City of Edina
The City of Edina in suburban Minneapolis doesn’t just value transparency in government. It wants everything in HD. To upgrade its presentation, video and broadcast systems from older, standard-definition technology, the city engaged Alpha in a multi-step process that transformed its control room, council chambers and multiple conference rooms.
City of Edina
Fabrication & installation services
Audiovisual & control systems
Digital communications & media walls
Testing & programming
Service & support
Most every governmental entity claims to care about transparency. The City of Edina centers its entire presentation, video and broadcast strategy around the notion. As Scott Denfield, video production coordinator for Edina, put it, “Our goal [in upgrading our infrastructure] was to give residents and City staff the best tools to be successful, and make it easy to be involved with what the City is doing.” While specifying HD for all city meeting broadcasts, the client also placed considerable emphasis on easy operability of conference room technology. “Meeting spaces are often used by citizen groups and others who may be first-time users of the equipment,” said Alpha Account executive Mike Pouh. “In every respect, we wanted to maximize the accessibility of our solutions.”
Charged with fostering connection between Edina’s government and its people, the Alpha team embarked on a three-step process. “We first upgraded their master control room with a Tightrope HD playback system to enable HD recording and cable broadcasts,” said Pouh. “We then upgraded three conference rooms with new presentation equipment. Finally, and most importantly, we upgraded the City Council’s chamber and control room with HD broadcast production systems.” Carrying out the solution entailed replacing all the cables within the walls of the chambers, all cameras, the production switcher, and video distribution equipment. In the meantime, the mayor’s conference room was upgraded with a high-intensity projector and a Da-Lite screen. Other conference rooms received 60” multi-touch, interactive whiteboards. The Council chamber upgrade included a Crestron control system and five Sony HD PTZ cameras, and its control room includes a Ross video CrossOver production switcher.
“The biggest challenge for our HD upgrade was that we were one of the first PEG [public/educational/governmental] channels to go HD in Minnesota,” says Denfield. “Our cable provider had never converted a PEG channel to HD, and there were plenty of last-minute changes and adjustments needed. But Alpha did a really good job of being flexible, being quick-reacting to changes, and rapidly solving problems and issues.” Denfield also cited the public’s high engagement with the HD cable channel, the reliability of Alpha’s infrastructure choices (“bulletproof,” says Denfield), and the easy operability of the conference room solutions as positive measures of Alpha’s performance. “Time and again we come back to Alpha because we have such a good experience with them on projects.”