Editor's Note: The following announcement is extremely important to PEG stations because it represents a change in the position of at least one forward thinking cable company, Comcast, regarding providing HD broadcasting capability to PEG stations. This new trend can only help not only PEG stations and their viewers, but cable companies as well as they start providing high quality community programming.
This story has been opened for comments which we hope any stations wishing to contribute to this dialog to participate in.
Additionally, we welcome similar announcements from other PEG stations from around the country (or world) as we all are progressing towards ubiquitous HD programming. Please email PegMedia.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have your own success story."
PhillyCAM announced July 1, 2015 that it is now cablecasting unique hyper local television in high definition (HD) on Comcast 966. Philadelphia's public access channel joins only a handful of community television stations around the country to have successfully made this transition. Here is video of today's announcement here: https://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01193
"Our community-based producers have been creating video content in high-definition for some time but our cable channels on Comcast and Verizon were only available in standard definition. It is a real validation of their work that it is now being seen in the quality it was intended", commented PhillyCAM Executive Director Gretjen Clausing.
The upgrade to HD was negotiated by the City and Comcast as part of the 2007 cable franchise amendment clearing the way for the launch of PhillyCAM. Guaranteed HD broadcasting was one of the many future-proofing provisions that grassroots cable activists fought for as part of their campaign to bring public access television to Philadelphia. This past fall, the City of Philadelphia made the request to Comcast to upgrade the channel and Comcast worked with PhillyCAM over the past 7 months to ensure that all Comcast subscribers in Philadelphia can now enjoy PhillyCAM's award winning content on a state of the art HD channel.
The Verizon franchise agreement lacks similar language requiring Verizon to provide PhillyCAM with an HD channel, so until a new franchise agreement is negotiated with Verizon or the current one amended, PhillyCAM will continue to only be seen in Standard Definition on Verizon FiOS.
The announcement was made live on both channels 66 and 966 with the creative support of participants in PhillyCAM?s youth media program. To demonstrate the color and clarity of the new high definition signal, PhillyCAM presented the cable premiere of What is Beauty, a breathtaking stop-motion journey into the natural world produced by area independent filmmaker Richard Hoffman. What is Beauty was featured on the big screen at this year's edition of the Philadelphia Flower Show in a competition organized by the Philadelphia Film Office. What is Beauty will air every Wednesay in July at 12:30 pm on PhillyCAM.
Other program highlights in July that cable viewers will be able to enjoy in HD include the jazz performance series, The PhillyCAM Sessions; a new a cooking/dance show with guest appearances by local Philly music legends like the Soul Survivors and the Intruders, Salt & Pepper n Memories; the short film Voguing Train that celebrates the underground cultures of voguing and ballroom; Eccentrics Anonymous, a program showcasing video art from odd people; Conversations Across Time, a current events talk show with actors portraying historical personalities; POPPYN, Presenting Our Perspectives on Philly Youth News and the Leeway Foundation's Trans Literary Salon.