Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 13:49 UK

300k Assembly broadcast upgrade

Stormont

The Assembly is set to invest up to £300,000 in a new system to improve internal broadcast coverage of its debates and committee meetings.

An assembly spokesman said its television signal distribution system needed replacing as the old analogue system was "failing."

He added that the system has "increasingly poor picture quality."

The decision to replace the old system was taken by the assembly commission in February.

The spokesman said that there were increasing difficulties in maintaining the existing system and the decision to upgrade followed complaints from members, staff, journalists and others about difficulties finding a working TV.

The assembly is moving to a digital based system by 2012 when analogue TV transmission across Northern Ireland is due to be switched off.

A contract, the value of which is between £100,000 and £300,000 has been put out to tender.

Installation should begin in January.

The spokesman said the project did not consider the replacement of existing television sets as the current sets are still functional.

"The economic and environmental case for their wholesale replacement has not been made," he said,

The assembly is considering reducing the number of TV sets in use.

The Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay said the move to upgrade debate coverage in Assembly "is to be welcomed."



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