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District to bolster audio/visual capabilities

Better livestreaming experience also sought

Better access to District of Houston council meetings and other District meetings via the internet is in the offing with bids being sought to update equipment.

COVID-19 protocols have restricted in-person attendance at council meetings and that’s a chief reason for seeking an upgrade to aid in webcasting but council also wants to boost the level of technology elsewhere in the District.

A budgeted amount beginning at $5,000 and extending up to $30,000 has been set and bids are required by June 9.

Key pieces of equipment would boost audio and visual capabilities so as to better present a webcasting package via Zoom or Microsoft Teams

“The individual equipment will depend on the scope taken for the project, but council has also expressed a willingness to upgrade existing systems, such as network and teleconferencing systems. This project would implement the ability for webcasting, greater connectivity and efficiency amongst different council chamber technology and upgrade outdated existing systems,” reads a District project explanation for this year.

Included on the list of desired equipment are cameras, video equipment, display, audio processing equipment, a conferencing system, wireless microphones and loudspeakers.

“The existing audiovisual system is no longer meeting quality expectations and is no conducive to the hosting of productive electronic meeting formats,” states information in the request for bids document now posted.

“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the District is also interested in improving live streaming and recording of meetings with the option of making available archived videos online.”

Facebook Live or YouTube have been listed as livestreaming outlets.

The council room is also used for provincial court sittings, meaning any equipment purchased must be multi-functional.

A tentative award contracting date of June 15 has been set followed by a contract start date of June 21.

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