edited by 10 pm. In the real world of the community producer, those two extra hours of sleep are appreciated.
I mentioned that the footage is hi-definition, and at present we really transmit only standard definition. By acquiring in high-def, we will be ready when the tranmission equipment is upgraded. Oh, the camera costs about $1000, so if we like it, we may buy a second one.

BCTV and Alexia's Pizza team up with artist Dave Hurley to create Mural
When we moved into our present offices above Alexia's Pizza in beautiful downtown Belfast, we notices a large black plywood panel beside our downstairs entrance. We couldn't help but think that it was an excellent location for a mural. We spoke with artist David Hurley who has created numerous murals and has a great sense of humor, and he liked the idea. In fact, he and Ted, the owner of Alexia's, had spoken about a mural with a Greek theme. Dave, who is also the star of our "Tai Chi through the seasons" program, came up with a humorous and slightly Sci-Fi mural idea. The concept includes Pizza flying saucers and a BCTV-2 Blimp. Ted agreed to pick up the cost of creating the mural, and BCTV will acknowledge Alexia's as a station underwriter for a couple months. Dave is going to be creating the mural over the next couple friday evenings during the "Belfast Art Walks". There will be a certain "Street Theater" aspect to Dave's project. He is going to wear a suit, courtesy of "Goodwill" and will be using an old briefcase as his paint holder. We will film the creation of the mural for an upcoming "Somewhere in Waldo County" episode. Stay tuned!

Juke Joint Marathon scheduled
With the North Atlantic Blues Festival bringing blues fans to the area this weekend, BCTV has scheduled two evenings of the blues for Friday July 10 and Saturday July 11. These programs feature some of the many great performers who have appeared at the festival in recent years.On Friday night the marathon begins at 10:30pm and on Saturday the blues begin at 4pm. Around here catching the blues often means fishing for bluefish but this weekend it has a more musical connotation.