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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Plainfield Cable TV may be up again soon

Though Plainfielders will still find the scrolling notice of 'technical difficulties' on the City's cable TV channels (down since September 7, see my previous post here), I am told the problem may be fixed shortly.

Lamar Mackson, chairperson of the Cable TV Advisory Board, confirmed yesterday that vendor mmm

The stations
(channels 34/FIOS or 96/Comcast) have not had regular programming since a September 7 two hard drives failed at the time of a 'brownout' in the City Hall Annex, which was detailed on the Board's blog (see here).

Mackson advised that the consultant, who was owed approximately $2,300 by the City, has since been paid, and the new hard drives were set to be shipped last Thursday.

"Once they are here and installed," Mackson said, "the station will be up and running."

Meanwhile, he said, the Advisory Board has questioned the adminstration's point person, IT Director Chris Payne, about the amount of money spent on the consultants and what exactly Plainfield was getting in return.

'You will find,' Mackson said, 'that while we are supposed to have been getting 'editing' services, no videos of Plainfield's City Council meetings have been posted to the city's website since the April 5 meeting.'

'We are exploring options to improve that situation -- and at a potentially considerable cost savings to the city,' Mackson said.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

They probably didn't pay the cable bill

stevekilduff said...

Keeping alive the "minutes" thread from Maria's blog, it would be great if the council meeting videos were available in a YouTube type setting where they could be indexed by agenda sequence. Watching 3 to 6 hours of a council meting on PCTV is deadly and not a real option for a working person who has an interest in a part but not all of a meeting.

Chris and Lamar: can we do that without breaking the bank?

Lamar David Mackson said...

Regarding our recent loss of service at Plainfield Community TV Comcast 96 /Verizon 34, the Plainfield Cable Advisory Board has been working diligently along with the Department of Media to restore service.

After conducting a thorough investigation of the matter, the Board was able to help resolve the dispute with the Vendor. Any financial obligations that may have been outstanding were satisfied and now we patiently wait for the USPS to deliver the necessary equipment.

I feel it is important to mention that the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board is an independent organization that is comprised of elected representatives, appointed officials and citizens volunteers. PCTVAB is completely non-partisan, apolitical and unbiased in its representation of the citizens of Plainfield as it relates to Cable Television and Telecommunications .

In response to Mr. Kilduff's inquiry-the Department of Media has been working on a new website specifically for PCTV 96/34 which will offer programming, Video-on Demand, schedules etc. The major hurdle is that the Department of Media is largely understaffed and priorities of the City's numerous IT problems take precedence over the stations upgrading.

As a solution , however, the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board has created a blog site and a facebook page to remain in contact with the general public and to inform as well as educate.

For more information on the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board's initiatives, membership and progress please visit or visit the facebook page.

I may also be reached directly with concerns and suggestions at the blog or I look forward to developing a robust and active Public Access Television System and am excited about our continued progress.

Kindest regards,
Lamar David Mackson, Chairman
Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board

Anonymous said...

There are so many questions to ask. Operating and maintaining a studio for the sake of meeting minutes is silly. While there are other programs they do not tap into Plainfield's community and creative talent. There should be real broadcast professionals with real world programming, production and technical maintenance experience. Yes, the YouTube or Google video platforms would be great and would not be completely dependent on a single distribution source. This is a best practice and we don't need to reinvent the wheel here...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mackson lays it out: "PCTVAB is completely non-partisan, apolitical and unbiased in its representation of the citizens of Plainfield as it relates to Cable Television and Telecommunications."

PCTV is broken and so is the city and its taxpayers' wallets.

Lamar David Mackson said...

In response to Anonymous(October 14, 2010 6:19 PM)-
I agree with you in your statement that the wheel does not need reinvention in this particular case, however, I believe that the combined efforts of citizen volunteers with the real world experience can make a difference in creating a more productive and and inclusive Public Access Television System.

Since the reorganization of the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board in September of 2009, our vision has been carefully plotted to expand Plainfield Community Television to reflect the federal mandates regarding PEG Channels in the United States. These mandates encourage the usage of these Public Access Channels for the enjoyment or eventual employment of citizens like yourself to create programming. No experience necessary.

The ideal situation, as the Board envisions it, is to develop training, internship and production certification programs that will show ordinary citizens, students and anyone interested how to use the machinery as well as various production techniques.

As the Chairman of the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board, I encourage every citizen in Plainfield to respond to this by becoming more involved in the resource of Public Access Television. Standing on the sidelines to point blame will not change our circumstance and the Cable Advisory Board needs the support of the community to implement the initiatives and Policies and Procedures that have been recently approved by the City Council.

For more information on these initiatives I urge those who are reading to contact the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board by visiting our site at It is there that you will find articles, links and more regarding the action plan of the Board as well as areas to leave comments and suggestions. I will respond.

Cable Board meetings are held on the fourth thursday of every month and are open to the public. Our next meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2010 ,7:pm at the City Hall Library. Come and be a part of improving a community resource that is taking a role in changing Plainfield for the better. I am looking forward to hearing feedback and seeing your participation in our efforts.

Warmest Regards,
Lamar David Mackson, Chairman
Plainfield Cable Televison Advisory