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Sturbridge TV gets an upgrade

Updated cable access equipment in Sturbridge should improve the town’s local broadcasts. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
November 18, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Cable Advisory Committee is in the process of dramatically upgrading the technology in Town Hall to allow for more professionally broadcast local programming.

During its meeting on Tuesday night, the Cable Advisory Committee discussed the ongoing work done by Valley Communications, which has been installing new equipment in Town Hall for several months. Three remote cameras, seven microphones, seven display screens, and a projector were installed in the second floor conference room, all of which are expected to be fully functional by the next selectmen's meeting on Monday, Nov. 22. The projector will allow audience members to view documents with enhanced clarity, while the seven microphones and display screens will be mounted to the desk at the front of the conference room, thus enabling members of the board and other speakers to be easily heard.

In addition, technicians from Valley Communications are finalizing work in a control room where the audio and camera operation center is located, as well as racks that will hold additional gear. According to Cable Advisory Committee Chairman Don Fairbrother, an editing suite will also be added to the control room within two months.

"Valley Communications has done an excellent job for us, and they are making great progress with the installations," Fairbrother said.

All of the new equipment cost roughly $180,000. The Cable Advisory Committee used a grant it had received to cover the costs of operational expenses. Members of the committee believe the equipment is well worth the money, as the newly installed cameras will not only provide live surveillance of town meetings, but will also be used to broadcast these events to cable subscribers with increased audio and visual clarity.

"This equipment is going to bring a whole new level of government transparency to Sturbridge," said Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski, who is also a member of the Cable Advisory Committee. "People are going to have much more access to what takes place during town meetings."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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