A Brief Description
On February 3, 1986, MCPS TV had its first cablecast with only four hours of programming. Through the years, we have increased our technical and creative know-how. Broadcasting on two Comcast Cable Channels in Montgomery County, MCPS TV produces or airs more than 40 hours of programming a day. First developed as an internal training facility called "TV Services," the department evolved into Cable TV in 1985 and later became MCPS Instructional TV in 1994. In July 2010, MCPS Instructional TV was shortened to MCPS TV. Today MCPS TV provides programs to more than 220,000 homes and all 194 schools in Montgomery County.
A Brief Timeline
||TV Services founded. Black and white only. Didn't switch to a full-color NTSC facility until the mid 70s.
||We changed from 1" reel-to-reel analog videotape format to ¾" U-Matic analog format.
||We added satellite downlink facilities to record programs from all over the world. Graphics changed to become all electronic. Originally graphics were produced by hand by the graphics department and shot with a camera.
||On Feb. 3, MCPS TV went on the air for cable TV with the
first program. Only aired four hours a day on one channel.
||We acquired a second channel from the Montgomery County
||Studio and field cameras changed from pickup-tube
based to CCD-based (charge-coupled device/solid state).
||We began with a DOS-based computer and green monochrome
screen at our desks.
||Editing made a major change from tape-based linear
(machine-to-machine) to computer-based nonlinear.
||Playback of programs changed from old ¾" U-matic analog tape to a robotic DVCPro digital tape-based system and will soon change partially to a digital playout server later this summer in 2003. We now transmit our programs on the air to Comcast Cable via fiber optic cable on Channels 33 and 34; previously we transmitted using RF coax on Channels 52 and 60.
||We now had better computers and began streaming MCPS TV
programs from the web.
||Now using third-generation CCD cameras. We have DVD record and playback capabilities. This is useful for archiving programs and providing opportunities in the immediate future for DVD authoring of programs.
||Media storage and archiving, previously tape-based,
migrated to a digital server.
||Adds additional state-of-the-art Final Cut Pro Editing Suites. Creates a family friendly, Saturday children’s line-up of programs called MCPS Kids!
||Technological and creative improvements in our studio
and control room allow us to create award
winning TV programs for
Montgomery County Public Schools.
||As part of departmental reorganization and budget concerns, Channel 33 became dedicated to airing Classic Arts Showcase 24 hours a day. All programming was moved to Channel 34, and MCPS Instructional TV was renamed to MCPS TV.