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James City County residents will soon see higher-quality broadcasts of board meetings, as the county recently approved the purchase of upgraded video equipment.
Jody Puckett, county communications director, said the equipment currently used to record meetings was installed in 2003 and can no longer be repaired by the manufacturer.
The new equipment, which includes production and audio tools as well as video cameras, will allow broadcasts to be shown full screen, sharpen the video quality and improve the audio for viewers at home as well as residents in attendance.
“Over the years we’ve had challenges with audio in [the work session room] as well as the PA system,” Puckett said. “These upgrades will improve the system not only for the people there in the room but [also] people at home.”
The equipment will be purchased for $265,000, which is $56,600 less than the amount approved in the fiscal 2016 Capital Improvements Program budget. The purchase was approved by the board of supervisors Sept. 8.
“I think it just adds to our desire to broadcast these public meetings to support our openness and transparency as much as we can,” Puckett said.
The improvements will benefit residents who watch meetings live on Cox Cable Channel 48 as well as those who stream meetings from the county website, Puckett said.
She said the county has a “faithful following” when it comes to watching meeting online. In fiscal year 2015, board meeting videos were viewed more than 137,000 times, Puckett said.