If you wish to use MTN equipment, you must first take a class that will certify you to use that equipment. Classes are offered to train members in proper use of the MTN studio and field production equipment. Completion of beginning classes is required before members can sign up for the advanced classes.

Use of equipment also requires a current MTN membership. If you pay for your membership when you sign up for your first class, the cost of membership is discounted by half.

During your first class at MTN, your MTN membership card will be mailed to your street address. You must present this card at the MTN Checkout Center to use MTN equipment.

Please see the current MTN course schedule for information on current classes. The schedule is available at the Equipment Checkout Center and on the MTN website, http://mtn.org/training/classes-workshops.

Certification Test

Individuals with extensive video production experience may schedule an individual certification test. Such a test, or Walk-In Certification (WIC), requires that the member demonstrate that he or she can:

  • Correctly set up and operate the equipment
  • Answer questions regarding safe and effective use of the equipment
  • Answer questions regarding MTN’s rules

The WIC requires that the member pay the full class price for certification on any piece of equipment.


Re-certification will be required when the member has not renewed membership for a period of more than three years, or, if during the course of equipment use, the member fails to demonstrate techniques for safe and effective operation of equipment.


Rules for Equipment Use

The following rules apply to all MTN production equipment.

The MTN staff will schedule equipment on a first come first served non-discriminatory basis that will maximize fairness and diversity of expression, and that will ensure that no one person or group monopolizes facilities to the disadvantage of others. MTN staff will enforce the following rules and may also take community interest into account. Access privileges are contingent upon adherence to these rules.

MTN equipment is provided exclusively to produce non-commercial productions for MTN cable television channels. Equipment is not to be used for private or commercial purposes.

Only individuals who have been certified by MTN staff may use MTN facilities and production equipment.

Members are responsible for any damage that occurs to MTN equipment while the equipment is checked-out in their name. This includes damages which occur due to actions of their visitors or guests. This responsibility includes repair or replacement costs arising from such damage or loss.

Members who use MTN equipment may not represent themselves as employees or agents of MTN or the cable company.

Members must provide MTN with their current street address.

Minors (as defined by Minnesota State law) must have a parent or guardian sign a Parental Consent Form before checking out MTN equipment.

A project description must be given along with an estimated time for completion and submission of the program. Programming must be submitted in a timely fashion or a member’s access to further equipment usage may be put in jeopardy.

Members may reserve production equipment only during the hours the Equipment Checkout Center is open. Reservations may be made by telephone or in person. No bookings or time extensions on existing bookings will be accepted on voice mail or by e-mail.

Members must be present both when equipment is checked out and returned. Members must remain present at the check in until it is complete and all items have been accounted for.

Members must pay all outstanding fines and replacement costs for missing or damaged equipment before they may reserve and use equipment. MTN’s current fine schedule is available (upon request) at the Equipment Checkout Center.

Checkout Limitations

MTN reserves the right to limit or stop privileges if a member does not submit a program for cablecast. Staff also reserves the right to request a review of the project in advance of any extension of privileges.

A member may check out any single model of camera a maximum of five days per calendar month. There is a maximum limit of eight days of camera checkouts on all camera models per calendar month, when multiple camera certifications are attained – and programming submissions are current.

A member is limited to two weekend camera checkouts per calendar month. However, if a member is certified on multiple cameras AND is in good standing regarding program submissions, a third weekend or up to 8 days per month is possible – if & when available.

A member may check out the Portable Production Unit (PPU) with its multiple cameras once per month. This counts as an advanced camera and goes toward monthly limits for camera days & weekends.

A member may reserve any single edit suite a total of four hours in a day with a maximum of eight hours a week on that suite. A member may reserve the dub rack for a total of three hours in a day with a maximum of six hours in a week.

Studio Limitations

Studios may normally be reserved for a block of three to four hours, once a week. If a longer session is required for set-up or multiple tapings the Studio Manager will attempt to accommodate producers needs. Reservations for existing programs on MTN are pre-scheduled three times per year for four month periods. In order to reserve a regular timeslot in either studio, on a regular basis, a producer must be in good standing with program submission, and show a good track record for reliable programming.

Consistent unexplained absences or tardiness for Studio time could result in the limitation of studio reservations. Prior cancellations are encouraged to allow other producers use of the studio. There is no penalty for canceling a studio reservation in advance.