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Latest from Behind the Scenes

New Ubuntu Workstations at CAT coming soon!

I’m very excited to announce that Columbia Access Television will soon be offering even more software options in the coming month. CAT has always made a concerted effort to paint a representative picture of all the software options available for media creation, and we’re continuing that effort by offering completely Open Source workstations!

What is Open Source? For software to be considered “Open Source,” its source code (the 1s and 0s that make up the program) must be made freely available for people to use, edit, and redistribute without cost. In short, it has to be free. Excluding the cost of the physical hardware that makes up a computer, one can make a completely zero-cost workstation by using all open source software!

There are MANY varieties of open source software ranging from little utilities to full-blown operating systems. With our new workstations, you’ll be using the entire gamut. The new OS we’re offering is a form of Linux called “Ubuntu.” Ubuntu Linux is, in my opinion, one of the most user-friendly, functional and aesthetically pleasing operating systems available. And, once again, it’s completely free to install and use.

CAT's Define Your Voice Program is Underway

Thanks to partial support from the Missouri Arts Council, CAT has been able to embark on a few new projects this year. The CAT Chats are a case-in-point, along with the Define Your Voice (DYV) Short Film Project that started up earlier this month.

CAT invited the top-scoring teams from its recent 24-Hour Film Competition to take part in DYV. The 10 participants have two months to work together, with the assistance of a few local film mentors, to conceive of, storyboard, cast, videotape, edit and complete their 15-minute film. Mentors include writer Neima Shahdadi, filmmaker/Stephens professor Chase Thompson and the staff at CAT, among others.

The DYV crew is currently finishing up its screenplay. I’ve been reading a few of the early drafts, which so far include a sad DJ, stray cats, eerie coincidences and missed connections. Can’t wait to see the final product!

We’ll schedule a public screening of the DYV film before the end of June. Watch for details at


CATching Up With CAT - June 2012

Columbia Access Television can be seen on Mediacom Channel 85, CenturyLink Channel 603, Charter Channel 983, streaming live and available on demand at and select programming can be watched on our Vimeo channel and on our YouTube channel, just search for Columbia Access Television.


CATching Up With CAT - April, 2012

CATching Up With CAT - April, 2012

Columbia Access Television can be seen on Mediacom Channel 85, CenturyLink Channel 603, Charter Channel 21, streaming live and available on demand at and select programming can be watched on our Vimeo channel, just search for Columbia Access Television.

It’s not Thanksgiving, but that won’t stop me from being so thankful to have such a vast amount of new local programming on CAT. Our members have emerged from their safe slumber away from our harsh winter and with them they have some great tv to show you. Let’s get on with it...

Our Missouri Arts Council grant funded series, CAT Chats, continues to bring you in-depth, interactive discussions with some of our most talented local artisans in the field of cinematography, filmmaking and video production, audio engineering and graphic design.  Filmed in HD in Studio A and incorporating demonstrations, this is a series not to be missed. Watch CAT Chats: Graphic Design with Ben Chlapek and Jonny Pez Monday through Friday at 1:30AM and 2:30 PM. Find this and other episodes in HD on -- search “Columbia Access Television”.

Awww yeah!!! The Bone Man is presenting new episodes of Bone Man Rhapsody and new rap battles are just around the corner. Until the battles drop we’ve got three new episodes of Bone Man Rhapsody. Featured in the new eps you will see King’s Offspring, Breakneck, Mr. Pizzy, 3PFD and Jonny Storm. Tune into the Rhapsody Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11PM.

The Star of NAB: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

NAB, the biggest video and broadcast trade convention in the nation, just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Because this is such a hugely popular event, many video manufacturers debut brand-spankin’ new technologies at this event. With so many companies sharing a flurry of press releases, it’s pretty easy to lose great new products in the noise. Since this blog post is MY pedestal from which to proselytize, I’m going to tell you about my favorite stand-out gadget.

Blackmagic Designs has, until now, almost exclusively been a post-production and live switching company; they’ve just unveiled their first foray into acquisition with Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

This camera seems best suited for the discerning DSLR video shooter and attempts to address many of the main issues that DSLR users have. Rather than the lossy and sometimes troublesome H.264 codecs that you get with DSLR cameras, The BMD Cinema Camera will record in RAW, ProRes or DNxHD, effectively removing the transcode step of the DSLR workflow. This camera also features industry standard inputs for audio removing the need for additional, separate audio recording devices. On top of all that, this little beauty can record up to 2.5k resolution!

My first reaction when reading about the Cinema Camera was, "How much is this going to cost?" When I finally saw the price tag of approximately $3,000, I was pleasantly surprised. To put that in context, that's about the same price as a Canon 5D Mk. III with all its video quirks.

There is always a ton of great stuff coming out of NAB, but this, by far, was my favorite new gadget. Hopefully all you enterprising DSLR shooters will keep this in mind when you're upgrading your gear!

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