This month, Southborough Access Media replaced and upgraded equipment used to broadcast and replay town government meetings in the Town House Hearing Room.
Katelyn Willis, Director of SAM, admitted to selectmen that they are still working some kinks out. (They had an unfortunate audio equipment failure during part of this week’s televised Planning Board meeting.)
Other than the one incident, feedback on improved audio and visual has been positive.
The equipment doesn’t just help those viewing from home. Speakers added to the back of the room and adjustments to existing speakers make hearing much easier for those attending. (As someone who frequently strained to hear speakers over the sound of the heating/cooling system, I can attest the need for that!)
Another improvement is the ability for SAM to add a graphic title for each televised event so residents know which meeting they are watching.
As for video, the new cameras are HD. But don’t expect to see town officials or commenting residents in high def anytime soon.
Willis explained that the broadcast channels aren’t high def and she doesn’t anticipate that changing soon. But they wanted to use cameras that wouldn’t need replacing for many years.
Selectman Paul Cimino praised SAM staff and volunteers for their enthusiasm. He said what they do “means a lot to folks in town”.
If you’d like to help cover more town meetings, training on the new equipment starts October 1st. No experience is necessary. To sign up call 508-485-8156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to check out the “improved sight and sound” tune into channels Verizon-37 and Charter-12. (Unfortunately, these improvement are specific to meetings that took place in the hearing room, not other facilities. And the channel is still re-running some meetings from before the equipment upgrade. So whether you notice improvement will depend on when you tune in.)
For more information on SAM channels, programming and schedule, visit their website.