Douglas Cable Advisory Committee - Equipment

To produce and play back our programming, we have the following equipment, all purchased with a grant from Charter Communications as provided for in the town's contract with Charter.

Meeting room recording

The Board of Selectmen's meeting room is recorded using three cameras, controlled by one person using a joystick-type controller. This allows one person to produce the entire meeting. The video goes through a video mixer and is recorded on DVD (and VHS for backup). Video can also be recorded directly to our video editing workstations.

The Community Meeting Room is equipped with two fixed cameras and a DVD/VHS recorder. This provides recording capability to persons with little or no video experience. Meetings including the Planning Board and Conservation Commission are typically recorded in this room.

Video editing workstation

Our video editing workstations are Apple Macintosh computers. We have one MacPro and two Apple iMac's with a 20" screens. One iMac is a G5, the other an Intel Core 2 Duo. We also have a MacBook (laptop) for portable use. We use both Final Cut Studio and iMovie, along with a variety of additional utilities. We also have a secondary editing system, a Casablanca Prestige. All editing workstations, along with our six portable MiniDV camcorders and four flash-memory camcorders, are available to the public after having completed one of our production classes.

Video playback

Our playback system is managed by a Leightronix Nexus digital playback and controller system. This allows programs to be played at pre-determined times from digital files on computer hard drives. Everything you see on Channels 11 (Public Access) and 12 (Government) is generated from this system, including the town's Bulletin Board.

Online video

Our video produced for online viewing is encoded using the H.264 compressor within the Quicktime format. This was chosen for the best balance of file size and quality. Quicktime is freely available for both Windows and Macintosh from Our current specifications are to encode at 320x240 at 200K/sec video, plus 40K/sec audio. This allows for a data rate of approximately 100MB per hour of video. The video is scaled to double-size during playback.