SATV FAQ

SATV Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is SATV?
  2. Who is SATV for?
  3. How can I get a show on SATV?
  4. Why should I get involved with SATV?
  5. What does it cost to produce a show on SATV?
  6. Can I make money off of my show?
  7. Can I use SATV’s equipment or facilities for my own personal interests?
  8. Can I use my own equipment to produce my show?
  9. How do I get an announcement on the bulletin board?
  10. Can I use music or video from other sources in my show?
  11. Can SATV cover my event?
  12. On what channel, and in what areas will my show play?
  13. How do I get a time slot on the schedule?
  14. How do I get a copy of an SATV program?
  15. If I don’t have time to do a regular series, what are my options?

Answers
What is SATV?

Salem Access Television is your Public Access station – it exists due to an agreement between the cable provider and the communities it serves. Public access programming is community programming on cable TV. It gives you or your organization the opportunity to write, produce, direct, and perform in your own programs. People who normally are not allowed easy access to the mass media find a powerful resource for local expression through public access TV. A majority of public access programs are produced locally by non-professionals. SATV provides you with the necessary training, equipment, and use of facilities free of charge.

Who is SATV for?

Anyone who lives, works or is affiliated with an organization in Salem, Massachusetts with a non-commercial message or idea can present it on SATV.

How can I get a show on SATV?

The best way to get a show on SATV begins with taking our free workshops. Throughout these class sessions, you can become a certified access user. Then you can use video equipment to make your own programs. The classes cover the basic elements of TV production: camera_operation, lighting, audio, directing, script writing, editing, and so on. The class includes a group project, which is an in-studio, 30 minute talk show format program which actually gets played on the air! Students who successfully complete the classes and participate in the group project become certified to use SATV equipment. The classes, channel time, and use of equipment are free. The amount of time and energy you devote to the program is up to you. It can be hard work, but well worth the effort.

Why should I get involved with SATV?

Using SATV is a great opportunity to take a stand on a current issue, or let the community know what your group is doing. It’s a cost free way to promote your special interest or event and have fun doing it. What TV sows are seen on public access? Any programming protected by the First Amendment which is NOT commercial, libelous, slanderous or obscene in nature may be shown on public access. These include interviews, panel discussions, sports, documentaries, performances, political, religious, educational, entertainment and many other types of programs.

What does it cost to produce a show on SATV?

Once you have paid the membership fees and have been trained on the equipment, there is no cost to use SATV’s facilities for residents of the participating municipalities within Salem, Massachusetts.

Can I make money off of my show?

No, you cannot make a profit from your public access show. You are also prohibited from using public access equipment and facilities on other projects which can generate revenue.

Can I use SATV’s equipment or facilities for my own personal interests?

No, you may not use public access equipment or facilities for your own interests, even if they generate no revenue. The equipment and facilities are provided to you only for use in producing public access programming. They are not intended for use in producing school projects, family videos, or other hobbies.

Can I use my own equipment to produce my show?

Yes, you may use your own equipment to produce your show. The final tape, video file, or_dvd must be in a format which is acceptable for playback on any access channel. The acceptable format is Mpeg 2 @ 29.97 frames per second, 720×480 NTSC.

How do I get an announcement on the bulletin board?

The Community Bulletin Board airs on channels 3, 15 and 22 between programs. It features announcements by nonprofit organizations about upcoming events and programs. Postings are FREE to non-profit groups. To have your bulletin posted you can do one of two things:

Send us an email with BULLETIN BOARD ANNOUNCEMENT as the subject.
Print out this form [pdf] and bring the information to our offices at 285 Derby Street, or fax it to 978-740-4499.

Can I use music or video from other sources in my show?

As a certified access user, you assume the responsibility for the content of your show. Therefore, you are responsible for acquiring permission to use anything from other sources in your show – whether it is music, video, photographs, etc.

Can SATV cover my event?

Contrary to popular belief, SATV staff does not simply go out and videotape events at will in order to have programming to air on our channels. We provide the training and facilities for the public to use. So, if you have an event you’d like to see on SATV, you should get a group of volunteers together and learn to use the equipment in order to cover the event and produce your own video. The only cost associated with doing this would be your time involved and the workshop time. The use of the facilities and the equipment is free.

On what channel, and in what areas will my show play?

The program director determines on what channel your show will be played. Your address is used to make this determination, along with other factors. Therefore, the town you live in generally determines on what channel and where your show will be played.

How do I get a time slot on the schedule?

When your first show is completed, you will hand in the master tape for playback to the SATV program director. In addition, you will fill out a playback form. This form indicates to the public access coordinator and the traffic coordinator who you are and what your show is about. It also serves as your permission for us to play your tape over the air. Once your tape has been viewed by the access coordinator and approved for airing, the program director will select an available and appropriate time slot, based on the information related on the playback form. Once your show has been given a time slot, you will keep that time slot, unless the program director has a scheduling conflict, or if you fail to turn in your shows in a timely fashion. Time slots can also be revoked if you lose your access privileges for other reasons.

How do I get a copy of an SATV program?

If you want to get a copy of a program you have seen on SATV, you can request a dub by e-mailing our program director. Be sure to include the title of the program and date, your name, and a phone number you can be reached. We will call you when the tape is ready to be picked up. The dubbing fee is $15.

If you have produced a program for air on SATV and want to keep a copy, there are three basic ways to get a copy of your program:

Use your own tape for your edited master.
Copy the program off the air when it is shown.
Request a dub.

NOTE: MAKING YOUR OWN COPY IN THE EDITING SUITE OR ELSEWHERE IN THE FACILITY IS NOT PERMITTED. 

If I don’t have time to do a regular series, what are my options?

If the possibility of a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly series is too demanding on you or your available time, then we have several options. If your show idea could be produced in a single program, you can submit it as such. It will be scheduled as a special program, receiving no more than 4 total airings – and perhaps only one airing, depending on schedule availability. Another option within the realms of special programming is a mini-series. You can produce a series of at least 2 and no more than 12 installments, and submit it as such. In similar fashion, it will be scheduled to run, and you will be notified of the dates and times which it will be aired.

Disclaimer

This document is not an official representation of the rules and regulations of public access, nor is it inclusive of FCC regulations. It is meant to be an informative tool.