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Live streaming for open democracy – Christchurch City Council Community Boards

Christchurch City Council’s (CCC) seven community boards experienced delays with AV upgrades in their boardrooms in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An interim live streaming solution was needed to get each board up and running to live stream their meetings while they waited for the upgrades to be completed.

Tandem assisted with the supply, install and set up of seven simple, portable live streaming kits for the boardrooms. Each kit needed to integrate with the existing Zoom system used by each board to ensure ease of use and continuation of key features such as bringing in remote presenters, share-screen to show presentation slides and live streaming to YouTube.

Takirua Tandem Media has been working with local councils for many years to live stream council meetings. We are the preferred supplier to all major New Zealand Councils.

Our live streaming solutions help Council’s become more transparent and accessible to the public. Live streaming gives the community the opportunity to tune in to what’s happening in their hometowns in an easily accessible and consumable way.

Requirements

Although each Board has similar requirements, we conducted site visits at each Boardroom to check out the space and get an understanding of each Board’s requirements. The main needs we noted from these site visits were:

  • High-definition video and audio coverage
  • Single-camera coverage with no particular focus on chair or presenters needed
  • Easy integration with Zoom to retain key features (share-screen and inclusion of remote presenters)
  • Ease of staff use and training, no advanced switching capabilities or features needed.
  • Temporary solution with no permanent equipment installs. Easy to be dismantled once main upgrade was available.

A few other needs identified were:

  • A system that didn’t need extensive set up before each meeting.
  • Some wanted a system that could be packed down after each meeting to avoid other community groups/public damaging the system.
  • As each board needed to adhere to social distancing, high-definition audio was needed to ensure coverage of a wide area.

Solution

Our solution was to supply each Community Board with a “Logitech Group” conference camera system which offers affordable video conferencing for mid to large-sized meeting rooms

The USB plug-and-play connectivity means it’s easy to setup and pack away. The system only needs to be connected to the Boardroom computer via USB to start working. Multiple mounting options meant we mounted the camera on the wall of a few boardrooms to make it easy for staff to setup, but we also supplied a portable camera stand for another option and portability.

The high-quality main speakerphone unit gave the ability to pickup sound from each boardroom, but we also supplied each board with two expansion microphones to increase their options if a social distanced meeting took place and they needed coverage for a larger space.

The system’s premium lens with 10x lossless zoom and HD 1080p/30 performance gave each boardroom high-quality video coverage of each meeting. The pan/tilt and zoom camera means wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling coverage of each meeting. We set each boardroom up with a main wide-angle preset showing the full boardroom, with the option to set additional camera presets for other angles depending on individual needs.

Additional features:

  • Ability to pair a mobile device with Bluetooth® wireless technology to the GROUP speakerphone.
  • Acoustic echo cancellation and noise reduction technology make conversations natural-sounding while reducing reverberation and ambient noise.
  • Mute buttons on the speakerphone, handheld remote, and optional expansion mics, privacy is assured. When muted, GROUP’s LED status ring lights up red, a subtle yet obvious assurance that’s easily seen throughout the room.
  • Easy cabling with the compact Hub. It’s easy to run cables under tables, through conduit or along carpet. Integrated data and power means that the camera and speakerphone each connect with a single cable. The included 5m / 16 ft cables gives lots of placement options, while optional extended cables offer double or triple the reach.

You can read more about the Logitech Group Conference Camera system here.

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