Hernando County Government Broadcasting’s Rick Foti shows off the channel’s mobile production unit, which features a Broadcast Pix Mica 1000 integrated production switcher.
BILLERICA, Mass. — In 1998, Hernando County Government Broadcasting was established in Brooksville, Fla., with two VHS recorders and one camera on the wall of the Board’s Meeting Room in the government center. Led since its inception by Rick Foti, video production manager, the quality of its productions has improved significantly over the years. Recently, the station’s production values took another major step forward with the purchase of two Broadcast Pix Mica integrated production switchers.
Hernando County produces close to 300 shows per year, including coverage of more than 100 meetings, with two employees and a handful of volunteers. Many productions are handled by a one-person crew. The channel is available locally on Bright House Networks and streamed live and on-demand on the county’s web site.
Some shows, including series like Veterans Voice and Focus on Hernando, are produced in a converted office that serves as a small studio adjacent to the Board of County Commissioners chambers’. Foti will often produce five-camera shoots using three wider locked shots and two PTZ cameras to get close-ups of the host and guests. Other programs like Loving Food as well as events like the local Christmas parade are shot on location with up to six cameras.
Foti installed the first Mica system in late 2014 as a replacement for an aging Panasonic analog switcher. “I’m all about quality. It’s about what the picture really looks like, and you can see the difference,” said Foti.
The second Mica system is used with Hernando County’s remote unit, affectionately known as “Rolling Thunder,” which includes two small racks of equipment on a 4 x 2-foot box with eight-inch wheels. Foti transports the unit in a converted ambulance. The remote unit was completed in June, and Hernando County uses it for a number of programs and coverage of community events.
Foti relies on several of the built-in Fluent Control workflow tools. Both Mica systems use two 32-inch monitors, which are populated by Fluent-View, Broadcast Pix’s customizable multi-view screen. He has designed the right screen to show preview, program and video inputs, while the left screen is dedicated to graphics and effects in case there is more than one operator in the control room or truck.
Beyond the built-in CG, which is used for lower-thirds, Foti is beginning to use the built-in clip stores, animations, and file-based Fluent Macros.
“This has made my life so much easier. During a board meeting, everything is at my fingertips,” he said. “Broadcast Pix is changing the way our channel looks and I’m loving it.”