Equipment upgrades, new processes planned to improve quality and access

In January, Lincoln College, the City of Lincoln, and Comcast entered into an agreement that transferred the management and administration of local cable Channel 5 to the College. On March 26, Lincoln College and Comcast completed the relocation of the Channel 5 equipment to its new home. The channel is now located at the corner of Ottawa and Burlington streets, in the building previously used as the campus’s ceramics workshop.

According to Associate Professor John Malone, the College has taken advantage of the transition to troubleshoot the system and work with Comcast technicians to make needed repairs.

“We noticed some audio/visual deficiencies caused by aging wiring and other long-term wear-and-tear that we’ve been able to address. Now that we’ve completed the relocation and repairs, I think viewers will find that the audio and video quality of Channel 5 has never been better,” said Malone.

Existing agreements with current programming providers are continuing uninterrupted. The drop box system that programming providers have been using with Comcast will be implemented at the new location, and providers are being notified about the location change.

Although the current EG Channel Programming Transfer agreement removed language referring to ‘public access,’ Lincoln College welcomes programming contributions from the public and will be inviting other area educational institutions to participate by providing programming.

“It is the intention of Lincoln College to provide greater access to the channel than at any time in its history. We will be making outreach efforts in the community to make organizations aware of the availability of Channel 5 to air locally-produced community, non-profit- and educational programs and events. Channel 5 will also continue to air the Lincoln City Council’s voting meetings, and discussions are underway to determine the best way to begin airing the Council’s Committee of the Whole meetings, also,” said Malone.

Like WLNX-FM, the operation of Channel 5 will operate as part of the Lincoln College Division of Fine Arts and Communication. Malone will serve as General Manager for both WLNX and Channel 5. Also working with Channel 5 will be Assistant Professor Christina Xamis, who has both academic and professional experience in television. The College is in the process of curriculum and program development to implement new courses in television production that will complement the current radio-course offerings.

Lincoln College has made a significant investment in new studio facilities on campus to house Channel 5, and has plans for additional equipment upgrades which will bring the channel more in line with modern technological expectations. These improvements include the ability to stream Channel 5 on the internet or smartphone, reaching those who are not Comcast customers.

In the coming months, the channel will also undergo some rebranding to create a more professional and aesthetically pleasing presentation, and plans are underway to develop a Channel 5 website and Facebook page that will provide listings of upcoming programs and archives of previous programs.

“Lincoln College will exceed the expectations of the community in providing exceptional local programming opportunities,” Malone said. “We wouldn’t be getting this deeply involved if we weren’t absolutely sure we can over-deliver. With WLNX and now Channel 5, Lincoln College is poised to play a bigger role in promoting the community than ever before. Stay tuned.”

As Lincoln College moves forward with the integration of Channel 5 into its existing operations, the public is asked to direct questions or concerns to John Malone at 217-735-7288 or email at jmalone@lincolncollege.edu.