::City Spends $40,050 On Online Videos
By Elliott West, News Editor
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
RALEIGH - According to contracts obtained from the City of Raleigh, in addition to paying for broadcast of city council meetings on the city government Channel 11 on cable, taxpayers paid an extea $40,050 in the past year to host city videos on the Internet.
The Internet video hosting and streaming is provided by a video company from San Francisco, California.
The contract called for the California-based firm $40,050 to be paid in an invoice in October 18th of last year to cover the "streaming video of council meetings, training, [and] employee relations."
In stark contrast, this newspaper pays around $10 a month or about $120 a year for hosting and streaming of its videos from a company called GoDaddy.com in Arizona.
The City of Raleigh contract with the video company included initial consulting to set up the streaming, software and hardware accounted for a large part of the $40,050 bill.
The Media Manager software was $7,500; the Outcast encoder software was $500; the Encoder Configuration software was $900; the Media Vault software was $9,000; and the Stream Replicator software $3,750.
The video company did give the city a $2,750 discount on the $21,650 software bill.
However, Raleigh will continue to pay the video company a $1,300 a month fee every month for streaming fees which will total $14,300 a year. Over five years, the City of Raleigh will pay $71,500 for hosting.
By comparison, over the past five years, RTP-TV, which is now part of the Raleigh Chronicle newspaper, has hosted as many as 10,000 visitors in one day for its videos and has paid a total of just over $750 in total for video hosting over five years.
RTP-TV and the Raleigh Chronicle do not pay for streaming software on the server since Windows Media video files stream automatically when accessed by web visitors on a regular hosting server. In addition, this paper uses free encoding software from Microsoft that turns raw video files into WMV files that can be streamed over the Internet.
It should be pointed out that unlike the $10 a month hosting that this newspaper uses for its streaming videos, the City of Raleigh paid package allows for indexing of videos so that viewers can go to different sections of the council meetings.
The software package also allows for "live" streaming of council meetings from the council chambers through the hardware and software the company sold the city.
However, unlike this newspaper, the City of Raleigh also broadcasts all of its meetings live on Channel 11, Raleigh TV and repeats those broadcasts several times throughout the month, making the online "live" broadcasts redundant.
The Raleigh City Council meetings are also archived on Internet for later viewing, much like the Raleigh Chronicle / RTP-TV has made available all of its videos on the Internet from the last five years for viewers at any time --- for $10 a month. ::