Retention of Data from the Channel 191 Recordings
With Channel 191, the Town of Mansfield stores data using four different methods.
The first method is during the meeting we record the video that we are sending out to Charter Cable using a DVD recorder. This uses a blank DVD as the recording media and results in a DVD copy of the meeting. We use that DVD to re-broadcast the meeting in the weeks following the meeting on Channel 191 and after that the DVD is kept in a binder in Town Hall for long-term storage. Copies of these DVDs can be obtained via a Freedom of Information Request for $1 per DVD.
The second method is during the meeting there is an encoder box that was provided to us by the subscription video service townhallstreams.com. This box takes the same signal that is sent to Channel 191 and formats it as an IP based computer format. It is sent via the Internet to townhallstreams.com’s server where it is available for anyone to view live during the meeting or on-demand after the meeting. Townhallstreams.com provides the service of keeping it on their server for at least a month after the meeting is originally broadcast.
The third method is during the meeting we have a TV on channel 191 and we record what is playing on that TV using a DVD recorder. Same as with the first DVD, we put this into a binder for long-term storage.
The fourth method is during the meeting our equipment creates a temporary mp3 file, which is an audio file. We do not permanently store those files as they do not contain the video, so they are not as useful. However, we do keep them for a short period of time as another backup method just incase there was an error with the video recording.
All four of the methods above are storing the video and/or audio of the meeting. The townhallstreams.com website also allows us to include a meeting title, date, time, and location with the online copy of the recording on their website. Additionally, occasionally the townhallstreams.com website has also been able to determine the number of viewers, however this is not a regular service that they provide. On the two physical DVD copies, we use a sharpie marker to note the title and date of the meeting on the DVD so we know which meeting it contains. On our website we also store the agendas, minutes, and packets from the meetings as well.