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BCATv Mission Statement

Boxford Cable Access Television Corporation, Inc (BCATv) is a non-profit organization, which was formed to strengthen our community through increasing and enhancing communication among its residents. Membership is open to all the residents of Boxford.

BCATv exists to provide Boxford residents and organizations with the tools and training needed to effectively communicate with one another and with our schools and governmental bodies through the use of television and other electronic media.

These resources provide community members with a non-commercial forum for ideas, opinions, information and creative expression originating at the grassroots level.

BCATv does not select nor censor programming, but rather our local residents, organizations, schools and government bodies determine what information is important to share with the community. The rules and procedures outlined in our Operating Rules are designed to ensure that resources are used only for intended purposes and that all who wish to participate have an equal opportunity.

Our goals are:

  • Create a collaborative, participative and creative environment.
  • Promote freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression.
  • Highlight Boxford's diversity, including: its agricultural roots; strong democratic local government; educational facilities, including its regional high school district; youth and adult sports; local artisans; and growing senior population.
  • Nurturing producer driven programming ideas that are unimpeded by excessive regulatory control, ratings or commercial influence.
  • Provide an inviting, nurturing and safe learning environment where it's ok to experiment and learn by making mistakes.
  • Encouraging residents of all ages to express their ideas through local media.

Our History

Boxford Cable Access Television Corporation, Inc. (BCATv) was incorporated on September 20, 2005 as part of an agreement between the Town of Boxford and Comcast Corporation during negotiations of a 10 year cable television franchise renewal license.

Under this agreement, BCATv be would responsible for managing and staffing a local studio in Town of Boxford.  The BCATv Government Access studio is located in Boxford Town Hall, 7A Spofford Rd, Boxford. (Previous to this agreement, Comcast had been managing and staffing a Public, Educational, Government (PEG) studio for use by the residents of Boxford, since the original 15 year cable television franchise agreement was signed in early 1989.  This studio was originally located at Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford and later relocated to a Comcast facility in Beverly.)

Using a remote controlled 3 camera system,BCATv's first live broadcast was in early December 2006, when we took over the broadcasting of local government meetings that were conducted in the main meeting room in Town Hall.

In January of 2006, BCATv assumed responsibility for all broadcasts on Boxford Channel 10 to Comcast subscribers in Boxford.  Funding for this endeavor is provided by the cable television subscribers in Boxford via a monthly surcharge on the cable television portion of their Comcast cable bill.  This is the standard funding method used by Comcast for all of the communities it services in Massachusetts who have renewed since approximately the year 2000.

Channel 10 quickly became a focal point for the community.  By May 2006, Channel 10 was broadcasting live and pre-recorded events from 7 am through 1 am each day. 

Due to the volume of material available to be broadcast and replayed, there was minimal time remaining during the day to broadcast the Community Bulletin Board, which provides the viewing community with important notices regarding community happenings, public events, emergency notices, the Channel 10 programming schedule and other notices from non-profit organizations in the community.

In an effort to address this issue, BCATv split out government broadcasts in September 2006 to Channel 22, a dedicated government access channel, which broadcasts government related events 12 hours per day 7 days per week and a Community Bulletin Board the other 12 hours per day 7 days per week.  Live meetings from Boxford Town Hall are typically broadcast four times per week in the evening using unpaid volunteers, or contract labor as needed.  During the balance of the time, taped meetings, meeting replays, and public service events are broadcast.

In September 2006 the Town of Boxford signed a 12 year franchise agreement with Verizon as a second cable television provider in Boxford.  Verizon channel 45 is our Public Access channel and Verizon Channel 39 is our Government Access channel.  Verizon and Comcast subscribers see the same exact broadcasts.  Around this time, BCATv also achieved 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.

By 2010 Channel 10 was broadcasting 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and Comcast had moved Boxford Public access from Channel 10 to Channel 8 to be consistent with most other towns in the area.  In 2011 a Public Access studio was opened up at 256 Georgetown Road - Unit 1, Boxford.

In 2011 a Public Access studio was opened up at 256 Georgetown Road - Unit 1, Boxford when BCATv was fortunate to find and purchase a 2,100 square foot commercial condominium. This space has a 700 square foot recording room, 3 rooms for video editing stations, locked equipment storage areas and open space for training, meetings, and lectures.

In January 2014, BCATv signed a contract with the Town of Topsfield to run their local PEG Station, Comcast Ch 8 and Verizon Ch 47.  This agreement provides cost sharing between Boxford and Topsfield for events of interest to residents of both towns, such as Masco events, local concerts, lectures, etc.

In September of 2016, the Education Channel (Comcast 99 / Verizon 40) went live to focus primarily on Masco events.  At the same time we upgraded out broadcast equipment to a CASTUS QuickRoll server which allows our residents to view all 3 channels, plus our Community Bulletin Board over the internet in real time anywhere in the world on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Viewers can also view videos on demand using this service.



Our Current Activities

As mentioned briefly in Our History statement, Boxford Cable Access Television Corporation's (BCATv) primary activity is to provide an infrastructure and technical expertise necessary to enable the residents of Boxford to create, produce and broadcast their own video presentations on Boxford Public Access Channel 8/45, and Education Channel 99/40 and for our local government to reach out on Boxford’s Government Access Channel 22/39.

Currently 100% of our time is devoted to achieving this goal.  Our funding is through our cable television providers, COMCAST and Verizon, which ultimately charge each of their customers a surcharge based on a fixed percentage of the cable portion of their bill every month which is negotiated every 10 years by the Boxford Cable Advisory committee and the Boxford Selectmen.

BCATv has recently installed a state of the art automated digital television broadcast system which operates unattended 24 hours per day broadcasting video on the 3 local cable access stations described above. 

Content is routinely uploaded over the internet by our videographers during the week for broadcast the following week. 

In addition to the playback equipment located at Boxford Town Hall, BCATv has created eight "Studios in a Bag", which are fully functioning, High Definition digital single camera setups with a multi channel audio mixer and several microphones.  All equipment is battery operated and totally portable for remote location use, such as a sporting event, nature walk, indoor/outdoor concert, public meeting, school room project, on location news cast, etc.

Post production work, such as editing content from a digital SD card and creating a finished file for uploading to our broadcast equipment, is supported by multiple computer editing systems located in the Public Access Studio at 256 Georgetown Rd.  Installed on these computers are both consumer friendly video editing software that is easy to use while producing high quality video, plus commercial grade software that is needed for the 20-30 multi-camera (3-4 cameras) concert videos that we shoot throughout the year.

BCATv has friendly staff trained that is readily available to assist local producers free of charge.  We also maintain a web based calendar of upcoming events, which any member can sign up to video on a first come, first served basis.  This calendar is updated several times a week and it's easy to request an event by email or by completing the Community Feedback form on our website.

BCATv also maintains a public web site, http://www.BoxfordCableTv.com, for easy access by the general public to view television schedules, find upcoming events, watch live broadcasts and video on demand over the internet using their computer, smart phone of tablet, links to other resources.  More detailed access is also available to registered members of BCATv. This website was created at minimal cost by one of our volunteers using a free open source content management system.

Copyright 2017 by BCATv