Local TV is already proving popular in parts of south east Wales
An internet TV channel is to be launched in Ebbw Vale to help promote the activities of local businesses and community organisations.
Staff are being recruited for a Micro Broadcasting Centre based at The Works regeneration site in a project led by the University of Wales, Newport.
The new team will help local firms and groups produce programmes, news items, adverts and other short videos.
It is part of a plan to boost the Welsh economy by exploiting digital media.
The project is being run by the Institute of Advanced Broadcasting (IAB), a partnership between the University of Wales, Newport, and Sir Terry Matthews's global investment company, the Wesley Clover Corporation.
The IAB aims to research and develop innovations in digital techonology and services to boost the economy of Wales and the UK as a whole.
The Ebbw Vale project has been made possible with the help of a £450,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.
New technology can broadcast material over a wide range of devices
Simon Gibson, chair of the Wesley Clover Corporation, said the key was to equip firms and individuals with the necessary skills to reach millions of potential customers through new technology.
"Wales has the potential to create thousands of new jobs if we meet the challenges and opportunities of the new digital economy," he said.
"This project will show how this can be done."
A team of four full time staff supported by university students on project work will help local companies, residents and organisations in Ebbw Vale produce material for the channel.
It will be transmitted by internet protocol TV (IPTV), a method of broadcasting programmes on TV via the net rather than through the airwaves.
This method differs from local TV channels which have been created as websites, such as those produced by residents of Monmouth and students in Newport.
The IAB carried out market research in Blaenau Gwent in 2009 which showed strong support for their idea of micro broadcasting.
The area has been chosen for the pilot as a compact geographic area in need of regeneration following the decline of heavy industry.
Mobile devices are causing a decline in audiences for traditional media
Gary Thompson, director of the IAB, hoped the internet TV project would have positive social effects as well as boosting the local economy.
"It's about locally engaging businesses and community groups to get them to use computers and new technology," he said.
"There could be some local news programmes, documentaries, or stories about the steelworks.
"Creating a resource that can bring the community together and strengthen its internal communication will be a positive element in the difficult economic times that we are facing."
Mr Thompson said it was likely that a small sample of people would initially be selected as a trial audience for the service until IPTV became more widely available.
IPTV is the basis for YouView, a free-to-air TV service due to launch in 2011 backed by major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
It will combine Freeview digital channels with on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, as well as allowing people to view websites such as YouTube and Facebook via their TV.