Development Progression

Tan Line

DCBN Studio Photo
DCTV Media Brochure (pdf format)
DCBN Mission Statement
DCTV 4-H After School Program Mission Statement
DCTV 4-H After School Promo Video (Windows Media Player format - 2.76 MB - for faster connection)

By Dan Fernandez

Through the CSUCE Communities in Economic Transition program (Nov. 1995), a community business development evaluation was conducted with the community of Green River, Utah, and members of the Western Dolores County Economic Development Council. During the visit, the Council viewed a demonstration of the use of the Public Access Cable Channel in Green River, Utah. The following are the steps that were taken to develop our own TV station.

Phase 1

a. Contacted the local cable company (TCI Cable of Durango now AT&T cable) on accessing the Public Access Channel. Checked the cable company contract with Town of Dove Creek (all towns that have cable must have a contract with the local cable supplier) to see if supplying the necessary equipment (by the cable company) to access the channel was in the contract. In our case it was not. 1995

b. Secured grants to purchase a character generator, modems and access module. The cable company supplied the music for the channel. 1995

c. From the Extension office, the scrolling system was utilized as a community events calendar and information media. TV Cable is only available in the Town of Dove Creek and serves 125 households and businesses. We started with 12 information pages (in 2001 we now have 112) transmitting 7 days a week, 24 hrs. a day. 1996

Phase 2DCTV News

a. Working with the cable company, we developed a plan to access their main transmitting station in Dove Creek (or head-in room) for live transmissions on cable. This required the installation of a shielded cable, either underground or overhead, to the head-in room. We chose the underground method for the 1,400 feet of installation. 1996

b. Grants were secured for the live line installation and rudimentary studio equipment including a video camera and VCR for video tape transmissions. An FM tuner was also purchased so that we could choose our own music. Within a few weeks, we started a live evening news program with the 4-H kids - six 4-Her's in the program. 1997

DCTV StudioPhase 3

a. Investigated the possibility of installing a transmitter and tower for expanded coverage. The key contact was the local TV translator company (SW Colorado TV Translator Association). They supplied the technical information and contacts for the "DC TV" expansion. 1998

b. Secured grants for a 100 ft. tower, 100 watt transmitter, lightning protection, engineering, signs, tower installation, anti climbing device, studio equipment including new camera, tv monitors, wiring, etc. Cost "extras," contingencies and overages were extensive and needed to be more fully explored prior to grant submission. 1998

c. The TV translator company applied for and received the FCC license to operate the transmitter. This is a huge contribution because of the time and expense usually needed to secure a license. We were also lucky in that the FCC had opened an application window for licenses just as we got serious on the project. The TV translator company also supplied the broadcast antenna that sits on top of the tower -another large savings. 1998

DCTV Student d. "DC TV" transmits simultaneously on cable channel 20 and on UHF channel 32 with the community calendar and educational information pages 24 hours a day. With a UHF broadcast radius of 30+ miles, "DC TV" reaches into all of western Dolores County, western San Miguel County, northern Montezuma County and southeast Utah. Our estimated viewing audience is 5,000 people. "DC TV" Programming consists of satellite transmission re-feeds, video tapes and live transmissions with interviews, call-in shows, news reports, 4-H News at Noon,(ended by the high school in 1998) and the 4-H Evening News programs. All live transmissions must originate from the Extension office or the courthouse courtroom. Twenty five 4-Her's are now involved in the program. 1998

e. "DC TV's" transmitter was originally located in the TV studio. It was noisy and gave off a Control Roomsignificant amount of heat leading to system shut-downs. Working with the Dolores County Social Services department, funds were secured to relocate the transmitter to a vacant room and install a commercial cooling system. The present transmitter room with cooling system has the capacity to hold an additional 6 transmitters if "DC TV" decides to expand program offerings. 1999

f. Through the help of a local computer specialist, an additional live transmission site was established in the gym of the High School which is next door to the courthouse. This provided live programming possibilities for sports and cultural events. Also a grant was secured for a weather station which is programmed into the scrolling system giving instant local weather conditions. 1999

g. Working with Southwest BOCES, a grant was secured to install a receiver antenna on the tower for Vo-Tech and adult education classes. These classes are then rebroadcast to area residents saving considerable travel time and expense. 1999

h. Using the "DC TV" tower and facilities, SWTV Translator Association installed a transmitter for the All News Channel (ANC) on UHF channel 30 for area residents. 1999

Dan on Tower

i. Through two grants from the 4-H Youth Fund and the CSU Extension 4-H Program, funds were secured for 2 new studio cameras and a part-time assistant for Station operations. The Dolores County Commissioners have also granted permission for "DC TV" to move to larger quarters as soon as the offices are vacated in the courthouse and developed a County Line Item in the budget to support "DC TV" operations. Forty 4-Her's are now involved in the program. 1999

j. Additional grant money has allowed us to construct and purchase a remote transmission unit for live remotes within a 10 mile radius of the station. The microwave unit is very portable, can operate off of a car battery and transmits an excellent signal. A rotating receiver antenna has been installed on the tower to receive the signals. 2000

k. Working with Southwest TV Translator Association and Colorado Public Radio, an FM radio feed of Colorado Public Radio/National Public Radio feed is now being broadcast to area residents. This is a satellite re-feed and can be found on 88.7FM. 2000

l. As "DC TV" is now only one segment of our TV & radio system, the name has been changed from "DC TV" to the Dolores County Broadcasting Network (DCBN) which includes "DC TV" on cable & UHF, ANC on UHF, and NPR satellite FM radio re-feed. 40 4-Her's involved in the program. 2000

Phase 4DCTV Weather

Transmitter RoomPhase 5

Phase 6
The new transmitter room has allowed the installation of transmitters for rebroadcasting
of all major networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB and The Farm Channel. 2004
b. With some equipment approaching 10 years of service, major equipment upgrades were inititated including studio cameras,
video mixer, soundboard, in studio communication system and additional TV monitors. 2005
c. Installed live Webcam on courthouse. 2006
d. Installed automated video/CD system which has increased our program offerings. This computerized system allows us to store
hundres of hours of educational and community videos and CDs then schedule automatic broadcasts of selected videos at specific
times on our two Public Access channels. A weekly schedule of these programs is printed in our local newspaper. Videos/CDs include
anything from Pruning Workshops to senior citizen exercise videos. 2006-2007

- The Future

Hopefully, the High School will eventually assume a more significant role with the TV Station - this has been, and continues to be, one of the principle goals of this Extension program.

We are currently working with SWTV Translator Association and KSJD Community Radio to possibly install live radio equipment in our studio control room.DCTV Students

- Special Program Recognition
USDA 4-H National
The Power of Youth
4-H Centennial Edition 2002
Programs of Excellence
Exceptional People, Innovative Practices
DCBN 4-H Evening News Program

Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honorary Extension Fraternity
State Visionary Award for Dan Fernandez, DCBN Manager & DCTV 4-H Evening News Program Director

If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at 970-677-2283.


Last updated: March 22, 2011
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