Council meetings no longer live

Grand Forks City Council meetings will no longer be carried live thanks to the recent switch to the digital feed by Shaw Communications.

Grand Forks City Council meetings will no longer be carried live thanks to the recent switch to the digital feed by Shaw Communications.

Les Johnson, who runs the website whatsupingrandforks.com, used to operate the cameras that would enable council meetings to be carried live on the local Shaw community channel but that will no longer be the case.

“The way (it used to) work is I could go into Shaw’s building and in an equipment rack, there’s a switch, just like you have at home, an audio/video switch with four positions,” Johnson explained.

“Position 1 is just the cable pin that we get from everywhere. Position 4 is the feed from city council and the other two positions are machines in the rack where I play local content. So I (would) come in there and if I have enough content to fill two hours, I had a two hour slot three times a week and I could just take over.”

Johnson said that he would talk to the television audience before he played something and in between and when he was done, he would say goodbye and return it back to Shaw but that was with the old analog TV.

With the switch to digital, Johnson said that the analog circuitry will be dead and he will no longer be able to show things like live council meetings.

“That switch will go away and because it’s all digital at that point, there won’t be any analog channels, so there is no way that I can tap into their digital stream coming out that’s live,” said Johnson.

He said that he will have to record city council meetings for playback later and said that he will put council meetings on his website for viewing and summer council meetings will be up soon.

“I’ll still go to council meetings. I’ll record the session the way I do now and once I can turn it into a digital file, I’ll hand it over to Shaw and they’ll put it into the slot for playback locally,” Johnson said.

He said that while he can stream meetings live to his website, he hasn’t actually tested it yet.

“I have to spend the next couple of weeks working that out,” he said.