CTV 21 Newsletter
Tours for all! by Megan Irwin


Why do people come to CommuniTyVision 21?  Is it because they are curious about what we do?  Maybe it’s because they’ve heard about our “Recycle Your Tapes” drive. Or could it be the custom training, advanced training and volunteer opportunities? Whatever the reason, we are always excited to see you and interested to get you moving forward on your production goals. While we offer a variety of things for you to do here at CommuniTyVision 21, there maybe something that we haven’t been telling you. We offer tours to a variety of groups for a variety of reasons. Some come down to the facility just to see what we are about, while others come down to get their show idea off the ground.
          While we can design a training or tour to any group or individual looking to produce programming, we also get a lot of scout tours coming down to fulfill communication badge requirements. Scout troops from both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts come down to visit the studio and see what we do here. We teach them about cameras, lighting and sound, the benefits of community access in their community, as well as allow them to star in their own commercial. We enjoy having the scouts down to the studio to see what they can do. We hope that they will return as future Producers.

          In September we held an Open House which was a success. Many interested members of the community came down to see what Community Access was really about. We enjoyed being able to give tours that day and remind you that you do not have to wait until we have another open house to come down and get a tour. We will give one to you anytime. Just call us at (203) 304 -4050. We look forward to giving you your tour of Communityvision21

For these efforts the State of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection lauded our efforts with a Green Circle Award at a ceremony in September. The CTV21 staff is proud of this award and we hope to offer this unique, green campaign again next year.

Public Affairs

Local Edition– our award winning public affairs series continues with interviews of local groups and covering local topics important to Western CT. Produced with the help of the CTV-21 Interns, this half-hour series provides hands-on experience, good quality programming, and opportunities for community members to learn what CTV-21 has to offer.

SchoolNet - Our Newly renamed Educational Affairs program continues to provide a voice to educators in the region that have something special to share about their school and community.

Connecting - This is a special Political Affairs program that is produced and hosted by State Representative T.R. Rowe. He has provided an opportunity to many leaders at the state level to share important news and information.

Check out these informative facts: Did you know that you can choose a topic for an upcoming episode of "Local Edition"? You can also suggest an educator or topic for SchoolNet. Last but not least, if you are an elected official and you would like to have your own single program or series - You Can! To participate in any of these opportunities - Just call (203) 304-4050.


Local Edition Host Phyllis Cortese reviews the Concert Society Chamber Orchestra holiday concert with guest Richard Serbagi.


Truck Shoots, Outreach and On Location By Mark Ingram

In the month of October we here at CommuniTyVision 21 moved full speed ahead with election programming. It sometimes can be a tuff situation to honor all truck shoot requests because there is only one TV production truck and 14 towns.  So, when we get a request to cover an event and the schedule does not permit us to cover it, we are ready with solutions and alternatives.  Our goal is to encourage the coverage of local events by members of the community who would like to share and reflect their community on CTV21.  There are many ways this can happen, but I will write about this a little bit later.

So, with great excitement our 11,000 lb mobile production truck started off the beginning of October with the first selectmen and selectmen debate in the town of Woodbury. This came to us by way of two community institutions, Nonnewaug High School and the Litchfield County League of Women Voters.  Roger Parkhouse, teacher and coordinator of Nonnewaug High School’s educational access channel 17 requested this event and wanted to combine it with training for some of his students.  We have worked with Roger numerous times over the years and his level of organization combined with his ability to unify his students made it easy to work together to create this program. The result of this collaborative effort was a program that cablecasts on both CTV21 and Nonnewaug High’s NEAT TV which cablecasts to Woodbury and Bethlehem residents.  This is also very satisfying to be able to provide this kind of information to the public, during these times when it seems that viewers are either unemployed or have more than one job.  We are happy to provide this community service during these busy times and give people a way to be informed on the candidates for office by offering multiple cablecasts opportunities.



The weather once again reared its ugly head as it has for several of our truck shoots this year and unfortunately, canceled a would-be truck shoot.  We were to have helped a video production class at New Milford High School bring varsity football to the local screen. However, that did not slow us down because we shifted our focus to the next truck shoot which was the Brookfield First selectmen debate. During this debate our Interns filled the crew as we taped candidates representing 3 parties competing for this office. We also coordinated with Whisconier Middle School as well as the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce to produce this program.

It is important to note that we take community outreach seriously here at CommuniTyVision 21. The information we give out is diverse, exciting for us and fun as well for the group that requests us. We went to Naugatuck Valley Community College to inform students and there teacher about the CommuniTyVision 21 Internship. We went to Masuk High School to inform those students about basic lighting theory, some techniques for their school projects and public access and our internship. Lastly, we went to Nonnewaug High School to inform students about our hands-on internship, public access and the historical and cultural importance of Public Access Television.


Producer Spotlight: Carmella D'Aquila

Producer Spotlight:  Carmella D’Aquila
By Barbara Knapper

I asked Carmela if she would be in our Producers Spotlight.  Her response was an enthusiastic yes.  I leave you to her Interview. 

