Welcome to Grafton Community Television
Take a Virtual Tour of the Grafton Community Television Studio & Facilities!
Studio Hours: Mon - Thurs 10AM-10PM & Fri 10AM-6PM - Closed 1PM-2PM
296 Providence Road, South Grafton, Massachusetts 01560
GCTV@GraftonTV.org - (508) 839-2983
Welcome to the GCTV Access Television Studio! The Studio is located at 296 Providence Rd. in South Grafton, MA in the same building as the Charter Communications Payment Office. You can get to the GCTV Studio Facilities through the main doors of the Charter Office at the front of the building, but we prefer you to enter through the Studio's entrance on the left hand side of the exterior of the building, adjacent to our parking lot. This is also the only entry door for the GCTV Studio during non-Charter business hours. It's easy to find with our GCTV-11 sign prominently on display on the wall and has a doorbell if you find that the studio door is locked during the Studio's normal hours of operation. Please note that the normal GCTV Studio hours of operation are 10 am - 10 pm Monday through Thursday, and 10 am - 6 pm on Fridays, and that the Studio is closed daily from 1 - 2 pm for lunch and is also closed on weekends.
Here is our GCTV Entry and Break Room, where we begin this virtual tour of the interior of the GCTV Access Television Facility. You enter this room from the GCTV Studio Door, and as you can see it is designed to be a place to enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee, and is generally where Producers and Residents can meet and relax during our GCTV Open Houses and during breaks from the GCTV Production Course. Feel free to say hello to our Studio mascots in the fish tank on the table, a large angelfish and a cory cat. If you look on the right side of this picture, you will see the doorway leading to the GCTV Studio's Control Room, where the technical aspects of a Studio Production happen.
Just as you enter the Control Room from the Entry Room on the left are two racks, the second of which faces you. This Studio Equipment rack contains Camera Control Units, Time Base Correctors, an extra roll in deck, a Waveform monitor and Vectorscope, a small video monitor and the motherboard for the Switcher. All these pieces of equipment are utilized by GCTV Staff and Crews to make sure the video signal generated in the GCTV studio is technically correct.
Continuing to walk to the left around the back wall of the Control Room, you will find The Master Control Area, where the Playback rack holds the GCTV Video Server, playback decks, and Scala Bulletin Board computer. This is where the GCTV Staff programs the 3 Access channels, monitors the signal quality of the channels, checks to makes sure the video server is broadcasting properly, and updates the messages you see on the 3 Grafton Access Bulletin Boards
A close up of the Playback rack- at the top are triple bay video monitors for observing the 3 Access channels' signals. Below the monitors is the Video Server, the PVC Programmable Video Controller used for remotely controlling the playback decks, the Knox Video Routing Switcher that lets us send signals to and from different Video Sources in the studio, and 3 SVHS playback decks. Finally, at the bottom of the rack, are the 3 Modulators, which take the 3 Access Channel signals from the Video Server and send them out over the Grafton Inet, so that Grafton viewers see programming on cable channels 11, 12 and 13.
On the back wall of the Control Room are large shelves which hold DVD's and Tapes for all current GCTV-11 Series, whether created in house at the GCTV Studio by GCTV Producers, or "bicycled" in from other Town's Access Stations. Bicycled Series are shows that are requested for play on Channel 11 by a Town Resident, Town Employee or Local Business Owner. The GCTV Staff aims to bring the viewers of Grafton as much variety of programming as possible, and between original GCTV Shows and Bicycled programming, GCTV currently runs over 35 series on Channel 11, the Public Access Channel. The shelves themselves are actually left over from when the building used to be Finn's Pharmacy, and the control room itself is where the Pharmacy counter was located!
Continuing along the back wall of the Control Room, to the right of the Current Programming Shelves is a small room known as The Linear Edit Suite. This is where tape to tape editing using both DV and SVHS tapes is performed, and both the DV and SVHS Record Decks can also record anything being broadcast from the Studio itself. This room was once the Finn's Pharmacy Office.
Exiting the Linear Edit Suite and turning to the left, we see the main area of the GCTV Studio's Control Room. The 3 studio crew stations shown here are where a GCTV crew will sit to control audio, video, and graphics during live and taped shoots and make sure everything gets recorded properly. Notice a Master Clock above the window that looks into the studio- this Master Clock makes the crew aware of how close they are to the end of a live show. GCTV Access Assistant Rick Schultze demonstrates use of the Audio Mixer.
At the far right of the Control Room counter, next to the doorway leading from the Entry Room, is the Audio Station, where you find GCTV's 20 Channel Mackie Audio Mixer. This is where the Audio Operator sits to control volume levels for microphones, roll ins and music during a live or taped program. Next to the mixer on the right are wireless microphone receivers and a CD player, also for the Audio Operator's use during a shoot.
