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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.

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.