Carmella, Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up in Astoria Queens birth place of Tony Bennett who lived up the street from me...we both lived in 3rd floor walk ups...railroad apartments....with no heat except a kerosene stove in the kitchen.

You have a background in television, tell us about that.

I was working for NBC TV, in the IT department; every time there was a strike there were opportunities to volunteer as camera operator, video tape librarian, “go-fer” person, etc.  However, if I wanted to just volunteer my manager's permission was required. My managers would never give me permission...every strike I'd ask and every strike the same answer: NO. I was so jealous of my co-workers one of whom got to be a camera man for 3 months on the soap operas being filmed in Brooklyn. So, when I saw the ad for the CTV-21 internship I thought this was my chance to finally catch up

growing up




What do you like best about producing?

What I like best about being a producer is coming up with the idea, getting to talk to so many different people (different in interests and background from me), and then asking the people if they would like to be in the video...every person I have approached to be a guest has been so thrilled. The look on their face and sound of their voice is amazing ...first there is disbelief that this is really happening to them, then absolute joy, followed by a such a burst of enthusiasm I almost feel like I was hit by a tsunami. 

What about when the productions are complete?

When the film is completed they are so thrilled to actually see themselves performing, that even if my film work is shaky the performers are still genuinely thrilled to see themselves and the subject that they are more interested in, on video and broadcast on TV. Every body wants to be a star. As a Producer, I now I get to see such constant smiles which is a wonderful change of pace.

Do you have plans for future shows?

Other shows I'd like to do: Igor Sikorsky and his impact on CT and the air transportation industry; Adult Day Care as an option in elder care; The history of the underground railroad in CT; The governor's horse guard; and the Italian immigrant experience.

Thank you Carmella.  We look forward to your future productions.



Video Tips: "The "Ins" and "Outs" of Ins and Outs" by Greg Van Antwerp

I was installing some new equipment in the studio a few months ago and I continued to be amazed by how many different kinds of connections there are. There are at least 10 different types of common audio and video jacks and/or plugs to get the job done. If I knew the history of them all I would spill it all here, fortunately for the reader, I don’t.   I only know a few of the basics that cause some of the connectors to look like they do.  Maybe with a basic understanding of them you won’t be afraid or concerned to look behind your set. 

connectorThe best place to start is with the constant change in technology. TV image quality has increased and with it so has the complexity.  TVs were much simpler when all you had for input was an external antenna – 2 screws to connect some odd petrified tape worm of a cable (300 ohm).  Then VCRs and cable TV boxes entered the picture with a new kind of connector – coaxial (75ohm) (which is really the name for the cable). This was integrated into VCRs early, but older TVs still needed a matching transformer to connect (see image above). It looked odd but with only a couple of connections to choose from, you had more than a sporting chance of figuring it out. Then came TVs and VCRs with RCA connectors and video game systems and with it, the need to watch one show (or play a game) while recording another. Now, instead of just a couple of wires there were a multitude of short jumper cables, splitters, and A/B switches, and suddenly dust bunnies had a new place to breed.

A few manufacturers tried to sell video switch boxes to simplify all the different combinations of video equipment, but TV stands and entertainment units didn’t afford them the space to sit nice and neat near the set. They also added more cables and the need for another AC outlet. Uh oh! Now we need a power strip back there. 

Along comes surround sound and the ability to have your stereo blast those Hollywood movies to anyone in or near the lazy-boy. More cables! More connections!  Finally, in this abbreviated timeline of consumer electronic technology, digital arrives with the promise of HDTV. Maybe the advent and growth of TIVO and DVRs was a benefit to the rat’s nest of cables, because it sped up the demise of the VCR and reduced a couple of the tangles back there.


connectors3The LCD and Plasma TVs sold today try to be all things to allconnectors2 consumers by having several types of inputs ready for whatever you’ve got. HDTV requires a special type of cable called HDMI (right) and DVD players introduced us to Component cables (above). Here, a couple of types of video signals that confuse many folks: Component VS Composite. These used to be terms that only applied to professional/industrial video, but now there is a version of component signal that consumers need to be familiar with.

connectors4Composite (think of compost, as in compost heap) - Video signal is complicated and carries a lot of information that can be separated into many parts. Composite video keeps this information combined in a single wire. If you are familiar with the AV input on most TVs, it is the yellow connector (right).  Any cable that carries a video signal can be considered a composite signal however the connectors are not always interchangeable. Remember that audio is not a part of a composite signal. Composite is also considered the lowest quality connection.

Component is easier to remember beconnectors5cause the word defined refers to a part of something.  A component connection is the result of the video signal being separated into 3 carriers, not separate colors, color and luminance information are separated across color-coded wires. These are more commonly found on cable boxes and DVD players. In doing this, there is more room dedicated to maintain the quality of the signal from source to screen. 

If you have questions about which cables to use or which to buy (beware of over-priced retail component and HDMI cables!) just give us a call.  There is no question too simple or problem too complicated where we can’t be of some help.