To the left of the Audio Station is the Director's Station. Here we find GCTV's Echolab Special Effects Generator, aka the "Switcher", and Program/Preview monitors for use by the Director of a GCTV Program.
Here is the Director's view out into the GCTV Studio. The equipment on the right side of this picture is an Audio monitor so the director and the crew can hear the audio coming from the studio through the Audio Mixer, a Headset Base Unit so the director can tell the camera operators what shots to get, and a DV Master Record deck for taping studio shoots.
Finally, to the left of the Director's Station, we find the Graphics Station. GCTV's Compix Studio Graphics System, pictured here, is used by the Graphics Operator to send names, dates, pictures and rolling credits to the switcher for display on the screen during a live or taped show. To the left of the Graphics Station is a door that leads into the GCTV Studio itself.
Step through the Control Room door and enter the GCTV Studio, where many of our GCTV Series are taped and broadcast live.
The GCTV Studio cameras, camera cables, studio video monitor, wireless mic transmitters, and other necessary studio cables are stored against the back wall of the Studio, to your right as you enter from the Control Room. Behind the cameras you can see the window that looks into the studio from the GCTV Control Room, and above the window is a second Master Clock that lets our talent for live shows know exactly what time it is and how close we are to the end of the show.
Continuing to walk around the Studio counter clockwise, you find the Ask The Geezers set. The Geezers used existing GCTV flats and the well-used Fireplace set piece, and in addition spent their own money for the paint, decorations and other materials to create their "Ace In The Hole Pub" where they shoot live every other Thursday night at 8 pm. The set looks real enough on camera that we've had viewers call in and ask if the Geezers were broadcasting from one of the bars or pubs in town!
In the center of the Studio against the front wall is the Main Stage, where the majority of GCTV Programs get shot. Notice the studio lights on the ceiling, able to be reconfigured for any show, and the set pieces on the right of the stage, ready to be set up for a shoot.
To the left of the main stage is the Chroma Key Stage, where we make the impossible possible! Through the use of Green Screen Technology, we can put any image or video in place of this particular color green, so that it appears as if our GCTV Producers are on the moon, on the beach, or in a dark alleyway instead of right here in the GCTV Studio. Walk through the door on the left hand side of this picture, and you re-enter the GCTV Control Room, and walk through the double doors on the right to enter the GCTV Edit Hallway.
As you enter through the double doors, you will see quite a few set pieces that would get in the way of shooting if stored in the Studio itself, so they are stored in the Edit Hallway because of its proximity to the studio. Here are several braces and flats available for use by GCTV Producers to help in creating an original look for their shows. Building a unique set helps visually distinguish one GCTV series from another!
To the right of the set pieces, also located in the Edit Hallway, is our C500W Encoding station, pictured here. The staff uses several different software programs on this system to convert shows recorded on DVD and DV and SVHS tapes to MPEG-2 Files for broadcast from our Video Server.
Continuing down the hall to the right, we find GCTV's Mac G4 Non-Linear Edit Station, which has both Apple Final Cut Pro and Media 100i Editing Software installed and available to Producers. This computer has been the editing workhorse of GCTV for several years!
To the right of the Mac G4, here is GCTV's newest Non-Linear Edit System, an iMac. At this Edit Station, 3 different non-linear editing programs (Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier and Media 100 Producer) are available to certified GCTV Producers for editing use, so that an individual can work with the Non-Linear Editing Program that best fits their skill level and that they are most familiar with.
Directly behind the Mac G4 and iMac Edit Stations in the Edit Hallway is another large set of shelves. These shelves hold the tapes that make up the GCTV Tape Library. Encompassing over 800 tapes and DVD's, the GCTV Tape Library contains the original recordings of just about every program that has ever been broadcast on GCTV. The earliest tapes are from 1984, when the first Cable License was granted in the town of Grafton. And yes, these shelves are also left over from the Finn's Pharmacy days, and the GCTV Staff is glad to have them at our disposal! Just to the left of these shelves (out of the frame of this shot) is a short hallway leading to the Charter Communications Payment Office, which we share our facility with.
Here is the Charter Communications Payment Office- the GCTV studio is located in the rear of the same building at 296 Providence Rd., South Grafton. During normal Charter business hours, you can step through the door on the right side of the Payment office to enter the Edit Hallway of the Grafton Community Television Facilities. Please note that if you are a Charter Customer and wish to drop off equipment or pay a bill after the Charter Payment Office is closed, the GCTV Staff is unable to access account information and will not be able to let you into the Payment Office to do so. Please visit the Charter Payment Office during their normal operating hours, 8:30 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday, closed daily from 1 - 2 pm for lunch, or you can drop off your bill through the mail slot at the front door or leave your equipment in the drop box located on the exterior left hand side of the building.