Northborough – Whether you want to replace Regis Philbin, improve your video skills or film your kids” sporting events, Northborough Community Access Television (NCAT) has the equipment and the classes to transform home movies and groom the next generation of video professionals.
Station Director Kathy Dalgliesh is proud of what the facility has to offer and believes that even “newbies” can create a polished product.
“We have the equipment so it can look and sound professional,” Dalgliesh said.
In addition to many top-of-theline cameras, lighting elements and a large set complete with teleprompters and green screen, NCAT has all the latest editing and effects software at its headquarters in an alcove of the Algonquin Regional High School.
Anyone can develop his/her own material at NCAT after taking a free producer's course. In addition to showing town meetings, residents are hosting cooking shows, giving instructional piano and watercolor lessons, and producing fitness classes.
Dalgliesh enjoys working with Algonquin students who have computer savvy and a fresh approach to television, but also with residents who want to take the producer class for personal reasons. Of her unique “student body,” she said, “In one of my first classes I taught two 70-yearold ladies and two kids with mowhawks and by the end, they were all such good friends.”
Often wrongly dismissed as either being too bland or akin to “Wayne's World,” public access television is one of the last uncensored media in America. In the 1970s, cable companies began to devote a percentage of their subscription revenues to public access television so that the public could utse their cable dollars to interact with their community.
“There used to be local publishers and television stations, but now they'se under media umbrellas and they'se so controlled,”Dalgliesh said. “Public access is the last vessel of free speech that there is.”
Begun in 1983, NCAT runs three channels and has video on demand on its website. The Educational Access channel plays Northborough and Algonquin School programming and relays pertinent information, while the Government Access channel displays municipal government information, meetings and federal and state programming. The Public Access channel is a haven for residents wishing to display their creativity.
While NCAT has a bevy of equipment and programming, it is always looking to improve and expand. Dalgliesh wants to update the Board of Selectmen meeting room by installing robotic cameras and making more locations at Algonquin “””live.” And because the new Senior Center offers a bevy of activities, Dalgliesh plans to record many of the presentations, clubs and classes so that seniors can participate from their homes.
Dalgliesh is thrilled with her position and for the future of NCAT and encouraged residents to take the class or submit ideas to the station.
“I happen to have a job that connects to almost every household in the community,” she said, “and I hope that the content that we produce for them is relevant, entertaining and informational.”