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New Camera System For Council Chambers

Tammy Daniels

The new Sony cameras are installed high on each of the chamber's four walls. They will replace the single camera that's been set up for years in the back of the chamber facing the council tables.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council Chambers are being wired up for new sight and sound by Northern Berkshire Community Television Corp.

Four movable cameras — one on each wall — will replace the single camera that's been used for years to focus on the councilors. The new perspective will give the viewing audience a look at those attending council meetings (including yours truly) and closeups of speakers as well as councilors and the mayor.

The public access station's director David Fabiano told us last week that the new $30,000 system should be up and running by the first meeting in April.

"We've been talking about this for a couple of years now," said Fabiano. "We were having trouble where to put the control equipment."

The solution was to wire the controls into the old judge's chamber, unused since District Court moved to the former Sprague research building some years ago. That way, said Fabiano, the camera operator will be in a separate room and will be less of a distraction.

The controller is portable and about the size of a laptop. "Just push a botton and it just goes to the shot you want; it's a much more complex and sophisticated system," he said, adding it could be used for other events. "It should be a pretty flexible system."

The new system will also include goose-neck microphones for each councilor (they've been sharing a couple at each table) and three wireless microphones for speakers that will eliminate wires underfoot and come in handy for giving presentations. Not all the sound equipment may be ready for the April meeting but should be installed not long after.

(An important note, the microphones are not for the audience in chambers to hear the councilors but rather to pick up voice for the television audience.)

The funding comes from the cable company, part of the contract made with the participating towns.

"We're excited to get it going," said Fabiano.

Tags: cameras, NBCTV      

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