CAPE TOWN TV (CTV) is officially on air! After successive years in which the station was promised a licence, almost drowned in red-tape and shafted by large corporates and the national broadcaster, the community-access channel has finally succeeded in overcoming the technical and financial obstacles that have stood in the way of an actual broadcast and is now transmitting programming to the people of Cape Town.
Having participated in the initial campaign to get the channel up and running, I must admit that my attention had sagged somewhat, and drowning in litigation and my full-time volunteer job at the ubuntu centre, I was expecting to be told another year. But here we are. As we speak, television activists are prowling the boho-suburb of Observatory looking for poets to film. When last did continuity get this homespun? We really need it after an overdose of Rupurt Murdoch’s eTV that has bled us dry, increasing violence and climaxed in an orgy of cheap HOllywood reruns.
Just as DSTV is about to get two competitors, so the rich can get even more bloated from overloaded soaps and nameless stars that people can never remember, here is community house at its best. With partners as far left as you can say fedora, bandana and gumboots, I can only pray that critical debate makes a comeback.
Let the viewer beware, this blog is about to make its application to CTV for a permanent position in which it may berate the capitalist pig, O’Reilly and all that passes for content at Naspers.
CTV is currently engaged in an “initial two-week test transmission that will iron out the bugs in transmission.” The gremlins responsible for television waves are apparently still struggling to get the microwave link betweenthe CTV final control centre and the Tygerberg mast to work properly and interference is causing breakups in the signal reaching viewers.
Since CTV is a free-to-air channel anyone with a TV set can tune into CTV and “you do not need a decoder to receive it.”
Tune in by using the ‘channel search’ button on your remote control or TV set. You will find CTV between eTV and SABC 3.
Those people who receive SABC and eTV through their DSTV decoders and who have removed their analogue aerials will not be able to receive CTV unless they re-install their old aerials.
One problem that CTV is encountering is that some of the older VHS recorders and MNet decoders have their output channel set on the same frequency as that allocated to the CTV broadcast by ICASA. This means that some people can only see the CTV broadcast instead of their regular M-Net programming or being able to record shows on their VHS machines. The solution here is for these people to re-tune their devices to output on another channel, which will then avoid the interference problem.
If all goes well, from 15 September CTV intends to have four hours of original programming every day, which will be repeated throughout the day on a 24-hour cycle.