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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may have been brought up before, but has anyone ever considered organizing a 'fund' drive on AVS to collect money that will be in given to someone at PBS (national level) with the sole intention that the monies will go to create more HD content for PBS stations?


If we donate to our local PBS, that money will go to all sorts of programming. I am not saying that is a bad thing... but it would be nice to know that the money you are donating would go strickly for HD programming.


The travel series is the best HD stuff I have seen. PBS in general seems to have the best quality IMO. :)


If this has not been done, I think I may try writing PBS and see if this is something they already have set up. If not, I really think I may put up a site if I can get PBS to "promise" that the funds would go towards those types of shows.


Any one interested or have info on this?


Cheers!
 

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I will happily donate a reasonable amount if we can be sure it goes into HD programming and not something else. And that's not easy. Good luck!
 

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Digital TV Supporters,


As a programmer in the public television system, I'd like to thank you for watching digital television services provided by PBS and your local PBS member station.


Contributions made to your local PBS station do indeed support all programming, and therefore not just high definition content. However, I would encourage you to personally contact your local PBS station and let them know your level of interest and commitment to high definition television. Local stations will certainly pass this on to PBS headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The annual programming plan always takes viewer interest and needs into consideration, and feedback given to local stations is one of the ways in which PBS formulates program strategies.


You will be excited to learn that the Fall 2002 schedule includes many new, exciting presentations of programs in high definition and standard definition widescreen.


As always, thank you for watching digital television on public television.


Garry Denny

Wisconsin Public Television
 

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KQED here in san francisco lets you donated to a "fund for the future" which is mostly hdtv stuff, but I agree a national level donation for hdtv programming would be good. Count me in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by PTV Programmer
Digital TV Supporters,


As a programmer in the public television system, I'd like to thank you for watching digital television services provided by PBS and your local PBS member station.


Contributions made to your local PBS station do indeed support all programming, and therefore not just high definition content. However, I would encourage you to personally contact your local PBS station and let them know your level of interest and commitment to high definition television. Local stations will certainly pass this on to PBS headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The annual programming plan always takes viewer interest and needs into consideration, and feedback given to local stations is one of the ways in which PBS formulates program strategies.


You will be excited to learn that the Fall 2002 schedule includes many new, exciting presentations of programs in high definition and standard definition widescreen.


As always, thank you for watching digital television on public television.


Garry Denny

Wisconsin Public Television
Thank you sir for your reply. And I do agree that the local stations should be supported as they are of great benefit to the community. But, I do not see that my local station has HD recording ability.


If we were to set up a fund for the express interest of the creation of HD materials, and that fund were to be successful, it may change the importance of HD recording for all PBS locations. Just a thought.


Either way, this fund would be going to PBS and would eventually increase the PBS watching audience due to the additional HD contect, which would, in then, increase local donation. :)


Ok.. so this seems like a good idea. :D


Some specifics goals:


-All monies go directly to PBS without going through any other source

-Ability to donate by check, CC, and possible 900 number

-A receipt must be provided for tax purposes. :D


I will put together a site and host it from my office. I will also start gathering contact numbers for PBS. I will post the site on this thread within a week outlining the goals and ideas behind the concept. I will also set up a guestbook style page to use as a 'petition for acceptance'.


Any other ideas are more than welcome! Who knows.. this thing might work.


We need a good name. Hmmmm..


Scott Cross

President

Assurance Research Group
www.bytamin-c.com

"A great C++Builder Forum!"
 

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I, too, would contribute to a national fund.


The suggestion to contact our local PBS stations may work with progressive stations such as Wisconsin Public Television, but I have my doubts about our local station here in Chicago. I have not received answers to emails that I have sent them, other than automated responses stating that someone would reply.


Therefore, I prefer to put my faith in the national PBS organization rather than the local one.


floxs
 

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I understand the many of the PBS stations across the country are totally frustrated with the current HD programming being presented. Many want the resignation of the current head of PBS because she is not doing enough on the HD channel. Many want the demo loop stopped in prime time and repeat many of the current existing HD programs during prime time. There is a WEALTH of HD programming out there that PBS is refusing to air. Their only want to play material produced by a small subset of PBS stations on the country. I am totally frustrated myself when I see the demo loop playing in prime time. This should not be happenning. I would write to your legislators to get change made to PBS at a high level.
 

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Couple of things- Consider setting up your donation as a "Grant for producing HDTV content" Don't just give the funds to PBS as a general donation for the purpose of promoting HDTV. One way you will have a contract with a means to get audit of where every cent was spent in HDTV at PBS and the other way, a general donation, well... good luck!


