PEG and The Perfect Storm – Episode 2

Tom Reeser
KOCT Executive Director

Over the past few years, more than 17 states including California passed legislation that stripped local cities of the right to negotiate franchise agreements with cable companies. It was these franchise agreements that helped finance PEG channels like KOCT. When you combine the results of the new law with a major recession and rising pension bills, you create a “perfect storm” that is sweeping away scores of PEG channels across the country.

Community Media Outlets Under Attack In The States

More than 3,000 PEG channels in the United States are connecting people with their local governments and informing citizens about the important issues they must face every day. Community television fulfills a vital need at a time when we are losing local newspapers at an alarming rate.

How many Cities have access tv? More than you might think…

Oceanside Community Television was started in the early 1980’s by Bob Bowditch and a group of volunteers in cooperation with city staff members whose initial goal was to videotape and air City Council meetings. In the same cooperative spirit, the City of Oceanside and KOCT worked together during franchise negotiations in early 2002, resulting in one of the best franchises ever negotiated in San Diego County. The City of Oceanside received $4.1 million dollars and created an Institutional Network which connects our fire, police, city buildings and KOCT in the event of emergencies. This funding also allowed KOCT to replace worn out equipment, purchase new digital cameras and editing gear, and upgrade our Industry Street studio facility to better serve our community. Since our birth in 1984, KOCT has produced thousands of programs about our Oceanside community. It is no exaggeration to say that NONE of these community-focused programs would have been produced if the public had to rely on commercial television or the good graces of the cable company.

Oceanside elected officials have said that because of the present dire economy, they will not be able to support KOCT with general fund monies this year. Once again, the City, KOCT and its volunteer Board of Directors are working cooperatively on a funding solution that will not impinge on the City’s lean general fund dollars. This solution will allow KOCT to continue to provide programs for, by and about our unique community. It won’t be easy and there will be hardships. But working together I believe we can maintain the city’s multi-million dollar investment in KOCT and survive this perfect storm.

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3rd Annual Green Week

Julia Swain
Production Team

This past week was the 3rd annual Green Week, an event to promote the preservation of our environment here in Oceanside. There were some great events to help everyone do just that – a free e-waste drop off, a beach cleanup, an environmental film festival, a compost workshop, and an entire fair down by the beach. The Earth Organization was the sponsor of the event, working with other organizations such as San Diego Coastkeeper to provide activities and information during the week. Even Girl Scout Troup 48.49 was out to clean the beach, and the Sunshine Brooks Theater hosted a showing of the film Bag It, a documentary on the use and harm of plastic bags. Children competed in making elaborate art displays relating to environmental preservation awareness, and reusable bags were given out to everyone who showed up to the Green Week events. KOCT covered Green Week’s events, so stay tuned for a Newsbrief beginning the 21st on both Channels 18 and 19.

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Oceanside Spectrum

Julia Swain
Production Team

Oceanside Spectrum is another show that KOCT has produced for several years now and has become one of our most poplar programs. Every month, host Elaine Swann interviews guests from different non-profit organizations who have upcoming events, news and information. This month, watch Oceanside Spectrum every weekday on Channel 18 to find out what the North Country Transit District has planned for 2011, hear from the Women Marines Association, the Buena Vista Audubon Society, and Mission San Luis Rey. Oceanside Spectrum’s segments are full of fun and great information on organizations and the latest events in Oceanside.
Oceanside Spectrum Host Elaine Swann

Oceanside Spectrum Host Elaine Swann

The KOCT Crew working hard on another exciting edition of Oceanside Spectrum

Through the viewfinder; we're live in 5. 4. 3...

Our Control Room operators direct and monitor the show

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From the Source

Peter Bonscher, Producer

Peter Bonscher

Greetings, my names is Peter Bonscher. A good portion of my job here at KOCT is writing the monthly schedule of programming for both our government channel and our community channel. Many of the programs you see on KOCT are produced right here by the Oceanside Channel. Programs such as Inside Oceanside, Journalist Roundtable, and Voice of Oceanside, are produced here by KOCT staff, volunteers and interns: programs produced for the community, by the community.

Often times, filling a twenty-four hour television schedule for two channels can be daunting. Fortunately, the association of PEG stations (public, education and government) around the state and country share programming with each other, giving us a wider selection of programming such as talk shows, documentaries and concerts, than we would be able to produce on our own.

Programs such as Live at the Ford, Community Cooking, California’s Golden Parks, NASA 360, Alternative Focus and Democracy Now! come to us through our relationship with other community stations around California and the United States.

We’re always on the lookout for new programming, and we welcome suggestions. So if there’s something you’d like to see, feel free to call the station at 760.722.4433, or write to And in a future blog, I’ll tell you how your own productions could earn a spot on one of our channels. So brush up on your video production skills!

This is KOCT – your community station working for you!

