City of Costa Mesa Builds New Councils Chambers, Conference Room, and Community Room

Dane Bora, Public Affairs Manager at the City of Costa Mesa, gave an inside look into their recently renovated audio/video (AV) systems, broadcast production infrastructure, and a network connecting their council chambers, master control room, and conference room. Key Code Media provided all new equipment and integration services.

“The City of Costa Mesa is located in Orange County, California, with around 115,000 citizens. The city is a full-service with 400 employees spreading across the Police Department, Fire Department, as well as all the traditional city services of a big city.”


The City Council chambers and community rooms have been in place since 1988. When funding approved for a facility upgrade- they looked to surrounding cities, like Irvine, to determine what equipment and furniture would best suit them. Let’s take a look at the install. Triton Technology Solutions provided the initial design for the project, Key Code Media was awarded the equipment procurement and installation. 

Council Chambers – New Cameras, Digital Signage, Voting System, LED Lighting, Document Scanners and Furniture

The City of Costa Mesa Council Chambers regularly hosts city council meetings, planning commissions meetings, and parks and recreation commission meeting.


“The myriad of improvements we made in the room include a Wolfvision ceiling mounted document camera- replacing the old Elmo style scanners of the past. A new upgraded digital voting system automatically submits data into the city clerk’s official record of the meeting. And of course, a variety of camera systems, lighting systems, and digital signage were all upgraded.”


Audio and production sound were a significant component of the upgrade. The City of Costa Mesa integrated 19 digital discussion systems for mute/unmute control, connected to Shure microphones. The digital discussion systems allow for up to eight simultaneous open mics with ‘auto-off’ for unused microphones, configured through an all IP web browser system.

“An old projection system- which was often hard to see- was replaced by six large-screen displays mounted to the ceiling. Giving an excellent viewing from every angle. It’s something that the public has given us a lot of positive feedback-on.” 


For lighting, a bank of 1K Tungsten lights- notorious for overheating the Dias- were replaced by less-heat-emitting LED lights. The new lighting improved the comfort level tremendously for council members and commissioners.


Custom control room consoles, dais, and conference room furniture helped modernize the facility. Each piece of furniture was carefully thought out, with consideration for making audiovisual, voting, and broadcast equipment seamlessly weaved into the room.


Master Control Room – State-of-the-art Video Production with Ross Carbonite, Ross Xpressions, and Yamaha   


Costa Mesa Television (CMTV) is the city’s 24/7 public access channel- that originates from city hall. Master Control is where live meetings from our council chambers and community room get broadcast out to the city. Even before the equipment upgrade, CMTV has received many awards for their local programming.


“The broadcast systems upgrade included a vast amount of new equipment installed by the Key Code Media systems integration team.”

Some notable pieces of equipment installed included a new Yamaha TF 5 Digital Mixing Console for audio mix, a Ross Carbonite video production switcher, and Ross XPressions for graphics.


“All the equipment we installed is what you would traditionally see in a high-end production house. Our Master Control Room is a full broadcast production system- and we’re pretty proud of the team behind it.”


Network – Tightrope Carousel and Tightrope Cablecast Schedule and Playout

“The server room amounts to the brains of this whole operation. A big upgrade for us is having all of this equipment in one room, integrated with nicely organized cabling. A true professional video and audio network.”


A Tightrope Carousel and Tightrope Cablecast work in combination- managing all the community bulletins, playback scheduling, and digital signage throughout the facility. All the video and audio processing are tightly woven together in the Network Room- installed by Key Code Media team.


“The Network room generates a lot of heat, and with all the new equipment going in- we decided it was time to upgrade the HVAC as well. That was super important to us.”

An Editshare XStream EFS 200 high-performance scale-out shared storage and archive was also added for collaborative video editorial projects planned in the future.


Conference Room – An Enterprise Crestron System Brings The Entire Facility Together

The City of Costa Mesa uses two conference rooms. The smaller room is used for staff meetings, while the larger room can accommodate mid-size community gatherings. A new Crestron system connects the conference room to video conference software providers-like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, the City of Costa Mesa went a step further connecting the two conference rooms, community room, master control room, and council chambers to a Crestron Network over LAN.


“We wanted our conference rooms to be able to be used as overflow rooms for meetings that require more seating than what is available in the Chambers. With the Crestron system, we not only can allow overflow crowds to observer meetings from one of our conference rooms, but they can even engage with the Chamber Room meeting using microphones and cameras.”


The Conference Room itself uses ceiling-mounted Shure microphone ceiling tiles- which removes the need for microphones on the conference room table surface. The Shure MXA910 microphone also has significantly better audio quality when compared to a traditional conference room microphone.


“We’re excited about our technology upgrades at the City of Costa Mesa, from our City Council Chambers, Master Control Room, Network, and Conference Rooms. Once again, big thanks to our systems Integrator, Key Code Media, for making this a successful deployment.”




City of Costa Mesa 

The City of Costa Mesa sent out a call for Proposals to revitalize all the broadcast and A/V technology is not only their Council Chambers but also Master Control, Machine room, and their Conference / Community rooms.  Key Code Media was awarded this RFP,  as the City felt they were the best Qualified to meet their needs.   Key Code Media jumped in and helped the City finalize the install,  and to provide alternative solutions to Keep them Ahead of Technology.  

The project consisted of 3 Parts- 

  1. Council Chambers.   The new HD Panasonic PTZ Cameras showcase all new furniture, LED Lighting and Digital Signage in the while Sennheiser and Shure Microphones and audio reinforcement run through a custom cabling,  giving each council position have it’s own Crestron Interface for control of the environment.   4 Racks of equipment later,   the Master Control update included a full turnkey Ross Video Carbonite and Xpression Graphics system,  showing on a custom multi-viewer,  with a full Crestron touchscreen system to choose any audio or video input, to send it to any room on the network, or simply adjust levels.   The room feeds Transmission facilities in the basement to go live on Cable Television, and via the City’s YouTube Live channel.   
  1. Conference Room.  Provided and installed a new AV system including projection screen, retrofitted table, Credenza with racks for all AV equipment. This system comprises Projector, QSC Speakers, Ceiling tile Microphones utilizing Biamp DSP-  all through a Crestron controller and Crestron touch screen to control all the room’s technology. 
  1. Community Room.  Key Code Media provided and Installed a new complete AV Community room including the Projector, motorized touch screen, custom furniture, Displays, Ceiling tile microphones, QSC Speakers,  through Biamp DSP’s and a Crestron Control system. 


The Creston system allows full interaction between the Council Chambers,  and the Conference and Community Spaces-   allowing them to not only be used for overflow,  but interact fully with the Meeting in the chamber, and the Broadcast to live streaming. 


These 3 parts are tied via a custom fibre infrastructure to the City’s IT department-  and then all users of the systems, including the City Council were trained on how to utilize the systems.   3 “Mock” meetings and 4 Actual meetings were run by Key Code to ensure that any and all possible challenges from the new integration and systems were up to Par for the City team.