The beginnings of SATV go back to when the present Shamokin Area High School was built in 1975. A fully equipped 3-camera television control room, a large studio, and closed-circuit cable TV connections in every instructional area were all part of the original building design. At the time, the facilities were superior to any local cable operator, and were on par with most local broadcast stations. The decision to include such facilities in the building plan was a testament to the forward-thinking vision of the school directors and administrators of the day. The facility was staffed by a director, clerical assistant, and student volunteers. During the early years, many original programs were produced as classroom projects, as well as the taping of commercial instructional TV programs for time-delay broadcast during the school day. When the present elementary school was built in 1980, the cable system from the high school was extended to the elementary school, and a sophisticated cable distribution system was added to allow simultaneous broadcast of up to 5 channels of local programming over the district's closed-circuit cable system. During the late 80s, a satellite dish and receiver was added to take advantage of the many programs that were being offered via satellite broadcast at the time.
During the 1990s, much of the original video equipment was replaced by newer devices, including new studio cameras, portable videotape recorders and cameras, and more sophisticated graphics and sound equipment. With the purchase of portable recording equipment, SATV staff members were able to record away sporting events and broadcast them over the local community cable system, allowing for more people to enjoy sporting events they may have otherwise missed. SATV staff members also recorded an increasing number of school events, and after purchasing videotape duplication equipment, were able to provide copies of these events for a minimum cost. In the fall of 1991, SATV staff members began producing a daily broadcast of school news during homeroom period. This program was presented live, not videotaped; a tradition that continues to this day. Over the years, presenting a live program has allowed countless students to experience the teamwork required to perform and work on live TV. Several SATV graduates have become professionals in the field of broadcast television, and credit their experience with live TV at Shamokin Area as the most valuable skill they carried with them into their post-secondary studies, and eventual broadcasting careers. Teamwork has always been the hallmark of the SATV staff.
The turn of the new century saw SATV moving into the digital age, with the purchase of two Sony digital camcorders and two Apple G4 computers. The embracing of this new technology allowed for better quality images and sound, as well as non-linear editing capabilities free of the limitations of videotape-based editing. Using digital editing tools, students were now free to explore their ideas unhampered by the restraints of the technology. The purchase of a DVD duplicator allowed for the distribution of programs via this superior medium.
Today, SATV continues its proud tradition of producing high-quality video productions of concerts, sporting events, community events, and local programming. In keeping with the educational nature of the program, all events are taped by student-centered crews, with a full-time professional providing leadership and direction. Many video productions continue to be broadcast over the local community cable network, and most productions can also be viewed at any time via the Internet by going to Youtube or www.shamokinareatv.com.