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GCTV Updates Coming Soon

Residents can now expect a transformed Guilford Community Television (GCTV) experience, with several new options available. GCTV has phased out its system of DVDs and is switching over to a new digital broadcast technology system that will allow residents and producers many more options.

This process began two years ago, explained GCTV President David Weinberg. After many producers recognized the need to update technology to best suit residents, a committee ultimately chose a new media system that meets all of GCTV's requirements. GCTV chose to install a Tightrope server, with Sondra Nelson at Boreal Media Technologies as its vendor. Michael Ridinger of Unique Media Systems Changes was the technician.

These changes were made possible through funding from the town and the Guilford Foundation. The installation was completed last week.

Residents previously could only submit their own videos through the GCTV mailbox at the main broadcast office at the Community Center. With the new system, self-videographers can upload the videos through an online file and fill out a form with GCTV employees adding it to the on-demand section of the website.

"The most obvious thing that Guilford residents are going to see is a video on-demand library," Weinberg said. "Whenever anybody submits a video to us, they will have the option of putting it into the video on-demand system, so that means more viewing capability. One of the things we sometimes hear is, 'I wanted to see the Board of Finance meeting or the Board of Selectmen meeting, but it just wasn't on at a good time.' Well now they'll be able to see it 24/7 at their own convenience through the website.

"From now on you'll be able to go to a library of videos-the town, the Board of Education, and the public shows that Guilford residents and community residents submit-so if someone wants their show to stay online it will be there," Weinberg continued. "That's one of the big changes that residents will see."

Another change, which was made possible by town funding, is an emergency notification system. This new system will have a message scrolling across the bottom of the television screen, causing no interruption to normal programming. Town officials, whether police, the first selectman, or school administrators, will have direct access to this banner directly from their offices.

"We will now be more Internet-based, which means that the system can be maintained from remote locations anywhere there's internet access," Weinberg said. "If there's a power outage, we don't have to be quite so worried about getting in to maintain it because we can do updates-the town, the Board of Education, the police can do updates-from a location where there's power."

These changes also benefit the administrators of GCTV by smoothing out scheduling issues. The studio, with office hours on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursdays from 3 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m., will most likely be open for an additional day, Weinberg said.

"We would [previously] have to load the decks up, then the system would go through one deck at a time, and then we would keep cycling through those and that would take several hours to program those DVDs...We only have a limited number of hours the studio was open, but now we will be able to program from anywhere," he stated. "It means that we can have the studio open more frequently."

The GCTV office was closed from Jan. 26 to 31 to perform these upgrades.

"In the coming weeks we will be solidifying the design of each channel's bulletin board, finalizing integration with our website for program listings and On Demand video, as well as setting up our emergency messaging features," Operations Manager Shannon Gale said.

To learn more about this change, head to www.guilfordtv.org or watch channel 19 for updates.

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