Fort Oglethorpe, GA; Could you justify spending over $750,000 on a cable access channel in an area with only 15,000 cable viewers? Well, Lamar Bearden in tiny Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia; can.
Four years ago, Mr. Bearden was fighting a serious illness, had just lost his home and did not have “two pennies to rub together.” At that time, says Mr. Bearden, “God took over my life and healed my illness, provided me with an opportunity to start a business and has blessed me with both financial wealth and good health.” Mr. Bearden is president of A&B Recycling, a business that has contracts with large electronic manufacturers to destroy and/or recycle their old products after new models have been released to the public. His business has continued to grow and now he is presented with multi-million dollar offers to purchase his business.
FOTV, not your average cable access channel.
However, both God and Mr. Bearden have larger plans. Mr. Bearden is using his sudden wealth to help those less fortunate. He is constantly giving to numerous charities and now he wants to get his message out to the public. Mr. Bearden has bought a building in which to operate a Cable Television Studio, bought time on two cable access channels, and has spent close to $300,000 on a Digital state of the art television system. “I want people to know what God can do in your life if you have trust and faith in Him” says Mr. Bearden. He intends to make FOTV (Family Oriented Television) his voice. Mr. Bearden’s show, “Words of Deliverance”, is a call-in show that deals with different interpretations of the Bible. Other live shows include: “Straight Talk”; a community service talk show, “Trading Post”; a call-in show to buy or sell items over the air, a live cooking show and other live talk shows with religious and community content.
High-quality Digital signal provides viewers with a clear picture
Mr. Bearden hired Southern Digital Products, Inc. out of Huntsville, Alabama to design and install his dream. Southern Digital’s President, Walter Bridges, stated that “FOTV will be one of the most advanced cable access channels in the country”. The system design includes a computer control recording and playback system of taped programming and commercials, a satellite dish for recording paid programming, and a 8×2 digital routing switcher that sends the signal to the cable head end via fiber optics. Full remote control of three studio cameras on robotic pan/tilt heads and lighting for seven sets make-up the studio.
A serial digital production switcher; digital character generator with stills store, digital and analog video tape recorders, a 16×16 digital routing switcher, test and measurement equipment, stereo audio and video & audio monitoring services production control. Digital field cameras, portable lighting and a portable field production system complete the equipment list. “The system is serial digital 601 throughout until we have to convert the signal to NTSC to hand off to the Cable Company,” said Mr. Bridges. He went on to say, “this will be an on- going project that will grow as Mr. Bearden grows. I see the need for an on-air server to store programming and commercials and play back to air in the near future.”
Mr. Bearden has no intention of standing still. He is already planning to send his message to other cable companies in north Georgia and south Tennessee via microwave. Mr. Bearden says, “If its God’s will, we’ll try to buy a high power TV station and be on all the cable systems that can receive our signal.” Don’t be surprised if you see this country boy on a channel in your hometown.