Systems integrator Swiderski Electronics was awarded the job of distributing the audiovisual feeds to scores of media outlets that will be covering “The Race at Case,” the 2004 vice presidential debate Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
An estimated 25 million Americans are expected to see this televised event and countless millions more will see footage highlights provided by more than 60 news organizations that include six major networks and 35 international media organizations.
The on-site installation took place over four one- week periods, starting Aug. 23 and ending Sept. 27. The Commission on Presidential Debates selected Case to host the U.S. vice presidential debate.
The scope of the assignment consists of providing multiple audiovideo “drops” to multiple locations across the Case campus. The drops include more than a dozen rooms inside the Veale Convocation Center for government and VIP use; feeds to outside network and affiliate trucks in Van Horne Field, network and stage monitor feeds to the actual Debate Hall, and more than 60 feeds to the Media Center.
All-in-all, more than 100 fiber optic transmitters, fiber receivers, video, audio and RF distribution amplifiers will deliver all of the needed feeds to the various locations across four miles of fiber and coaxial cable. Service will be provided to 800-plus international press corps members, five TV network trucks (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and CNN), 50 TV station affiliates, and over 600 “on campus” locations through the campus- wide distribution network.
While a portion of the system is being installed as ‘temporary’ equipment, a good portion will be permanently integrated into Case’s communications system as an upgrade or system expansion. All temporary equipment will be removed by 5 p.m. the day following the debate to enable Case to return to normal operations. School will be in session during the time of the debate. President/CEO Joe Swiderski III said it was his company’s “reputation in technology plus the fact that we have been working closely with Case for well over a year on other design/build projects” that put the company on top of a very short list of companies considered for the complex television project. Besides the engineering expertise needed to design the complex RF distribution system, the systems integrator would have to supply personnel that could get the needed high-level government security clearance and be on-site for four days prior to the event for continuous system testing, and one day after the event for take-down.
“After factoring in all the variables, we became the obvious choice,” said Swiderski.
Swiderski Electronics is located at 800 W. Thorndale, Itasca; phone, 630/787-0800. See www.swid.com.