Residents can now use instant replay to keep an eye on county decisions.
A new Internet streaming service launched late last month will let users replay on demand any government meeting taped by the County Channel.
"From my point of view, it is another enhancement toward transparency for Beaufort County," said county administrator Gary Kubic.
A live feed of the County Channel has previously been streamed over the Internet.
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The new on-demand system allows viewers to watch any program at any time and gives them access to archived footage that's weeks or months old. Users can search by topic or click on an agenda item to jump straight to the debate that interests them.
Scott Grooms, the county's director of broadcast services, said the video-on-demand service can help clarify County Council debates for residents because "now you can actually see exactly what everybody said."
The county also hopes to add other programming, such as its Coastal Kingdom nature series, in August, Grooms said.
The streaming service is provided by Granicus, a San Francisco-based company and will cost the county about $15,000 annually.
Some of that cost could be offset by reducing the time spent transcribing meeting minutes, a task that county staff say typically takes about three times as long as the actual meeting. Minutes currently distill council members' debate and paraphrase the arguments on each side.
"It's a laborious, arduous task," said clerk to council Sue Rainey. "It's very important, and it has to be accurate."
With the new system, meeting minutes will be more basic and will direct readers to the online video for more.
On average, Rainey estimated her office spends approximately 20 hours on transcription each week, which could be reduced to about three or four hours.
Follow reporter Kyle Peterson at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.