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Selectmen room at Town Hall to get hi-def upgrade

By Greg Lane
Updated May 14, 2020

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On Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen approved a capital expenditure request from the Cable TV Advisory Committee to transfer funds from the Cable Capital Account in the amount of $25,675.  The money will be used to make upgrades to the HD equipment Harbor Media uses to film meetings in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall;  however, the project, which involves replacing things like video switches and camera controllers, will not begin until Town Hall reopens.

Dave Jones, a member of the Cable Advisory Committee, said that the Committee had been working on getting an HD channel during the last license renewal with Verizon.  When commenting on the cost of the work to be done, he said the Committee didn’t expect to spend the full amount.  “We’ll probably get (the cost) down,” he assured the Board.  “We already have a vendor in mind that gave us that quote.  It’s Unique Access Media.”

Selectmen Chair Karen Johnson was quick to point out that the money being used to fund the improvements is coming from a percentage that is set aside from user fees and is money that “is not available for anything else.”  She also stressed the importance of residents having remote access to meetings and commented on how the improved service would be beneficial.  “For a long time folks have relied on Harbor Media, and I think the quality of that feed is really important to continue to entice people to tune in,” she said.  “In this uncertain environment, it’s helpful if people can get access to the conduct of their government.”

Another member of the Cable TV Advisory Committee, John Rice, was present at the virtual meeting.  “The HD channel that’s on Verizon is up and running and is going to be a ‘best of’ channel,” he announced.  “However, it will be another year before Comcast is obligated to put an HD channel on.”

Laura Burns, president of the Board of Directors for Harbor Media, pointed out that the channel number had not yet been mentioned and led the meeting in a chant of “2131” to reinforce it.  “People with Verizon can go and see what everything we’ve built actually really looks like,” she told the audience, “because we build most things in HD already.”

“I’ve been told by a reliable source that apparently the Board of Selectmen are the highest rated,” quipped Town Administrator Tom Mayo, which Laura confirmed, “and now you’re going to be in HD!”

Those with Verizon cable television service can now find all three local cable access stations in one place on channel 2131.

Cable TV Advisory Committee Members

  • Eric Osterberg

  • Jeff Cutler

  • John Rice

  • Michael Leary

  • David Jones

  • Christopher Baron

  • Kathryn Roberts, School Representative

Harbor Media Board of Directors:

  • Laura Burns, president

  • Jim Dellott, vice president

  • Betty Foley, treasurer

  • Robert Kirk, clerk

  • Margie Sullivan, member

  • Mark Brodie, member

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