How Webcasting is Becoming the New Government Trend

Kevin Beazley | April 1, 2019

The trend for webcasting of council meetings continues to grow across the UK, and that has led to an increasing requirement for systems and technology to be put in place to accommodate these requirements.

The Benefits of Webcasting 

Webcasting has many benefits. Firstly, it enables the general public to follow debates and council meetings from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces. Most councils now offer a live webcasting service on their own YouTube channels, while also encouraging the public to follow them on Twitter using specific hashtags. 

Also, by streaming meetings they can be downloaded and watched at a convenient time for the viewer, or converted to a podcast which again offers another method to digest important council issues or hot topics, and giving local authorities more opportunities to engage with the general public.

Streaming technology offers councils another platform to communicate internally to staff, with an endless list of possibilities including archiving for on-demand viewing, streaming focus groups, business meetings, training videos, and so on.

Webcasting Systems

To allow effective streaming to happen, systems need to be adapted. A smooth transition of microphone operation through to video is a key requirement, offering a more efficient, slicker end-user experience. 

Most systems will have three cameras in operation to capture the proceedings: a static camera focusing on the top table that can be used as a general overview unit, a left camera capturing the right side of the chamber or council space, and vice versa with a right camera. 

These cameras will be equipped with PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) technology, automatically detecting when a speaker is addressing the council or chamber and focusing on that individual. To allow this process to happen, basic microphone technique is essential, along with correct microphone placement.

Secure streaming also offers councils the opportunity to deploy a subscription-based model, monetising content and preventing copying and illegal downloading, allowing the transmission of sensitive material to the intended audience. 

Whatever the application, streaming technology has many benefits for councils to consider, allowing further engagement and communication – both internally and externally - in today’s digital landscape.

Kevin Beazley

Kevin Beazley is the conferencing systems manager for Shure UK Systems Group. He specialises in the design of conferencing and discussion systems.