City livestreaming nearly restored

The city contracted with AVI Systems Inc. to upgrade the audio and video equipment used for recording, broadcasting and live streaming of city meetings.

On May 13, the contractor began the process of pulling wires and installing cameras and equipment. Installation, programming, testing and staff training are scheduled to wrap up next week, according to the city.

City closer to fixing live streaming issue

The upgrade will temporarily stop all broadcasting on City 190. During the upgrade, city meetings, including the commission work session and the city commission meeting on May 21, will not be recorded for playback on the city website.

The city hopes to resume recording, broadcasting and live streaming meetings with the commission work session on June 1.

Programming for City-190 should also resume June 1, according to the city.

Watch for the new method of accessing the live stream, which will be announced after testing has verified the new system.

In early 2018, the audio/visual system became more and more problematic. Staff was able to continue broadcasting live to cable but could not fix issues with the live stream online. After repeated attempts to stabilize the system, the commission approved an agreement with AVI for technical and engineering services to provide initial and on-going audio-visual system design for the Commission Chambers and the Gibson Room.

On March 19, 2019, the commission approved the retail sales agreement with AVI for the City-190 broadcast video system upgrade, including the purchase of the audio-visual system equipment, installation and staff training. The upgrade will also include an ADA assistive listening kit for the hard of hearing. The agreement includes three-years of support from AVI. The cost of the agreement is $123,835.26 with an annual $8,044 support cost.

City-190 normally broadcasts City Commission, Planning Advisory Board/Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment meetings live and re-airs them a week late.

For a list of current programming offerings see City 190 Government Access Channel.

The existing equipment was purchased beginning in 2011, before the national conversion to HD television signals began in 2014. Channel 190 remains in Charter Communication’s analog channel lineup, according to the staff report.

When the city switched from paper packets to Novus agenda software system in 2017, “components of the audio/video system either stopped working or became increasingly problematic,” according to the staff report.

City working to restore web-based live stream for commission, board meetings

In early 2018, antiquated projectors in the Commission Chambers and Gibson Room were replaced with modern HD projectors and the control room computer was replaced.

The existing equipment was purchased beginning in 2011, before the national conversion to HD television signals began in 2014. Channel 190 remains in Charter Communication’s analog channel lineup, according to the March 2019 staff report.

When the city switched from paper packets to Novus agenda software system in 2017, “components of the audio/video system either stopped working or became increasingly problematic,” according to the staff report.

County adding more documents online, exploring options for livestreaming

“These additions seemed to further exacerbate the technical issues. Staff was able to broadcast live to cable but could not rectify the inability to live stream to the internet. At the suggestion of Novus Support, new pieces of equipment were purchased in an effort to get the newer equipment to communicate with the old equipment. However, staff continued to experience glitches and technical issues,” according to the March staff report. 

Problems persisted for months and staff eventually decided it was best to replace the system. During its Oct. 16, 2018, meeting, the commission approved an agreement with AVI Systems, Inc. for technical and engineering services to provide initial and ongoing audio-visual systems Pro Design to include an AV floor plan; video, audio and control flow; equipment lists; system infrastructure requirements and operational and post-operational requirements; project scope of work; costs and project integration for the Commission Chambers and Gibson Room to air, record, and live-stream public meetings. AVI submitted its Pro-Design proposal after several more meetings via video conference between staff and AVI’s team, and subsequent retail sales agreement. 

The upgraded system will allow staff to again live stream meetings online. The video will stream to YouTube and also be available online to watch later. The upgraded system will allow full capacity of the HD projectors installed in the Civic Center rooms last year.