Television has come a long way since the early 1900’s which consisted of spinning discs and a neon lamp to give a blurry reddish-orange picture. Today we are watching digital programming from all over the world on many different devices and platforms. Even though there are hundreds of TV stations, we still have a hard time trying to find something good to watch. The syndicated news stations are talking about the cities or Florida but never about southwest or west central Minnesota towns. It would be nice to view news and weather in our neck of the woods…. not just about the best steak sandwich in Seattle. With so many channels how do you figure out which ones are the best to watch for quality local news and events.
MVTV Wireless had the pleasure to meet with Les Heen (General Manager) and John Panzer (Station Manager) of Pioneer Public Television last week to learn more about local television. John provided an in-depth explanation of how it all works together during a tour. The facility has a few stationary studios, a sound room, monitoring area, auditorium in the old city hall building and a mobile studio. Here’s a summary of what we learned during our visit…
Pioneer Public Television is a regional public television station serving southwest and west central Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, eastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota. Pioneer is based in Appleton, Minnesota and operates transmitters in western Minnesota: KWCM-Appleton (Channel 10), KSMN-Worthington (Channel 20), and K49FA-Fergus Falls (Channel 49). Pioneer Public Television is a member of PBS, and is operated by the nonprofit West Central Minnesota Educational Television Company.
Pioneer Public Television programs offer a blend of quality national and local shows with unique indigenous productions, reaching more than 100,000 households. Pioneer works hard to keep programs educational, entertaining and stimulating.
The Mobile Studio is capable of recording concerts, town meetings, plays and sporting events with as many as seven digital cameras that can be linked to the trailer with fiber optic cable. A full video directing suite and separate audio suite are set up inside the climate controlled and soundproofed trailer. The Mobile Studio exterior wrap features photographs from around the Pioneer Public TV region, including images taken by local photographers Kristi Fernholz and Rob Rakow. Mobile Studio to capture live music concerts from greater Minnesota and beyond in a new 13-episode series. The show will appeal to viewers from small towns, farms and cities across the Heart of the Upper Midwest. Pioneer has used the mobile studio to record episodes of Funtime Polka at the Larry Olsen Farm in Lake Benton and a series of performances at the Minnesota Old Time Music and Bluegrass Festival near Richmond, Minnesota.
Currently, Pioneer Public TV is seeking input from members and nonprofit partners from within the viewing area events that could be documented through the Mobile Studio. For more information or to propose a use for the Mobile Studio, email the station at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WARN – (Warning, Alert and Response Network)
The PBS WARN project provides a satellite-based backup to any cellular carrier that participates in sending geo targeted Wireless Emergency Alert messages from FEMA to their subscribers. Transmitting across 367 stations in all states and territories, the PBS distribution of the Wireless Emergency Alert messages will reach virtually any cellular network operations center in the country. PBS WARN is the channel of last resort. When even the internet is down, PBS stations can help keep their communities informed with an alternative pathway for this critical next generation of emergency alerts. Because of the WARN program, cellular operators that could not otherwise be able to add redundancy to their operations will be able to keep their subscribers as well informed as if they had their own satellite backup system. The WARN project is funded by a Department of Commerce grant through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
- Presidential Emergency Alerts
- Warnings of imminent national and local threats, such as natural and man-made disasters
Become a Supporter
Individual contributions are Pioneer’s single most important form of funding. Members provide the foundation necessary for us to receive matching dollars available to us from state and federal levels. Without individual support first, access to state and federal funds would be limited. Individual contributions are matched dollar for dollar to receive the maximum amount of state money available, then, together, along with corporate support contributions are used to match federal grants. Nearly 60 percent of our budget comes from people just like you — our members. Unlike network television, cable or other corporations, we are a nonprofit and we rely on your support to provide great programming that you’ve come to expect from Pioneer. We care a great deal about the use of contributed dollars. That’s why we work very hard to see that the greatest possible portion of each dollar received goes toward the wonderful programs you see.
- Your financial gift to Pioneer Public Television not only helps us provide quality, educational programs, but your investment in Pioneer Public TV reinforces the values for which public television stands.
- Additionally, we pass on a variety of benefits to you. Every member of Pioneer Public Television receives our Pioneer Preview. Add to that, when you make a gift of $25 or more, you can sign up your children or grandchildren for our birthday club. PBS Kids is the number one educational media brand according to a national Roper Study.
- Over 75 percent of our annual budget goes directly toward purchasing, producing, broadcasting and keeping you informed about our programs.
MVTV Wireless is proud to not only carry the Pioneer Public TV channels on our Digital TV line up, we are also members and advocates of all the wonderful programming PPT provides in our area.
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