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The Spectacle of 3DTV (Part 1) – Let’s start with the glasses

Jeffrey Colwell
Multimedia Specialist

Many of us probably remember those cyan-red cardboard 3D glasses, right? Hopefully by now you’ve heard of or experienced first hand the latest innovations of the film and television industry in the realm of 3D. From the inflated fees at the box office to the battle of brand loyalty at home, 3D has proven to be a major catalyst for both industry revenues and, more importantly, user experience. But how is today’s three-dimensional world different than Wilhelm Rollman’s attempts back in 1853 (that’s right, this all started mid-19th century!)? Seeing is definitely believing.

2010 was a breakout year for 3D in theaters and in our homes. But even with such success (estimated sales of more than 4 million 3D televisions in 2010 alone), the platform is still in its infancy stage. Today’s technological advancements are rapidly changing and creating fierce competition in the way viewer’s experience 3D landscapes.

To get our minds primed and our feet wet with what today’s 3D marketplace has to offer, it’s best to start with what many people first associate with 3D movie-watching…the glasses. There are two types of 3D glasses you’ll encounter at the theater and/or in your home; active and passive. Active shutter glasses, although effective, pose several challenges to the viewer, both in comfort and use. Active glasses tend to be bulky and cumbersome, similar to ski goggles or a diver’s mask. To operate, they require a power source, typically running off of batteries. Another drawback is that active shutter glasses communicate via IR (infrared), meaning the viewer must keep the glasses in line-of-site of the transmitter on their TV set. Most home television 3D sets rely on this technology, although 2011 promises to move towards the alternative format; passive glasses.

You’ll typically find passive glasses in movie theaters or amusement parks such as Disneyland (Captain EO, A Bug’s Life It’s Tough to Be a Bug, MuppetVision 4D), SeaWorld (Sesame Street’s Lights, Camera, Imagination 4D) and Universal Studios (Shrek 4D, Terminator 2: Battle Across Time 3D); they’re lightweight, do not require a power source or transmitter, and they’re inexpensive to manufacture. Another great advantage passive glasses have over active shutter frames is portability; you can take your glasses over to a friend’s house (that is, if they have a 3D television set that supports passive frame technology).

Within the realm of active and passive glasses lies a labyrinth of nuances and slight manufacturer differences. Check back for the second part of my three-part blog on 3DTV where I’ll be discussing various advancements in home 3DTV sets, including recommendations and reviews. And yes, glasses free 3D is on the horizon.

For more information on 3DTV, check out the link below.

3DTV buyer’s guide

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PEG and The Perfect Storm – Episode 1

Tom Reeser
KOCT Executive Director

PEG is facing more challenges today than at any time since her creation. Public-Education & Government access stations (more than 3,000 exist in the USA) are facing a perfect storm that has eliminated many and threatens more.

What is going on? It started with the elimination of local franchises and their replacement by state franchises. In California, for example, the legislature was lobbied heavily by the telecommunications industry to abolish local franchises. It used to be that when a cable TV company, like Cox Communications, was awarded the sole franchise to provide television service in a city, only one corporation had permission to dig up our public rights of way (PROW) and there were fewer green cable boxes in front of people’s homes. PEG had always been the beneficiary of local franchises because cities could negotiate capital equipment for PEG channels and funding that by national law can only go to community television channels. It was this type of local franchise that allowed KOCT to replace aging equipment, upgrade its studio and receive a direct Cox Communications funding stream.

However, when the legislators passed the Digital Infrastructure Video Competition Act (DIVCA) in 2007, two things happened. First, other telecom providers such as AT&T were allowed to compete locally with Cox Cable to provide TV and internet services. Second, local franchises were eliminated and replaced by a state franchise process. (Cox has grandfathered in its Oceanside franchise until 2017.) Corporations, such as AT&T, are required to match some of Cox Communications’ funding requirements.

Unfortunately, with DIVCA more than just local franchises was lost. Cable and phone companies were to provide the same quality and level of service for PEG channels as required under local franchises but the reality in some cases is that the quality and functionality is lower. Digital video recorders cannot automatically record PEG channels. Many PEG channels have been placed so far up the channel line-up that only the most diligent browser can find them!

In our next Behind the Scenes blog, find out about the next perfect storm front to further threaten our PEG heroine…

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This month on Living Legacies

Julia Swain
Production Team

Living Legacies is a show that KOCT has produced in its studio for several years now, and has become a great collection of half-hour episodes. The show features one guest at a time, as host Tom Morrow interviews about his or her incredible story. Sometimes a group of war veterans, for example, will even come on an episode and Tom will host a roundtable discussion. This month we had two Vietnam Veterans on the show: Dick Blanchfield and Bill Byrne. Beginning March 7th, tune in to Channel 18 to catch these great interviews and hear the incredible stories of two war heroes. Living Legacies is a studio show that has honored so many Oceanside residents with stories to share.
Living Legacies with William Byrne

Living Legacies with William Byrne (left) and host Tom Morrow (right)

Living Legacies with Dick Blanchfield

Living Legacies with Dick Blanchfield (left) and host Tom Morrow (right)

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