Secondly, look into the legality of a central collection point to gather these funds for distribution to the 501C3 PBS for the tax preference. I think you would need to be a 501C3 yourself to be able to collect the funds for this purpose and not have tax issues as well as be able to pass on the tax deductible benefits to those members who donated at the source. unless, that is you plan to operate as a conventional corp. which I don't think is advisable as no one would get the benefits of the donation / Grant. Just remember that anytime you take on a "worthy noble effort to collect money for a cause, you will have the IRS looking over your shoulder. Best to do it using the methods that they have implemented to handle these things.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by fjerina

... Many want the demo loop stopped in prime time and repeat many of the current existing HD programs during prime time.
My local (WSRE in Pensacola) has a current schedule of similcasting the SD progamming until 7 pm CT daily. HDTV national feed goes from 7pm until 10pm CT. As a result of this, I am missing Smart Travel and The Desert Speaks. If the national feed did the demo in the day to fill any empty slots, and then did repeats of any current and past HDTV in fill empty slots at night, it would get alot more of my viewing time. Right now the ONLY thing I'm watching on PBS is American Family. I had miss out on HDTV until mid-April this year (just miss The Shape of Life)


I intend to donate to the local station, mainly as a reward for going HDTV way ahead of schedule, and hopefully as a bribe to consider switching to HDTV feed earlier in the day of weekdays and all day on weekends.
 

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I can't believe that the DFW Metroplex as large as it is still doesn't have any decent PBS HDTV or DTV coverage. KERA has been promising HDTV to the general public for almost a year now. What they have delivered is a signal so weak that it doesn't even register on my DTC-100. Before I will even consider donating any money to PBS or any of their affiliates, I need to receive a decent signal. I am not the only frustrated viewer in the metroplex.


From 2 other posts in the Dallas Home Theater Group:

Quote:
Our goal is to boost KERA DTV power by March 1, 2002! I will of course let you know the moment that we do.

------------------

Michelle Reeves

KERA/KDTN Engineering
[email protected]

(214) 740-9227
Quote:
It seems reasonable to deduce that KERA-DT is still not transmitting at an ERP much greater than the 20 kw they reported several months ago. They are licensed to broadcast at 475 kw.


KERA's digital signal here varies widely, much more so than KDFI's. Until KDFI-DT signed on, I had no other weak digital signals from Cedal Hill to use as a reference, so I couldn't really determine that the variations in KERA's signal were or weren't weather-related.


Since I now have a second weak signal, I have come to the conclusion that the variation in KERA's signal (signal strengths vary from the 30's to the 90's) is probably related to changes their technical staff is making.


If this conclusion is correct, I guess the good news is that they are working to improve the signal. The bad news is that they apparently haven't made any significant progress in six months. In fact, the data stream appears to be less stable now than it was at the first of the year.


Vern Dias
 

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Scott -


I think many of us would contribute to this cause. You might be better off having them set up the fund...your contribution would be to make sure there is a resolution of some sort to make sure the funds went to HDTV and stayed there.


Awhile back this type of thing was suggested here and somebody posted "the trap". Let's say their current budget is $100 for HDTV. You donate $50, it goes into the HDTV budget. Then they "re-allocate" $50 in the now $150 fund to other needs and the HDTV fund becomes $100 again. Of course, it still includes your $50 donation!!??


I don't know that this is true, but I remember the post cause I wanted to donate myself and soured on it after reading that info. If you could help protect the fund...I'm in!!!
 

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They do this in states where the state lottery is supposed to contribute to the education fund.


Dispicable.
 

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As stated above we in the Chicago area are cursed by a horribly run PBS station (WTTW) who does very little HD and does NOT pass along nation PBS feeds (unless it is a duplicate of the SD feed) to us here in Chicagoland. I am sure WTTW started up their digital station just to keep congres off their backs becasue they are far from being a proponent of HD. I will not give PBS a dime becasue no matter what the National PBS does in HD we here in Chicagoland won't get it!


For those who have good PBS stations I would definetly encourage some sort of donations to further HD.
 

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I would donate PLENTY, like 50 bucks a month. For a PBS-HD Satellite Feed.


I live between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, and as far as I know its almost impossible to get a terrestrial signal on the coastside...


When will PBS have a Satellite HD channel ??
 

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Quote:
When will PBS have a Satellite HD channel ??
Never.


