The Experimental Television Center (ETC) was an outgrowth of the Student Experiments in Television (SET) program established in 1969 by Ralph Hocking at the State University of New York at Binghamton. As the demand for community access increased, ETC formally organized as a not-for-profit organization and moved to a loft space in downtown Binghamton. ETC's programs addressed potential uses of new technology by artists, social, cultural and educational organizations, and interested citizens. Workshops and equipment access were offered at no charge, and tapes produced at the center were screened throughout the region as well as on their weekly community cable show, Access.
Hocking initiated a research program to develop a more flexible set of imaging tools for artists. An early project resulted in the construction of the second Paik/Abe video synthesizer for the Television Lab at WNET. In 1972, ETC began a residency program, inviting artists such as Nam June Paik, Shikego Kubota, poet Jackson MacLow, and glass artist/video activist Rudi Stern to explore the center's tools. Engineer David Jones expanded the ETC's image-processing system in 1974 with the first Jones Colorizer, and, in 1975, with a set of keyers, a multi-input synchable sequencer, and a bank of oscillators. A computer-based digital imaging system, designed by Jones, Walter Wright, and Don MacArthur, in collaboration with Steina and Woody Vasulka, and Jeffrey Schier, was also introduced in 1975. This system layed the groundwork for subsequent innovations in artist-oriented software and tools, including Jones's frame buffer with two-dimensional print software. Over the years the Center's residency program gained international recognition through the works of visiting artists, among them Peter D'Agostino, Peer Bode, Shalom Gorewitz, Barbara Hammer, Ken Jacobs, and Gary Hill. In 1978 the Center relocated to Owego, New York, where it continues to operate today.