Tuesday, 21 March 2023 14:39

HTV AV training for city employees

HTV’s AV training helps city employees use their camera gear to help create content for their departments. HTV’s AV training helps city employees use their camera gear to help create content for their departments. Photo by Pete Mayes


Ted Irving is realistic. He knows not everyone can become Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee. He just wants to help people tell their stories better with video.

That’s why the HTV director is excited to share his considerable broadcast experience and his department’s resources with City of Houston employees and Houston residents in new skill-building classes that began in February.

Irving said HTV initiated a new class in February and another in March to teach people how to manipulate natural light for better video with a cell phone or digital camera. Participants bring their smartphones or DSLR cameras; he brings the expertise.

The main focus of the classes is video production. HTV offers a variety of training services that allows city employees to use their camera gear to benefit their departments’ video communications.

Video training is a new HTV service. It has long been known for offering a variety of resources in the media space — not just its four cable channels, but also studios used to produce content for its cable channels, as well as video production opportunities.

“In addition, the city of Houston has the Houston Arts Alliance, the Houston Film Commission, and the TechLink system designed by the Houston Public Library that enables those with a library card to use the video production facility and the music recording studios,” he said.

Irving said the classes HTV offers provide rental training and skill-building services.

“Skill building is for those employees seeking to tell the story of their department, and they need training in lighting, audio, video recording with cell phones or other type cameras, video editing, etc.,” Irving said. “For any city employee that need to video record for their department, we provide Canon DSLR cameras with tripods.”

Irving also said employee can rent the camera gear for their division once training is complete.

All the training courses help employees create content for HTV, which in turn is used to promote the department’s channels across its Public, Education and Government channels.

Irving said HTV has 778 programs on its PEG channel— everything that is classified as a Flex program, a meeting, or a series produced inside and outside of Houston.

What is PEG?

he City of Houston has operated a PEG channel since 1985. It also collaborates with Houston Community College and Houston ISD to provide a platform for their content.

The public channel, also known as the Public Access Channel, is called Houston Media Source. Its federal mandate is to provide residents with AV, and film, training at an affordable rate, Irving explained.  

Irving said transparent government is the main mission and vision for HTV and its PEG channels. 

“PEG channels were designed in the late ’60s by the FCC and then became a reality nationwide through the Communications Act of 1984,” he said. “Our mandate is to provide live broadcasts of council meetings, budget and fiscal affairs, planning, school board meetings, etc., to all local citizens so they are aware of the decisions being made that impact their lives.”   

Now, add one more role to HTV’s and Irving’s charge: Help City of Houston employees learn how to turn their smartphones and cameras into tools to visually tell the stories behind the vital work their departments do.


How do people find out more about this class?

HTV’s education category is broadcast across two channels — HISD-TV (K12), and HCC-TV (College). Houston Independent School District’s operation of the city K12 channel involves using the channel to educate all grade levels, broadcast press conferences, and board meetings. This is the same for the Houston Community College city operated channel.

HTV is the government channel which can be seen as the local C-Span for the city of Houston broadcasting all city meetings, including county commissioners court.

The third branch of the federal government media system is Public, Education and Government, or PEG. First is PBS and Sesame Street. Second is Armed Forces Radio and Voice of America. And the third branch is PEG, which is across the country in small towns, midsized municipalities, and major cities.

HTV Director Ted Irving said HTV’s channels are among numerous ones in the Houston metro area.

“The number of government channels in the United States is much higher than the other PEG channel types. In the Houston area alone, there are quite a few: Pearland TV, Missouri City TV, and Sugarland TV, to name a few,” he said.


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