Council to Consider Upgrading City Hall Broadcast Technology

Haverhill City Concilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill city council received an offer Tuesday to help upgrade its public broadcast technology in council chambers and elsewhere at Haverhill City Hall.

WHAV President and General Manager Tim Coco made the offer to city councilors Tuesday that would, among other things, upgrade telephone audio for remote participation by members to broadcast quality. He said it is a renewal of an offer from past WHAV administrators when telephone lines were used for live broadcast of council meetings.

“Many new technologies have emerged since Alexander Graham Bell’s invention…In our own studios, we use something called a telephone hybrid. I’m sure Councilor Macek knows what they are. In radio, they are a pretty common piece of equipment and would allow you to tie in any outside councilors into the system, without feedback, with a pretty reliable sound and be reliable for your listeners,” Coco said. He said WHAV would be willing to work in concert with Haverhill Community Television, Comcast, city councilors and City Hall staff to ensure the highest quality output no matter the medium.

Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, who placed the matter on Tuesday’s agenda, said wiring for the sound system in council chambers has not been updated since the 1980s.

“Just the fact that we can have all types of meetings, no matter where they are in the building, publicly heard, I think, is invaluable. It doesn’t matter if it’s here or in the auditorium, or up in (room) 301, or in our own council chamber, I think that’s what’s really, really important. It’s really going to add to the transparency of what we do here in city hall,” Daly O’Brien said.

The council referred WHAV’s offer to its administration and finance committee.