BAR HARBOR — Fans of Mount Desert Island High School sports will be able to watch games by way of a live streaming service starting next fall. And some non-athletic community events in the gym might be live-streamed as early as this spring.
Student Activities Director Bunky Dow told the high school board Jan. 14 that a donor he does not wish to identify at this time has offered to buy two fully automated Pixellot live streaming cameras for the school.
He said Pixellot is currently offering two cameras for the single-camera price of $5,000.
Dow said one camera will be used to cover basketball and volleyball games and wrestling matches in the gym.
“We can also do the show choir extravaganza in the gym and we can do graduation,” he said. “We can do community events that go on in the gym.”
The second camera can be used outdoors for football and soccer games.
“People who live out of state ask me if we can do live streaming,” Dow told the school board. “We do have the [technical] capability but we don’t have the personnel.
“This system is all automatic. You just set it up on the computer and it runs itself; we just have to program it. It follows the action. It gets close-ups.
“It’s a really good system,” he said. “A few schools in Maine have gone with this.”
Dow said that, for some events that are broadcast on the radio, such as basketball games, the Pixellot system can be hooked into the audio so that viewers can hear the play-by-play.
Dow said subscribers to the live streaming service will be charged a seasonal or monthly fee for athletic contests. Pixellot’s monthly fee is currently $9.95. Non-athletic events and even athletic events that aren’t sponsored by the school, such as the annual Great Harbor Shootout, can be viewed without buying a subscription.
Dow said of the donor that is providing the Pixellot cameras at no cost to the school, “They’re not getting anything out of it. They just want to provide a service for the community, and I think it’s a win-win for all of us.”