Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Town Square Television?

How do I contact Town Square Television?

What are your hours of operation?

Where are you located?

What is Public Access?

What kinds of classes do you offer and when are they held?

What channels are your programs on?

Where can your channels be seen?

Who can use your facility and see your programming?

Are you the cable company?

Who do I call if I have a problem with the cable company?

Can I turn in my converter box equipment at your location?

Why is this service being provided?

How is it all funded?

 

Who is Town Square Television?

Town Square Television is a non-profit corporation that functions as the local community television station for a seven-city area in Northern Dakota County. People of all ages and abilities, as well as various organizations, make use of our state-of-the art video production facility, located in Inver Grove Heights, MN. We are governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, operated by a staff of 15 full- and part-time employees, and assisted by many terrific members, volunteers, and sponsors.

Our Mission Statement: To provide public access to communication technologies and service.

Our Slogan: Bring together... people, programs, production.

Our Services: Training and assisting the public in using studios, edit suites, portable video equipment, and a production truck to make and televise local shows; creating community programs and custom videos with our professional production staff; cablecasting seven channels of all local programming.

Our Parent Organization: Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission (NDC4).

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How do I contact Town Square Television?

Town Square Television Studio & Equipment Checkout: 651-451-7834

NDC4 Office: 651-450-9891

Fax: 651-450-9429

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What are your hours of operation?

Town Square Television Public Access Hours: Monday through Thursday 1 PM to 9 PM. Friday and Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM. CLOSED on Sunday.

NDC4 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

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Where are you located?

5845 Blaine Avenue, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Directions: From I-494 Eastbound or Westbound, take Highway 52 South to the Upper 55th Street exit. Turn right onto Upper 55th Street at the top of the exit ramp (you will cross back over Highway 52). Continue straight through the first set of stoplights (Bishop Avenue), and turn right at the second set of stoplights onto Blaine Avenue. Our entrance is the second driveway on the right side of the street, just past the Applebee's/AmericInn driveway. You will see two large satellite dishes in front of a one-story concrete building with a brown shingled roof.


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What is Public Access?

Public Access production facilities like Town Square Television empower the public (individuals and organizations) with access to television: the world's most powerful communications medium. Active members use video resources to express opinions and creativity in a form that may be otherwise unavailable to them. Public Access services are available on a first come first served basis - membership and proper training are all that is required.

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What kinds of classes do you offer and when are they held?

A variety of production classes for members of all abilities are offered throughout the year. For detailed descriptions of the classes and specific session dates and times, click here.

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What channels are your programs on?

Our local channels are located on Basic 1 Analog Cable service at 14,15,16, 18, 19, 20, and 21 for Comcast subscribers in all of our seven cities. Click here for a list of our channels.

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Where can your channels be seen?

Our programming is seen in more than 21,000 cable-viewing homes by subscribers to Comcast Cable in the cities of Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, and West St. Paul.

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Who can use your facility and see your programming?

Town Square Television members who complete an official certification course or pass a proficiency test are considered qualified (members under 18 need written parental permission). Residents and non-residents can sign up for membership at any time for an annual fee. The low-cost certification courses are offered regularly throughout the year for members by the Town Square Television staff.

Comcast Cable subscribers can view Town Square Television's seven channels on Basic 1 service in the cities of Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, and West St. Paul. Local residency is required to submit non-commercial programs for replay on our Public Access and Multifaith Access Channels.

Information on subscribing to Comcast Cable Basic 1 Service is available by calling (651) 222-3333. Basic 1 service with approximately 28 channels costs less than $15 with digital converter box and remote, or approx. 26 cable-ready channels costs less than $13 without a converter box. (As of June 2008.) Prices subject to change by Comcast. (Note: Installation fees may apply.)

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Are you the cable company?

No, we are a separate entity from Comcast. Town Square Television provides local community television services for individuals and organizations. NDC4 provides consumer protection services for cable subscribers. Both Town Square Television and NDC4 staff are located in our Inver Grove Heights facility.

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Who do I call if I have a problem with the cable company?

If you have an issue with the cable company and are a Comcast subscriber in the Twin Cities area, start by calling Comcast at (651) 222-3333. If you are unable to resolve your question or problem directly with Comcast, and you live in Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, or West St. Paul, you may call the Cable Commission at (651) 450-9891. If you do not live in the above-mentioned cities, call your city hall to find a local franchise authority.

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Can I turn in my converter box equipment at your location?

No, we do not collect Comcast cable equipment at our facility. However, Comacast has a cable store very near to our location, in the strip mall just off of I-494 and South Robert Street, near Home Valu. Comcast also has offices on the west side of St. Paul, at 10 River Park Plaza. Call (651) 222-3333 for more information.

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Why is this service being provided?

The City Councils of the seven member cities formed the Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission in 1982. They wished to pool resources and develop the best possible cable televsion system to serve their communities. NDC4 operates as a joint powers cooperative - enforcing the cable television franchise ordinances, providing LOCAL government and education channels, and overseeing the non-profit corporation known as Town Square Television.

Citizens formed this "off-spring" non-profit in 1987 to provide a LOCAL soapbox. They wanted to allow residents and neighborhood organizations to speak their voices and let cable television viewers hear locally relevent messages unique to their community.

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How is it all funded?

Funding for community television is provided through cable company payments (to Town Square Television), cable company franchise fees (to NDC4), and memberships, donations, class fees, program dub sales, custom video services, and sponsorship support (to Town Square Television).

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Quick Survey

Which of the following Town Square Television community channels do you watch the most?

Community Ch 14

Public Access Ch 15

Multifaith Access Ch 16

Government Ch 18 & 19

Education Ch 20

Community Bulletin Board