Simsbury Community Television was founded in 1984, and in that time, the nonprofit has seen an ever-changing technology landscape.
That's part of the reason that after 12 years of using the same cameras for all of the studio productions, it is in need of an upgrade.
"The main reason is that these cameras are starting to show signs of failing," said Karen Handville, the station manager. "One has a pixel that's no good. The other one can't adjust light and dark. They're failing."
During the first phase of the fundraising campaign, the station upgraded everything in the facility to high definition, giving it an obvious lift in quality. This was done through a $35,000 matching funds grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
"One of them was the control switcher here at the station," Handville said. "The big thing that most people are noticing are the cameras at town hall. That was a marked improvement. And now, the way we send our signal out to Comcast, we were able to upgrade that as well. That was the thing most people noticed. Prior to that, we were using 40-year-old technology."
The station has just purchased new cameras for the studio that are referred to as pan-tilt-zoom cameras. They're much smaller than what it currently has and camera operators will be using them differently.
"They can be controlled with an app on an iPad," Handville said. "Now rather than our volunteers standing at a camera physically moving it, they can move it using a virtual joystick."
A lot of what thee station is doing is to not only improve the quality of what it is producing, but to also improve the experience of the dedicated volunteers.
"The big thing is these cameras," Handville said. "What will be different is how the volunteers are kind of incorporating themselves into the productions. Now, we can have one volunteer operate four cameras."
And that means a lot to a nonprofit that is volunteer-driven and adds a service to Simsbury through its three channels - government, public, and educational.
"We're here for anybody that lives or works in Simsbury to come in and produce non-commercial programming for free," Handville said. "In order for us to do that, we need the funding to purchase that technology."
Community television stations receive funding attached to the number of cable subscribers there are in the town it serves. People dropping cable subscriptions means they receive less.
"One of the biggest things that is hurting us is the number of cable cutters," Handville said. "We are not in a position where we can go out and expand our reach. It doesn't work that way."
Mary Glassman, the president of Simsbury Community Television, served as first selectman in Simsbury for 16 years. She said donations to a nonprofit such as this one are crucial.
"Our goal is to provide a vehicle for people to learn about their local government, about their local school community, and how to get involved," Glassman said. "SCTV has a very unique role to play in this time. You can find out what's going on in the community. We're independent. We bring information to the residents directly."
The continuation of Simsbury Community Television as an independent entity, she said, relies on donations.
"We want to make sure SCTV continues to operate the way we have always operated," Glassman said. "That's independent, unedited, and unrestricted. We want to continue the work in the manner we have operated and to provide more resources to the community."
Donations to Simsbury Community Television can be made online at simsburytv.org.