Clatsop County viewers hoping to watch live broadcasts of Board of Commissioners meetings likely have been left staring at black screens.
Following a contentious six-year process, Charter Communications installed the infrastructure needed for broadcasting prior to an October meeting. The county has tried to air three meetings live on public access channel 190 since then, but technical hiccups have prevented all or some parts of the meetings from being viewable.
The first two broadcasts were unsuccessful because the county possessed the wrong piece of equipment that acts as an interface between the Judge Guy Boyington Building and Charter, County Manager Cameron Moore said. Though that issue was fixed, the broadcast was still unavailable for Wednesday’s meeting, meaning technicians will need to search for another source of the issue.
“It takes six months to a year, sometimes, to get everything figured out and working the way it needs to work,” said Moore, who cautioned residents prior to the first broadcast attempt to expect early glitches.
A $90,000 contract to upgrade audio and install video capabilities at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, where the meetings take place, was approved by commissioners in 2016. Upgrades include video cameras, a projector and a retractable screen and audio improvements. Meeting broadcasts have been posted on YouTube and the county website.
Other technical issues and a lengthy negotiation over a franchise agreement had drawn out the public access channel’s unveiling. County officials reached a franchise agreement with Charter in 2015 following several years of negotiations, and the company paid $39,000 to cover the cost of the channel.