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What is DORFTV?

DORFTV is not a TV Channel in the traditional sense. "dorf" stands for "Der (the) Offene (open) RundFunk (broadcaster)". DORFTV is austrians first 24/7 community TV channel broadcasting terrestrically via DVB, covering an area of about 400.000 housholds in the province "Upper Austria". Comparable to "Open Access TV" and "Community radios" but also inspired by the idea of TV as an instrument of art "dorf tv" is an open and independent platform for individuals, organizations, culture-, film- and mediaactivist to go on air with their videos and programs.

The philosophy of DORFTV is: Simple production! 
Bridging the fields of new media and traditional broadcasting entries can be uploaded via www.dorftv.at. DORFTV broadcasts content that would otherwise be distributed only on the Internet. DORFTV is strictly noncommercial. DORFTV started broadcasting on June 16th in 2010.

Idea and history
The idea behind the project had a long history. Already since the mid eighties - as part of the Ars Electronica Festival - local media artists set up temporary TV projects exploiting the idea of interactivity and developing hybrid information and communication systems often later sniggered at by commercial competitors. In 2005 a group of artists and media activists "MATRIX" resurrected the idea of an interactive open access TV channel building on the experiences of "Stadtwerkstatt TV" and the succesful introdcution of Community Radios in Austria.

In 2007 the initiative presented a "pilot channel" at the arts Museum LENTOS in Linz. In 2008 MATRIX organized a conference on current developments in the field of TV in cooperation with the Arts University of Linz. In 2009 together with regional cultural and media initiatives MATRIX founded dorf tv. In march 2010 DORFTV was granted a licence for terrestrial broadcasting (DVB) by the austrian broadcasting regulator - beeing the first noncommercial community TV channel in Austria to broadcast digital. In June 2010 dorf tv went on air.

More than other (Community TV stations) DORFTV is exploring the possibilities of the Internet. Registered users can upload videos of any kind and broadcast an Air. Theme, format or length of a contribution does not matter. "We show almost everything," says program leader Gabriele Kepplinger: "Provided a publication does not violate copyright or media. However, "Trash" if you will, we do not get. " So far more than 100 users have uploaded videos. dorf tv ist not Internet. Unlike the video-platforms on the web TV broadcast still reaches society as a whole. Even if we hear that TV is dead for quite a while, we believe that TV is still a relevant medium that can reach many people of different age and different social background at the same.

Our mission and goals


  • To increase media plurality in Upper Austria as well as in Austria. 

  • To offer an infrastructure that provides easy and straightforward access to television broadcast for every interested individual. 

  • To offer a platform for alternative content, that is often not shown on private or public TV stations (video & film productions, topics that are not covered by the existing TV stations) 

  • To offer an experimental platform for TV, where people can design the presentation of their content individually, according to own ideas, desires, necessities. There is no time limit, no 3-minute productions philosophy, but the philosophy of "Einfach Produzieren" / "just do it". 

  • To offer a platform where people can experiment with their own media presence, gather experience and know how. Everything is work in progress. 

  • To increase media-competence through the accompanying workshops as well as through learning-by- doing. 

  • To support regional and local circulation of information as an alternative to the global and ubiquituous platforms on the internet. The artists of Stadtwerkstatt-TV used to speak of a "demistification of TV". This idea is also represented by dorf tv. Making TV as a transparent affair. You can walk into the studio and see how it is done, or become part of it. 

  • To create a hybrid of TV and Internet where the unique qualities of both media meet and match. dorf.tv is broadcasting via TV but most of the productions are also automatically available online. Videos can be sent via ftp or web-upload. People do not necessarily have to sign up for a regular broadcast, they can experiment with what video, even handy video, and get the feeling of being on TV step by step. 


Our experiences
The experiences with this project were very satisfying concerning the technical part, the team, the motivation and the response of the people. The main parts of the technical concept and especially those that were crucial, like signal transmission and broadcast, worked out perfectly well right from the start, although we used low cost technology (compared to established TV stations).

Other concepts, like the “simple production”-philosophy take longer than expected. Probably the medium TV is known and internalized in a traditional way and there are psycological barriers to act with the same lightness and nonchalance that people have on the internet. Our procedure therefore is to try things out, observe the effects and adjust the strategies to reach our goals.

We learn with those who use and watch DORFTV. But generally we can say that people really appreciate the existence of DORFTV. And even if they have not tried it yet, many people think about how they could use it for their own ideas. It's work in progress, sometimes slower than expected, but with continuous development.