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Soon: See aldermen on your computer

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Evanston’s new city manager got the go ahead from aldermen Tuesday night to pursue the idea of putting council meeting video online.

The city has long aired government meetings on the local cable access channel, but city staffers say less than half the households in town subscribe to cable.

A staff report looked at outsourcing the video streaming work either of two commercial providers — TelVue Corp. of Mt. Laurel, N.J., or Granicus, Inc. of San Francisco.

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What Telvue’s video-on-demand service for Concord, Mass., looks like.

Both vendors offer options for live streaming of meetings and on-demand playback of recorded video.

The Granicus solution offers more additional features, but at a higher cost.


Evanston’s new city manager got the go ahead from aldermen Tuesday night to pursue the idea of putting council meeting video online.

The city has long aired government meetings on the local cable access channel, but city staffers say less than half the households in town subscribe to cable.

A staff report looked at outsourcing the video streaming work either of two commercial providers — TelVue Corp. of Mt. Laurel, N.J., or Granicus, Inc. of San Francisco.

concord-tv-090909.jpg
What Telvue’s video-on-demand service for Concord, Mass., looks like.

Both vendors offer options for live streaming of meetings and on-demand playback of recorded video.

The Granicus solution offers more additional features, but at a higher cost.

The staff memo indicates the Granicus solution would cost $25,000 the first year and $11,500 a year after that. By comparison the estimated cost of the Telvue solution is $7,000 the first year and $3,000 a year beyond that.

The Granicus system is being used by several Chicago area communities including Highland Park, Glenview, Naperville and Elgin.

Telvue clients reportedly include Akron, Ohio, Bloomfield, N.J. and Concord, Mass.

The staff memo estimates, based on statistics from other municipalities, that as many as 100 people might watch council meetings live on the web and the on-demand playback features might be used 1,000 times a month.

Aldermen said they liked the idea of going with the less expensive solution.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said he’d also explore the option of making DVD recordings of city meetings available at the public library.

He said it would require additional equipment to provide live audio broadcasts of council meetings on the city’s 1650AM radio station, and that he’d provide details on that at a future Rules Committee meeting.

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