City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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Frequently Asked Questions


   General Information

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Public access exists due to an agreement between the cable companies and the City of Springfield. Public access programming is community programming on cable TV. It gives you the opportunity to write, produce, direct, and perform in your own programs. People who normally are not allowed easy access to the mass media find a powerful resource for local expression through public access. A majority of public access programs are produced locally by non-professionals.

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Anyone with a non-commercial message or idea can present it on the public access channel.

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Public access is a great opportunity to take a stand on a current issue, or let the community know what your group is doing. It's a cost free way to promote your special interest or event and have fun doing it.

What programs are seen on public access? Any programming protected by the first amendment which is NOT commercial, libelous, slanderous or obscene in nature may be shown on public access. These include interviews, panel discussions, sports, documentaries, performances, political, religious, educational, entertainment and many other types of programs.

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No, you cannot make a profit from your public access show.

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There are a number of facilities available for your use as a producer. A list of them can be found on this Website on the Home Page.
Home Page.

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Yes, you may use your own equipment to produce your show. The final product must be in a format which is acceptable for playback on the access channel. Access 4 Springfield utilizes video tape, DVD, and MP2 formats.

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Yes, you may have your friends help you with your program.

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As a access producer, you assume the responsibility for the content of your show. Therefore, you are responsible for acquiring permission to use anything from other sources in your show - whether it is music, video, photographs, etc.

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As listed above, public access is part of an agreement between the cable company and Access 4 Springfield. Within these agreements there are general clauses which prohibit profanity, obscenity, and so on. Therefore, the answer to this question, in general, is no.

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No. Anyone with a non-commercial message or idea can have a show on the Access 4 Springfield.

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Yes, but each show must be submitted along with a typed English transcript.

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Your program will play on Channel 4 on Comcast Inc.’s Springfield cable system, and within the Channel 99 group on A. T. & T.’s U-Verse television system.

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We can only play back a format that is acceptable for the playback system that we support. Those formats are DVD, DVPro videotape and MP2.

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For a 30 minute timeslot, your show needs to be between 28 and 30 minutes. Ideally, it should run no longer than 29:30, allowing for time to identify the Access 4 Springfield channel. We do not provide for a 60 minute programs at this time.

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You should apply for a timeslot on Access 4 Springfield by using the program proposal form. This form is available elsewhere on this website.

Priority will be given to new, locally produced programming. We prefer you have a months worth of shows completed before we give you a timeslot, but having several shows ready and others scheduled would be sufficient.

Once your show has been given a timeslot, you will keep that timeslot, unless there is a scheduling conflict, or if you fail to turn in your shows in a timely fashion. Timeslots can also be revoked if you lose your access privileges for other reasons.

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Once you have a timeslot, you will hand in the tape or DVD for playback to Access 4 Springfield, located in Municipal Center West, 7th and Monroe, Springfield. A drop location will be identified in the municipal building. In addition, you will need to fill out a playback form. This form indicates to the access technician and the traffic coordinator who you are and what your show is about. It also serves as your permission for us to play your tape over the air.

Once your tape has been received, it is viewed to make sure it meets the technical standards and playback requirements needed for the playback system it is to play out of. Once approved for airing, the traffic coordinator will begin to air your show based on the information given on the playback form.

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As mentioned in the above, an access producer can lose their time slot if they fail to get their show turned in on time. Within the rules and regulations are the specific requirements for this procedure.

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Yes. You need to make sure there are no breaks in the control track, or glitches, found on your tape. If our playback system encounters one while playing your tape, there's a good chance it will automatically stop airing your tape and immediately cut to the community calendar.

You also need to pay attention to your audio and video. These need to be at an acceptable level. Audio that is too loud will sound distorted, and audio too soft will not be heard. Also, your video can't be too bright.

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New program submissions must be turned in at least 2 weeks prior to their start date. For example, if your program is submitted between the 1st and 15th of this month, it will be scheduled to start the first week of next month unless other arrangements are made.

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While we will try to accommodate any requests, there are many factors that will determine when your show will play. Timeslot availability, and show content are a few factors. For example, some programming will require a later timeslot based on content. Access 4 Springfield will make the final determination on your timeslot.