Static TV

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Static TV was the first student tv station and arguably the first purely community television station in NZ. It was first proposed by Adam Hyde to the student president Alayna Ashby in an informal discussion. Alayna got behind the idea and the WSU made a timely and strategic bid of $25,000 for the frequency, beating out several commercial bidders who thought there would be little or no competition for the frequency. The station was planned to be a training ground for students to learn to broadcast television and there were many talks between the Waikato University and Waikato Polytech media studies departments to secure their involvement. There was also a push to get Maori students involved from as early as possible.

The broadcasting transmitter and antenna was donated by an extremely generous local broadcast company and the transmitter and antenna were located ontop of the University Library. The broadcast radius was rather small and there was no link between the transmitter and any studio. Consequently Adam Hyde, Rowan Marx, and Jesse Mulligan had permission to enter the maintenance area of the library top floor after hours several times a week to access the transmitter. All materials were recorded onto analog video tape (VHS) and the playback equipment was carried for each broadcast to the top floor. There was no video mixer so either tapes were quickly pulled out and put in the same video recorder or, if the trio were particularly organised, they had two VHS players and unplugged one from the transmitter and quickly plugged in the other while also hitting play. The top floor was so loud with air conditoning equipment it was difficult at times to know if the sound was working or not and sometimes, as a result, there were short silent broadcasts.

Rowan Marx was the station manager for a time and he and Jesse made many programs including the weekly soap 21 Nixon Street. It was a classic. The station also played a lot of local bands music videos and just about anything else that was available on VHS.

Unfortunately the right-leaning WSU staff that took over the WSU shortly after considered Static TV to be purely a product of Adam Hydes media megalomania (haha!) and sought to shut the station down. They eventually succeeded.