FAQ

What is Public Access Television?
The main similarity between public access and public broadcasting is that both are non-commercial. However, unlike public broadcasting; public access television is television programming for the community, made by members of the community. Public access is a way for everyday people to create television programs that allow them to express their ideas and beliefs without fear of censorship.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step is to attend an Orientation Session. These free sessions are held once a month at 6:00 pm. Please check out our Getting Started page or call 336-373-1100 for more information.
How Much Does it Cost to Put a Program on Cable 8?
We do not charge for channel time. Our Membership fee of $100.00 is for administrative costs associated with cablecasting programs.
How does Cable 8 decide what is shown on their channel?

Actually, we don’t. Greensboro Community Television plays what we receive. Any citizen of Guilford County, NC can submit a program for cablecast once they have paid their yearly membership fee. The majority of what you see on Channel 8 has been produced by a community member just like yourself! So if you see a program on Cable 8, someone who lives in Greensboro or Guilford County has requested that it be shown.

Does Cable 8 screen content?

No, we don’t. The great thing about public access is that you don’t have to worry about censorship. You can express any political, religious or entertainment point of view and it will be cablecast on Channel 8. Now, this does come with some limitations. Cable 8 is a non-commercial station, so we cannot show anything that is commercial in nature–this includes asking for donations of any goods or services. We cannot show anything that is illegal…no pornography, pyramid schemes, underage drinking or drug use. You cannot commit libel or slander, or invade personal privacy. If you have any questions about content, please contact us, and we will do our best to answer your specific questions.

What are Cable 8's Technical Guidelines?

All of the programs that are cablecast here at Cable 8 must be on DVD. We accept both DVD-R and DVD+R. You must have 5 seconds of black before your program begins, and 10 seconds of black after your program is over. We only accept one program per disc. No applied labels on the discs will be permitted. Please check out our Technical Standards for more details.

How often can I air my show?

Each producer/Member is eligible for a twenty-eight minute time slot, and this program may be repeated during a one-week period. Cable 8 defines our “week” as Sunday through Saturday. Programs are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. No producer may play a program more than twice (one premier, and one replay.) Any other plays (further replays) are strictly at the discretion of Cable 8 based on (1) the availability of time slots; and (2) the need to avoid monopolization or relative over-utilization of the channel.

Can I have a regular timeslot?

Some producers are interested in producing a regular program to be shown at the same time each week on Cable 8. We offer series contracts for those producers. Cable 8 does require that series producers become Members of our organization. You must also prove proficiency. (This means having produced and cablecast two programs in the format of your series…two talk shows if your series is a talk show.) Each contract is for a one year period. Drawings are held for the time-slots in December. Please contact our office for more information.

Can I use Cable 8's video production equipment?

Most of our producers do own their own equipment. If you want to shoot outside of our facility, you will need to have your own camera to do so. But, we do have a 3-camera studio that you can use to produce your program. We also have 3 editing suites that can be used to edit your show. You must take our certification classes to become eligible to use our equipment. But once you are certified, you can begin using the equipment right away. All equipment use is free, as long as it is used to produce a program to be aired on Cable 8. Otherwise rental charges do apply.

Can I hire Cable 8 to make my program for me?

Of course! We offer production services and we will gladly shoot your program for you, if you cannot shoot it yourself. Our rates are reasonable, but the actual cost may vary depending on the complexity of your program. We can shoot either in our studio, or on location. Please contact us for more information.

Do you run advertisements or commercials?

We cannot run commercial advertisements. Because of the way our franchise contract was written, we cannot have any kind of advertising for goods or services, or requests for donations of any kind on our channel. If you were to do so, it would put our non-profit status in danger. We do however offer public service announcements called Community Bulletin Board. This will allow your organization to publicize upcoming events. Please contact us for more information.

What is Cable 8's funding source?

What a great question! We receive a portion of the taxes that are collected from your cable bill. This money is collected by the state of NC, and a very small percentage is then distributed to the public access facilities in the state. This pays for about half of our operations budget. The rest of our funding comes from user fees, video production, grants and other forms of fundraising. Actually, we usually have quite a shortfall in our budget. Any contributions are always greatly appreciated, and are most always tax deductible.

What if I live outside Guilford County?

Our rules state that you must live within the confines of Guilford County in order to play a program on Cable 8. All programs must be sponsored by a resident.

Why don't shows on Cable 8 look like regular commercial television?

There are many reasons. The main one, however, is that the programming that you see on Channel 8 is made on lots of different equipment. The variances in the quality of the camera makes a huge impact in the way a program looks. The lighting (or lack thereof) may make a program look over exposed or dark and grainy. The audio will vary greatly depending on the conditions it was recorded under, and if the producer used an external microphone or the camera microphone.

The experience levels of our producers vary from novice to professional, and this of course affects the final product. Most of our producers are not professionals, and produce these programs in their spare time. They concentrate on the message, not the medium. This does sometimes make for a less than perfect look or sound, but all programs do meet our technical standards.