City of Foster City

Government Audio Visual - Foster City, CA


Audio visual technology was an important requirement in the construction of the new Council Chambers within the Government Center building in Foster City, CA. The government audio visual technology needed to support the service delivery initiatives of the city’s 11 operating departments. A key requirement was the ability to easily make and view presentations using a variety of media sources. Live reports during Town Hall meetings and emergency events needed to be viewable over the city’s government access channel FCTV. In addition, teleconferencing capability needed to be incorporated.

The Council Chambers is the place where elected officials, city staff and the public meet to conduct city business and make decisions that affect the entire community. Four separate rooms with unique audio/visual requirements make up the Council Chambers facility. They include: the Main Chambers where the main business of the city is conducted such as City Council meetings and Planning Commission public meetings; the Board Room used for citizen advisory committees and study sessions of the City Council or Planning Commission; the Lobby area where people enter the Council Chambers building; and the Operation Center where all of the equipment in the facility is controlled.

Solution | Government Audio Visual

Main Chambers

Various types of presentations are made in this room so a document table was placed in front of the dais. A document camera is located on the ceiling of the Council Chambers with zoom control capability which allows the Board and attendees to view the various types of documentation presented at the document table located directly below. Attendees can view this information on the rear projection screen that is housed at the front of the Chambers behind the dais. Images are projected onto the screen with the use of the projector and a wide-angle throw lens. Board members seated at the dais can view the same material, without having to turn around on, via five LCD monitors housed in positions at the dais. A moveable podium with inputs for computer presentations was placed in the room to serve as a place for members of the public to present thoughts and information on topics. Video playback is also available at the lectern and can be projected on the rear screen and dais monitors.

Audio and voice amplification for the government audio visual are provided through the use of wireless microphones and speakers placed throughout the chamber area. In addition, each position at the dais is equipped with a fixed microphone. Four video cameras are located in the room to capture the proceedings for cablecasting or recording purposes.

Controlling the AV equipment in this room is made easy with the use of a Crestron touch panel control system. The control panel is located at the staff dais. This panel allows Staff members to control what data source is being displayed to the rear screen and monitors. This control system also controls the speech amplification volume and interfaces with the lighting control system in the room. A secondary wireless control device is also available for use from any location in the Chambers.

The Board Room

The Board Room has seating capacity for 20 and is primarily used for study sessions of the City Council or Planning Commission and other citizen advisory committees. Most of these meeting will not require extensive AV capability however the facility will also serve as a video conferencing center.

This room contains a large conference table with a recessed “raceway” in the middle, which houses many of the input sources. Data inputs allow for computer presentations which are displayed for all to see through a ceiling mounted projector onto a screen located at the front of the room. Other input sources available include DVD and VHS players along with a CATV/satellite feed. The room is equipped with a Tandberg video conferencing system for use by city staff or public members which allows for people on the other end of a video conference to see and hear the proceedings of a meeting held in this room. Speakers have been located in the room to allow for audio amplification from the various video input sources. A Crestron control system allows for one to control what audio and video sources are being output to the speakers and projector.


One enters the Council Chambers facility through a main lobby area. This is where individuals generally gather before the start of a meeting and can wait for agenda items to be heard. It is also used as a place to visit during meeting breaks. The AV needs in this area are minimal. The area is equipped with a video display installed within the wall, which displays the FCTV; the city’s government access channel.

Operation Center

One of City of Foster City’s main requirements was for CompView to design an Operation Center capable of controlling all government audio visual in the entire facility. This center is conveniently located behind the Council Chambers and houses all the necessary electronics and switching equipment within nine equipment racks. The room was designed with two full time operators in mind to assist in the City of Foster City’s pre and post production needs. The completed facility will help the City of Foster City meet the current and future needs in providing quality services to the community.

Check out additional government audio visual projects.

Project Summary


Wireless microphones, speakers, video cameras, rear screen projection, 5-monitors, in-ceiling document camera and control panel – council chambers; projector and screen, video conferencing, speakers – board room; operation center control system


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