Dec 07 2018

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City upgrades to HD system



City Commissioners considered and approved a purchase for a High Definition broadcast system to replace the existing standard definition system at City Hall for the amount of $39,240.
According to Public Library Director Jerry Salazar, the current standard definition system has been in place for three years now and functions properly, but improvements are recommended.
When Commissioners inquired as to why this issue should be deemed a priority, Salazar, who was presenting the motion before the Commissioners, said that the current system runs out of warranty on Dec. 31 and that expiration makes it prone to future difficulties.
“The system runs out of warranty on Dec. 31,” explained Salazar. “They (Swagit) are no longer going to service it because it is a standard definition system. The parts are no longer available or are much harder to find.”
Salazar added, “The system is functioning fine, but the situation would be, if something ever does break, since it’s not as easily serviceable, we would be down, we would not be able to stream the meetings until the system goes back up.”
According to Salazar, Swagit Productions, the HD broadcast system vendor, recommends the upgrade to an HD system, which is the standard across the board.
The original price tag for the system is on the $46,000 range, but Salazar said that due to a credit of $7,700.00 for the old system, the cost comes out to $39,240.00.
The funding for the upgraded broadcast system is from a franchise fee all cities and school districts collect from cable providers for using the city’s infrastructure.
City manager Manuel De La Rosa added some insight on funding, saying, “These funds are part of the funding that comes in from having Spectrum. We can’t use it for anything, but very specific issues, which is these systems. Maybe one day we’ll be able to have a channel here at some future date.”
Mayor Ben Gomez further inquired if in the next three years the same process would occur again, to which Salazar responded, “I asked the same question, Mayor. The answer was no, because by getting a high definition system, and since it is the norm for everybody right now, parts are readily available.”
On the question of a potential tv channel, referred to as a PEG (Public, Education, Government) channel, similar to the one the San Benito CISD uses, Salazar commented that he’s been pushing for such a channel as it would prove beneficial for the city because various types of events could be televised through that medium.
“It’s a really positive thing for the city,” Salazar said. “All kinds of stuff can be presented through that PEG channel: musical entertainment, live music events, parades, and these city meetings.”
Salazar said that there are over 5,000 PEG channels in the United States and that ultimately he is not sure if such a program would manifest, as all he can do is provide quotes and push for it.
With a motion to approve by Commissioner Rene Villafranco and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Carol Lynn Sanchez, the HD broadcast system was approved to be installed in late January of 2019.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/12/07/city-upgrades-to-hd-system/

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