They actually just got rid of the nationwide satellite PBS channel so they'd stop hurting the local PBS stations. They're not going to add a national HD channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Don Landis wrote:

Secondly, look into the legality of a central collection point to gather these funds for distribution to the 501C3 PBS for the tax preference. I think you would need to be a 501C3 yourself to be able to collect the funds for this purpose and not have tax issues as well as be able to pass on the tax deductible benefits to those members who donated at the source. unless, that is you plan to operate as a conventional corp. which I don't think is advisable as no one would get the benefits of the donation / Grant. Just remember that anytime you take on a "worthy noble effort to collect money for a cause, you will have the IRS looking over your shoulder. Best to do it using the methods that they have implemented to handle these things.
What I would like to avoid is having the monies pass through any hands except PBS. I do not want any of this money going for administration or costs of the site, etc. Instead, all monies would go straight to PBS.


I realize that this may be impossible if we expect accounting of the money. But I still want to make a stab at this in the first round of this battle. I think if I can collect enough "signatures" on a petition then PBS will have to take notice.


So, my first plan of attack is to educate those interested on what we are trying to accomplish and get them to sign the petition. If we get enough signatures, I will make contact with the PBS offices in VA. I have a friend that was very high up in Big Brothers/Big Sisters who also was involved with TV early on in her career. I will let her do the contact with PBS once we have a good list of interested participants.


My hopes are that PBS will see the income and will set up the actual account for donation. If they still express no interest, then I will look into setting up a non-profit for the cause and start actually collecting the money. If we are sitting there with grant monies, they will have to take notice. If they will not provide that corp with an accounting of the money, they wont get the money. Even if that means we return it all to the persons who made the donation.


I will personally pay for all of the site, the contacts with PBS, all court filings, etc. Hopefully I will get some tax relief for those funds. I am in NO way interested in setting up any non-profit where salaries or administration "costs" will be taken away from the money donated. Hopefully PBS will step up and make this easier.


For all of those who do not get a HD PBS channel, do not donate to this fund and instead pester your local channel endlessly until they break and provide you a signal. You may need to make your own fund drive in your local area for your local station.


I am not going to give up this idea unless I do not get enough interest during the initial petition drive.


I think this will work as long as we are persistant and successful in raising both interest from the HD community and we can show that the amount of donation will be above what money they are getting now. We need to show them that this money will be donated for HD content if possible, or otherwise will be donated to a different cause that is not PBS related. They can have all of this money for HD, or non of it if they choose.


I doubt PBS will be that stubborn, but who knows. I do have some skilled people that would donate their time so we will not come across as being newbies in the non-profit biz.


I will have that site up early this week.


Thanks to all that are interested! Please keep the ideas and thoughts coming!


Can I get blessings from AVS on this project please? EVERYTHING will be "above board" and no monies will be collected until a the fund decisions are made and accounting for the monies are in place.


Cheers!
 

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I think the best focus for your efforts will be to lobby pbs to handle donations directly. I want save you the pain of having to be an irs audited proxy. I think ideally it would a PBS administered fund that is used for new HD content development outside of their normal operating budget. ie, PBS would act as a foundation that grants money to content creators, and thus it wouldn't be part of their operating budget. Perhaps if they aren't willing you could create that foundation instead, but it would be a big tax nightmare. The reason there is so often administrative costs, is because there's lots of administration, just to warn you. But that aside, I applaud your efforts! Let us know how it goes.
 

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Like the person in Half Moon Bay, I live in Port Angeles, WA where the only HD is from satellite. I think there should be a satellite HD feed for PBS, and the local station should approve reception to anyone who contributes to the local PBS station. Otherwise, a significant part of the population will never see PBS HD.
 

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Trying to donate to PBS and control exactly how that money is spent is going to be an exercise in frustration. Unless you have the kind of money to pay for production of an entire series, you're not going to have much of an impact.


More reasonably, wait until your local PBS station's "Pledge Week" and donate an amount large enough to get you some air time. Do it in the name of high definition programming as a "challenge" to other HD set owners. Other viewers can call in to match it. The hosts (desperate for something to say to fill the countless hours of the pledge drive) will start chattering about your local station's HD programming, or their plans, or high-definition in general. As soon as the chatter dies down, someone else can call in to match and start the chatter back up.


This is called "positive reinforcement". Just make sure they understand the distinction between HD and "digital".


PBS station executives actually watch their own pledge drives, and this might be the best way to let them know several things:
  • We are watching their HD programming
  • We want more
  • We're prepared to pay


Trying to control where the money goes just tells them you're a control freak. I doubt we could donate enough to justify the additional expense of administering that amount separately on their part.


In the same way, retailers wanting to goose HD sales can donate HD displays and receivers to their annual auction. This will give them exposure, a tax deduction, the opportunity to get rid of some slow-moving items and a perception of commitment to their community. Something as high-dollar as a plasma set could get constant mentions, especially if the station could be actually use the display on their set during the auction.
 
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