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Changes coming to WCGtv Carberry

posted Jan 3, 2017, 8:14 AM by Kathy Carr
For about 35 years, cable subscribers to the Westman Com­munica­tions Group Co-operative have been given a channel of local programming, a feature be­coming scarcer and scarcer as television gets more complex and centralized. 
Westman subscribers are among the last in the country to get truly local input to their cable. The material is provided by community volunteers, and you can see local events, church services, school productions, public service announcements, and all manner of home-made programming throughout the week and throughout the year.
In 35 years, the technology has undergone great changes. From simple VHS recordings slipped into machines in a tiny “head end” in a back lane, to gradually more sophisticated digital video, and automated programming machines, the changes have come steadily. We’ve even been able to run live programs from our studio on Main Street.
Changes, especially in the digital media, come faster and faster as the years pass. Each change brings an imp­rovement, and each improvement brings more extensive and sophisticated training, and costs more. 
We’ve reached a point where a single town’s subscriptions can’t support the technology needed to put out their work to the new standards.
So — we’re going to regional programming channels. Carberry’s output will be combined with that of Minnedosa and Rivers, and perhaps as things develop Neep­awa, Erickson, and Glenboro. Because we’ll now be able to afford higher quality components, the signal should be ‘way better, and the range of community programming broader. 
Scheduling will take into account local preferences, so though the time of a program like the reading of the Carberry News-Express may change as we set up, it will stay consistent from then on.
 Even more exciting than the quality is that our neighbours will see our programs, and we’ll see theirs. Already the system is in place for the southern region of Westman’s community access committees (you can see them on channel 113), and the northern region is coming on line as you read this, on channel 114. 
Now subscribers in Carberry can see programs created in – for example – Killarney, Virden, Swan River, and Ste. Rose. When our central region (Channel 115) comes on line at the beginning of February all those towns, and in fact anyone in the Westman system, will see our output if they wish. 
Channel 12 on Carberry sets will be showing the same as the regional channel 115.
If you have questions, or if you’d like to help create local broadcasting in any way, you can reach the committee at carberry.wcgtv@wcgwave.ca

by John McNeily
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