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In The News: Asset Management Eases Production Frustrations

January 06, 2014

BocaTV is the government access channel operated by the City of Boca Raton, Fla. Seen on Comcast Channel 20, BocaTV carries the city’s regular council meetings (both live and taped), as well as training and educational videos, and simulcasts from the Florida Channel, Palm Beach County TV. It also shows NASA TV when city programming is not being aired.

Despite its 24/7 schedule, BocaTV’s staff consists of just two video producers/multimedia specialists: Mark Witzen and John Wallace.

“For years, we operated using manually-triggered S-VHS tape decks and computer-generated bulletin boards,” said Witzen. “Then we switched to an end-to-end asset management system, and everything changed. Today, the switching and playout at BocaTV is as smooth and controlled as any network TV affiliate―and there’s still only two of us!”



In the case of BocaTV, this city of 84,392 people adopted Primestream’s FORK asset management solution and its associated CityCaster video broadcast automation system for government.

“We choose Primestream because we work in Final Cut Pro, and their FORK platform integrates easily with it,” John Wallace explained.

With FORK and CityCaster, BocaTV has been able to overhaul its video production, playout, and storage system. All video content for the channel―whether from remote cameras in the council chambers, satellite feeds or DVDs sent in by mail―are played through Primestream encoders, which then store the transcoded files to BocaTV’s video server. (Council and town hall meetings are also played out live.) The content is then saved on the city’s RAID (redundant array of independent disks) hard disk archive, with council meetings also being burned to DVD for long-term storage.

“The whole idea of the FORK solution is to make it very easy for users to ingest, edit, log, store, playout and archive video files,” said Claudio Lisman, Primestream’s president and CEO. “FORK’s asset management module―the Content Navigator―makes searching for specific stories based on metadata very easy. It’s just like using a conventional search engine.”

The move to Primestream’s asset management solution has revolutionized how BocaTV is run. “Before, it was all by hand; now our entire end-to-end video chain is automated,” Witzen said. “This has not only improved our on-air presentation, but allowed us to add much more content to our lineup. For instance, during hurricane season, BocaTV serves as a go-to source for local emergency and weather information, in real-time.”

The best part: Witzen and Wallace can make changes to BocaTV remotely over the Internet. “This is important because both of us live outside Boca Raton, and thus outside the reach of Cable 20 on Comcast,” Wallace said. “With FORK and CityCaster, we can log onto BocaTV from our homes over the Web, see what’s happening and make program/lineup changes on the fly. This remote access also ensures that we can keep managing BocaTV even if the weather prevents us from getting to our facility at Boca Raton City Hall.”


View the Boca 20 Case Study HERE

More information available on Primestream's CityCaster solution HERE




by James Careless



  • John Wallace, Producer for Boca TV

    John Wallace, Producer for Boca TV

  • Mark Witzen, Producer for Boca TV

    Mark Witzen, Producer for Boca TV