HCTV Dedicates Facility to the Father of Hudson Cable: Coleman J. Kelly

November 6, 2015


by Doug Robinson

Hudson Cable Television dedicated their facility to the father of Hudson Cable Television, Coleman Kelly, at their open house on Sunday, Nov. 1.

During the humble beginnings of Hudson Cable, Coleman purchased, created, and operated the cable equipment that recorded the Hudson Board of Selectmen’s meetings at town hall.

Hudson Cable Chairman Michael O’Keefe said during the dedication, “Since its inception in 1993, Coleman Kelly has been synonymous with local access cable television in Hudson.  Many people, myself included, affectionately refer to him as the father of access television here.  He was a founding member and chairman of the town’s cable television committee and facilitator of its operations through 2004.”

O’Keefe continued, “Recognizing the importance and value in having (citizens) informed, he assembled the equipment that allowed for the recording and televising of meetings in the early days that consisted of two selectmen’s meetings a month.  However, it soon grew to include other committees and boards.”

Having two master’s of electrical engineering degrees, Coleman, not only operated the equipment from the one-room closet; he also wired the selectmen’s room for sound, as well as video.

The broadcasting of these meetings became so successful that Coleman then wired the Rob Buxton Room, (originally the planning department) for the purpose of cable broadcast.

With the development of PEG (public, educational, and government) channel broadcasting, the recording and broadcasting of the events became separated into channels 20, 21, and 22, respectively.

Coleman was the originator of Hudson’s first cable committee, which has run with Coleman’s cable hand-off when he retired in the late 1990s.

From that small recording and equipment closest measuring four feet by six feet, with a stand-alone metal chair, HCTV expanded their facility to a storage facility on Old Derry Road.

With the building of the Senior Center, HCTV took up residence on the first floor of the North Barn in 2014.

HCTV has grown from that one-room closest to a full-blown production center, available for use free of charge by the residents of Hudson for their filming or production needs.

Chairman O’Keefe continued to state, “Of course, the driving factor would be money.  Coleman knew it would take significant funds and, so, in 2001 proposed the establishment of a capital reserve fund that could be used to save up for this.  The voters approved this and over the years portions of the monies received from the cable franchise fees were added to this fund.  Those funds grew and 12 years later, in 2013, the town approved a plan to use those funds to construct the facility you’re standing in today.”

The facility hosts a “green room” where performers and guests may rest and relax between takes or wait for their time to use the facilities.  In addition, the facility has an equipment room, two editing rooms, a control room, conference room and state-of-the-art studio control room.

“Our studio is the best cable studio in the State of NH,” stated Cable Facilitator Jim MacIntosh.  “We are a green building, and being green allowed us to save thousands of dollars when building and even now as operators of HCTV.  We have a virtual set, an interview studio, a fully functioning kitchen for our kitchen shows and the ability to create any set we may be asked to create.  Our LED ceiling and floor lighting allows us to create different backgrounds for any specific type of light need we may encounter.

“In December 2014 in order to keep up with the green ecological theme, the studio lighting was upgraded to energy saving lighting.  The total cost of the upgrade was offset by a rebate from PSNH (now Eversource) of $36,146.84, which saved more than 66 percent of the cost quoted by the winning project bidder.”

HCTV has created 173 shows of various types for public viewing at the studio, all free of charge.  In addition, 280 shows have been submitted to HCTV from residents who borrowed the equipment.  In total shows, HCTV has broadcast 236 government meetings, 173 non-studio productions, 195 resident-submitted programs, 85 locally created shows, and 689 HCTV programming productions.