What is Harpswell Community TV
Community TV, Public Access, Cable Access, the local channel, call it what you want, but it has been a cable TV staple for about 40years. If you watch cable TV anywhere in the USA you will find the “local Channel”. Harpswell Community TV is your local “PEG” channel.
“P” is for public. Some people equate the term “public access” with SNL’s “Wayne’s World” skit. And yes, it can be that, but it can also be much more. The public has used our channel to voice their opinion on a variety of topics; they make videos of local church services available to shut-ins; “P” represents non-profit organizations offering information specific to our area.
“E” stands for education. Harpswell TV offers channel space for our local schools. Harpswell students have used our facility to produce video projects for school and school administrators use our channel to disseminate information about the school budgets, policies, curriculum, sports, theater, history, etc.
Last, but not least, “G” our government uses the channel to produces videos that inform the public of events, monthly meetings, of emergencies, and the budget. You might see something from our local, county, state or federal government on Harpswell TV.
Congress mandated cable companies give communities, they franchise with, channels for programming and the equipment needed to produce such programs. Towns that ask for PEG channels and equipment from the cable companies are obligated to use it specifically for PEG-TV.
The towns receive a franchise fee from the cable companies (5% of gross income received from said town) as payment for the use of their rights of way. It is broken out in your cable bill.
Congress suggested towns with PEG channels use their franchise fees to operate the channels. Harpswell TV follows this model. We have never asked for all the franchise fees. We also raise funds through donations for copies of some programs, returnable cans and bottles and through the generosity of our viewers.
What’s on when you might ask? Not knowing what video will be available to play on any given day, a specific schedule is difficult to generate, but we do have a schedule of what genre you are likely to see at a specific time.
News Hour: Midnight, 6am, 11 am and 6pm
Local Programs: Overnight, 10 am, noon, 3 pm, 7pm and as fillers
Children’s Programs: 7am, 5pm
Meetings: 8am, 1pm, 8pm, overnight - timed so it ends at 6am
Since the length of meetings can vary greatly, you will most likely see educational videos as fillers during meeting time slots or fillers. The weekend schedule generally does not contain meetings, but from time to time it is necessary. If this happens, you might find a meeting at 3pm on Sunday.
If you’re a channel surfer like me, you might find a program you stumble upon that grabs your attention and you stay. It can be frustrating to stumble onto something in the middle and not know if you will ever see the beginning. If this happens to you, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to replay it at a time you can watch it.
For citizens who don’t have cable we can be viewed with an HD-TV and an antenna or at vimeo.com/harpswelltv or Watch Harpswelltv on Facebook. We stream Selectboard meetings at 6pm on the nights they meet. These can be found on Livestream through a link on Harpswell TV’s website and on the Town of Harpswell’s website.
If you are used to watching channel 14.1 OTA, we have bad news. The FCC has given Sinclair Broadcasting Group (WGME-13) a new frequency. They will be moving to channel 15 OTA. This ultimately takes channel 14.1 (W14DA-D) off the airwaves. After 20 years on 14.1 we must say goodbye. We will look for another frequency, but it may take time.
Thank you to all our faithful viewers.