April 1, 2009 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – April 1, 2009

Call to order

Members present:
Tad; Peaches; Joyce; George; Gabriel

Comcast (Sharon)
CTV (Joe)

Comcast Report:
– discussed Comcast Cares Day
– discussed PBS station’s choice of digital carriage (WNET-DTSD)
– George reported a complaint of someone losing channel 13 WNET; this is because of the WNET switch
– Changes that require a “digital converter box” will work either with a Comcast box, which is free for a year, then $1.95 / month after that; may also work with some TVs that have a digital QAM tuner
– Sharon noted that the plan is to eventually drop all analog channels, and have a completely digital basic tier. This could take two years.
– George asked if the digital basic tier would fall under FCC rules, but no one knows what that tier will look like, or the price of it, yet.
– Sharon mentioned the Digital Economy package (digital package w/o sports).
– Sharon will send lineups and prices to CTAC.
– Sharon mentioned DTAs or DTCs (basically small cable boxes so you only need one main cable box).
– Discussed loss of channel 5 (WNYW-FOX); legal rule that cable providers have to block out most of that channel, so Comcast decided to drop it.
– Joyce mentioned that even when there isn’t duplicative programming, sometimes it’s blocked out – in the case of news from CT vs. news from NY. Peaches mentioned that even if it’s only a fraction of the programming, it’s important.
– Sharon is going to send Joe an e-mail detailing how people who are losing 13 WNET can get a digital box from Comcast free for a year, which CTV will broadcast as a public service.
– Sharon discussed the ongoing negotiations with NFL Network (channel 275) that may fall through.

– noted that we’re getting lots of misdirected payment. George thinks it may be because the Comcast bill has the correct address in fairly small font, and the CTAC address is the same size. People have remitted payment in the Comcast envelope, folding the bill so that the CTAC address shows.
– Described a complaint from a customer complaining about lack of voice service (they may be confused about if they have Comcast voice service or not).
– A compliment! Someone who complained before wrote back to note excellent service.
– We still have not received the Comcast $2000 check for the year; it may have gone to Stuart’s house. Sharon is going to have the local office write us one instead.
– Noted contact information changes that need to be made in the Comcast/CTAC announcements that CTV carries.

Gabriel: asked if there were service issues with Internet reported in the East Rock area – Sharon will inquire about it.

End of Comcast Report

Info on Grants

Gabriel reporting on New Haven grant proposal – Larry McDonnell is the contact at NHPS.
– We agree to read the proposal in detail, and vote on it at the next meeting (May 1).

George reporting on Hamden grant proposals:
– George contacted someone who suggested that the Hamden system needed modulators; these would be too expensive for this grant ($3k to 5k; we discussed a limit of $1 to 1.5k). The Hamden system person contacted Joe at CTV, and Joe will help him apply for a grant from DPUC.

Stuart may have been in touch with someone in the West Haven school system; Joe suggested calling Tony in West Haven to discuss the grant.

Joyce asked Joe about progress at the field house connection. Joe is going to try and move the date for wiring up the field house so that Joyce can attend.

Joyce motioned to name the technology grant in memory of Stuart; Peaches seconds. Vote: unanimous in favor.

CTV Report from Joe:

New digital equipment is installed; they are in the process of getting the programs back on the air. Picture quality is better now.


Peaches asked about the New Haven proposal’s context.

I gave Larry’s specs:

“The Mac Mini they have chosen includes AppleCare, so it comes to $946 (from the education store), with the following specs:
– 2 GHz
– 2 GB RAM
– 320 GB hard drive
– DVD-burner (superdrive)
– Keyboard and mouse
– AppleCare Protection Plan (3 years)
Larry told me to update the proposal with this number.”

The $946 plus 2 x $150 for TuffCams comes to a total of $1246.

Peaches proposes that we act on the grant tonight; George wants time to read over the proposal. It was suggested that we review the NHPS proposal, and motion and vote online.

Meeting is adjourned, 7 PM.