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Chris

Cost Of Live Streaming County Meetings

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Chris    951

While watching parts of last night's budget committee meeting, I believe I heard the "expense" of the county doing this brought up several times, along with talk of IT department, wiring, etc. There's also some other concerns I heard mentioned. 

1) The meetings have been live streamed from a phone and still the quality of the audio and video isn't that far off from some of the clips you see from other municipalities that live stream broadcast meetings. So how much of an upgrade does the IT dept. see as necessary? You need a camera, and a high quality microphone. Maybe two mics, tops. Which brings me to another point:

2) Is it vital that the meetings be streamed live to begin with? Record them, upload them to YouTube the next day, and then store them on an external hard drive that you can get for under $100 at Target.

Frankly, I think the county would do well to keep them OFF of social media. Do we need to have people commenting a dozen times complaining they didn't hear something that was just said ( Scrub the video back and turn up your volume! ) 

As for video presentations that are shown during the meeting, upload them as a pdf or other file and people can click an external link to view them if they really want to. It's quite simple to have two windows open on a desk top, one to view and one to listen along. 

I understand "wanting to do it right", but you can "do it right" into spending thousands of dollars you don't need to. If people are that concerned about audio quality or whatever, they can come to the meetings as Mike Smith suggested last night. I will disagree with him however. Granted, the state may not mandate this be done, but don't underestimate the interest the constituents are taking in what goes on at meetings because they're not there in person. We the people also have obligations and can't necessarily attend multiple meetings each month. ( And for what it's worth, I was following the STREMS meetings back when they were only posting the minutes. )

Maybe I'm missing something, which would be my question. Does it have to be so complicated in light of the fact it's merely a courtesy service offered by the county? 

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KarenK    79

For the record, I was watching it live for about 20 minutes towards the end when I logged online and besides myself, there were only 3 others watching at that time.  

I think Chris hit the mark with recording and posting rather than live streaming over social media.  Considering none of the parties involved in the meeting can actually see the comments while it's streaming, what is the benefit?

 

 

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KReed    442
6 hours ago, Chris said:

I will disagree with him however. Granted, the state may not mandate this be done, but don't underestimate the interest the constituents are taking in what goes on at meetings because they're not there in person. We the people also have obligations and can't necessarily attend multiple meetings each month. ( And for what it's worth, I was following the STREMS meetings back when they were only posting the minutes. )

As someone who at time has lived, voted and paid taxes in Chemung County while often being away from town for work....Thank you!

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KReed    442

You've both raised excellent points that I would love to hear responses from the Legislators on, as I have only seen the (costlier & less practical) live stream option addressed. 

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Adam    19

i may be confused but isnt it CSB that is doing this as a service to people of the County or is it the County? if it is CSB, maybe the live stream is what she is familiar with? if recording and posting to youtube is easier/cheaper, if she sees this perhaps it may save some on her data plans?

regardless i think this platform is important for those of us that cannot get to meetings but are interested in the goings-on, it provides us an avenue to not only hear what who is saying but also to better understand different scenarios, a value the County should invest in

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There are a lot of good points here. Many other counties provide either live-streams or recordings of public meetings, and it is something that many people - including myself and County Executive Moss - ran on during our respective campaign. 

As I mentioned elsewhere and at the meeting, Chemung County has been looking into providing this service, and I have simply filled the gap by doing it from my phone until something else is in place. It has been largely well received from what I can tell aside from occasional audio-visual problems. Samantha Potter, the former communications director under Tom Santulli, live-streamed a number of legislative meetings and presentations to the official Chemung County Facebook Page last year and I recall appreciating it, not only when I couldn't attend but also when I could go back to verify exactly what was said. To the best of my knowledge, Potter’s streams cost the county nothing.

The idea of recording and posting is interesting, but to be very honest the main issue for me is and probably always will be time. Juggling my job at Ziff Law, role as Legislator and duties to my children is tough, making time-saving activities very important. Live-streaming requires only a click of a button, while recording and posting means sometimes-lengthy uploads and additional postings to CCM. In addition, there are many times I will not be able to post the recordings until the following day - sometimes late in the day - because of the responsibilities I noted above. If something newsworthy or important has happened at the meeting, this type of delay could be problematic for people following county matters closely.

In the end I find it interesting that Moss announced at his swearing-in that all meetings would be streamed, but now that they are streamed we are getting a lot of push back regarding cost, etc. I have probably spent a total of about $250 (upgraded data plan, tripod and small microphone that I don’t really use because it introduces other issues), and the quality is okay-ish. We can get this done cheaply if we want, something I would greatly like to see happen soon. 

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Chris    951
3 hours ago, Christina Sonsire said:

The idea of recording and posting is interesting, but to be very honest the main issue for me is and probably always will be time. Juggling my job at Ziff Law, role as Legislator and duties to my children is tough, making time-saving activities very important. Live-streaming requires only a click of a button, while recording and posting means sometimes-lengthy uploads and additional postings to CCM. In addition, there are many times I will not be able to post the recordings until the following day - sometimes late in the day - because of the responsibilities I noted above. 

