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In-House TV Channel

At my retirement community we went from having a daily flip-chart pad in the lobby to an in-house TV channel about 14 years ago. We have updated twice and we are getting ready to update it again in the next month.
Currently we use a system called DSI. It works very well for our community and I would encourage you to look into it as an option if you are looking for a system.  Click on the link to go to Display System Internationals website.
On the current channel, we run pages that show the daily activities, the menu in our casual dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner, special activities, reoccurring activities such as monthly lectures or services, etc. We also live broadcast of our Town Hall and Ask the Director meetings when they take place.

I have two wonderful volunteers who work on this project with me. One lady only wants to add the calendar to the system. That means that she types a page per square of the calendar onto the system. Most of the time, as you can imagine, that means editing the existing information to make it current. The other volunteer is more creative. She enjoys going onto the Internet and finding graphics that will enhance the special pages. Her husband enjoys photography, so that is a plus. He takes pictures of items in the community that she uses and it personalizes the channel even more!

I am very fortunate to have these two volunteers because it does not leave me a lot to do with the program. I have learned how to take the posters that I use in the community to sell my programs and use them on the system. That helps alot.

Our biggest problem is getting people to tune in! We have music that some residents say they tune into just to listen to, and I hope they see what's on their TV.... but who knows. I know that people tune in for the soup specials also... but I really want them to use it as a source for their questions when it comes to activities, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

In the next month, the volunteers and I will begin training on our new system. I am very excited about the new system for a few reasons. The first is that any trained person can access the system from their own personal computer. This is different from the old system, which you had to go onto the special computer located in my office. The next reason I am looking forward to the new product it because, it will allow me to type my calendar once and it will add it to the software that produces the daily pages. And the final reason that I think this will be great is that it will start and stop a scheduled video on its own! That for me is huge! I am the responsible one during the day that does this job or the one that has to make sure someone else does the job when I am busy or away. This new company is called TouchTown and I encourage you to check into their website also!
Photo Source: TouchTown
I would love to hear if you use an -in-house system in your retirement community and what your experiences are. Are you the one responsible for it? Do other staff members work on it or just send you what they want shown? Do volunteers work on the system?  I'll let you know how my new venture with TouchTown goes...... stay tuned.

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