10-Dec-2007 (Mon)
Wherein our webcasts (and, in fact, society) are put to shame.

This is pretty amazing -- Fabchannel webcasts live shows from The Paradiso in Amsterdam.

Rather than the fully-automated webcasts that we do, They have a multi-operator video crew shooting the show, and then do offline editing of the footage before posting it (which is a huge amount of work). They appear to be getting label permission for each shoot, which means they can often leave it up forever. And they're giving it all away for free, on their web site and the iTunes store.

The question that their FAQ doesn't answer is, "how the hell are you paying for this?" There aren't even ads on the site, just a logo for their ISP.

But this interview with Justin Kniest, the CEO has the answer: the Dutch department of Education, Culture and Science and the city of Amsterdam are footing the bill. Wikipedia says that Paradiso is a "publicly-subsidized youth entertainment center", and that the city of Amsterdam owns 25% of Fabchannel (at a cost of 1.25 million Euros).

Free government money! This is in somewhat stark contrast to my governmental experiences of late. Meanwhile, I'm scrounging eBay looking for some cheap replacement camcorders, just to keep our webcasts at the shitty 1998 level of technology you've come to expect.

Good times.

7 Responses:

  1. Keep on fighting the good fight. Just think of how awesome you are, doing The Right Thing without taxpayer subsidies.

    (I also hang my head in shame at NYC's treatment of nighclubs.)

  2. omni_ferret says:

    I'm honestly stunned at all the analog video there. I would have guessed that cheap webcams & the swarms of surveillance cameras available would have made digital a better proposition. Er, it would now, maybe; definitely not when you set this up back when you were rebuilding.

    How much are the replacement camcorders?

    • jwz says:

      I'm looking for Sony TRV-whatever models, because those are what I've got, and I know they're good in low light. I figure they're worth about $40 each used, but, mystifyingly, they seem to be going for $150 on eBay, which is just insane.

      All webcams are shit in low light.

      All security cameras have extortionate pricing.

      That's why I used camcorders in the first place, and it still seems to be true today.

      • omni_ferret says:

        Belatedly: For $150, some DV camcorders are available used, & they emit DV over Firewire, composite video, & often webcam stuff over USB. So there would be an upgrade path for video quality. If they have video quality. I can't speak for low light quality, though.

        How did you specifically decide on the TRV series?

        • jwz says:

          At the time I started this, they were Sony's main consumer model; I tried one, and it was better in low light than the other things I'd tried. And very cheap compared to all the "security" models.

          I've managed to obtain a couple of spares on ebay for ~$40 plus ~$20 shipping, which I still think is high, but I bid on them when I see them.

  3. I'm beginning to suspect that your assertions regarding the goodness of the times might be sarcastic.

  4. Ooh! We played in Holland once at a venue that was massive and had a small venue next to it, in the same building, that was funded entirely in that way, by the government arts grant or whatever it is...very progressive, yes.