To clarify, I was referring to the county taking over the process of making the meetings available. 

Making the meetings available online can't possibly be as complicated or expensive as its being presented to be. 

And hinestly, if someone wants to follow these meetings that closely they can't wait a few hours for it to be posted, then they should attend in person. 

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Chris    951

It'd be interesting to see what could happen with this and more if we had a public access tv station here in Chemung County. 

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KReed    442
On 5/8/2019 at 9:11 AM, Chris said:

To clarify, I was referring to the county taking over the process of making the meetings available. 

Making the meetings available online can't possibly be as complicated or expensive as its being presented to be. 

And hinestly, if someone wants to follow these meetings that closely they can't wait a few hours for it to be posted, then they should attend in person. 

Unfortunately, my device playback made the sound quality too poor for me to hear the audio myself, so I can only go by how Chris summarized it....that live streaming is the only plan being discussed. 

I agree that streaming, especially on FB (although I understand it is the only interim option Ms Sonsire has at her disposal), is not necessary. Viewers can't pose questions that the meeting attendees can reply to in real time, so there does not seem to be any benefit of live streaming over recording & posting later.

We already wait days for minutes to be uploaded to the County site, I see no reason why we can't for the video as well. If someone feels an urgency to see it "live" and/or to interact and participate in the public Q&A, then it is clearly a priority they could arrange to attend in person. 

I would be interested in the various legislators' thoughts on the recording/posting idea that Chris raised.... it seems more practical, more cost effective and more likely to be accomplished sooner than live streaming.

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KarenK    79
8 hours ago, Christina Sonsire said:

I learned today that the NY Assembly and Senate have passed bills requiring all IDAs to live-stream meetings. This will likely be signed by the governor. 

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s88

 

Nothing like trying to translate a house bill.  LOL.  I did read it though. I didn't see anything about funding this requirement.

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It sounds like the City of Syracuse and/or Onondaga County were able to obtain a grant. 

Streaming will most likely be required for IDAs, so we are going to need to purchase equipment and get something in place for at least those meetings soon.

There are a lot of low-cost options that even very small municipalities have chosen to use: https://www.boxcast.com/solutions/municipality-video-streaming

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A possible solution for now is for me to embed the Facebook live-streams into Chemung County Matters blog posts after the meetings. This allows both real-time watching and accommodates people who don’t use social media, and it is very easy and quick to do. The only drawback remains audio-visual quality, though it seems most people can hear and see well enough to at least follow along.

The equipment costs for better service are not very high, and would be something the county, potentially through a grant, can cover, and it should be able to do something similar by streaming, embedding and archiving. None of this Ian very hard to do.

Thanks so much for all of these suggestions. It hadn’t occurred to me how easy this would be until reading through this thread. I will upload yesterday’s CCIDA meetings to CCM this morning when I get a chance. 

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KReed    442
8 hours ago, Christina Sonsire said:

It sounds like the City of Syracuse and/or Onondaga County were able to obtain a grant. 

Streaming will most likely be required for IDAs, so we are going to need to purchase equipment and get something in place for at least those meetings soon.

There are a lot of low-cost options that even very small municipalities have chosen to use: https://www.boxcast.com/solutions/municipality-video-streaming

Thanks for this information!

If streaming will be a requirement for IDAs, then it sounds like that will need to be the plan.

From what Chris had said in his original post, I had gathered that some Legislators had raised concerns over cost....

On 5/7/2019 at 10:41 AM, Chris said:

While watching parts of last night's budget committee meeting, I believe I heard the "expense" of the county doing this brought up several times, along with talk of IT department, wiring, etc. There's also some other concerns I heard mentioned. 

When the "expense" was brought up, were actual dollar amounts cited? Or were concerns over "expense" just speculation?

He didn't mention anyone discussing grants...was the possibility of exploring grant options addressed? 

I was hoping those with "expense" concerns might expound on that here, as it doesn't seem like a a project that would be extremely expensive. Especially in contrast to some expenditures the county has undertaken (aren't we still paying CCED/TTED $100k/yr to promote hockey?).

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Adam    19
12 hours ago, Christina Sonsire said:

It sounds like the City of Syracuse and/or Onondaga County were able to obtain a grant. 

Streaming will most likely be required for IDAs, so we are going to need to purchase equipment and get something in place for at least those meetings soon.

There are a lot of low-cost options that even very small municipalities have chosen to use: https://www.boxcast.com/solutions/municipality-video-streaming

I am wondering; does the County or City of Elmira have a franchise agreement with Spectrum? if they do, is there a clause allowing for public access channel to be used by the municipality? does not address all of the issues but may present some forward progress

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Chris    951
On 5/10/2019 at 5:17 PM, KReed said:

When the "expense" was brought up, were actual dollar amounts cited? Or were concerns over "expense" just speculation?

I didn't hear a dollar amount thrown out there. 

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Chris    951

Looking like we're not going to hear from anyone else on the subject. Thanks to Christina for participating!

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Hal    218

The unexpected would have been nice to see , but then , it’s not an election cycle is it ? !  Yes , thank you Ms Sonsire ... 

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