Located in Florida’s capitol building in Tallahassee, The Florida Channel is a public affairs programming service funded by the state and produced and operated by WFSU-TV. The public service features programming covering all three branches of state government. It is Florida’s primary source for live, unedited coverage of the governor and cabinet, the legislature (House and Senate) and the Florida Supreme Court.
Photo courtesy of The Florida Channel.
In the fall of 2012, The Florida Channel initiated a two-step project that equipped meeting rooms and the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives in the capitol with more than 70 Panasonic AW-HE120 PTZ cameras for live and pre-recorded coverage of committee proceedings. The Florida Channel also purchased 44 Panasonic BT-LH2170PJ 21” LCD production monitors for use in control rooms around the capitol complex. Two monitors are installed at each control station location for each committee/chamber room: one is used for the multiviewer output of the Panasonic switcher and the other serves as a program/on-air monitor.
According to Florida Channel chief engineer Terry Longordo, “The quality of the monitors was obviously one of the major factors in our purchase decision, and price point was another. The overall price/performance created a nice fit for our facility upgrade and budget.”
The challenges associated with this two-step enterprise included installing a fiber backbone (replacing copper) for all the control rooms coming up to the ninth floor, ensuring that robotic cameras operated relatively noise-free so as not to disrupt committee or chamber proceedings, and the accelerated installation timetable required in order to accommodate the start of the legislature’s 60-day session.