by D. Craig MacCormack

Other than being forced to kick the project manager out early in the process, installers at Advanced AV say the work they did in February and March 2011 at the Chester County government building in Pennsylvania was fairly straightforward.

Perhaps that’s selling the job a bit short, considering systems design engineer Kevin McGinnis had to get up to speed on the fly as the project was moving along, but “we planned out a lot in advance,” he says, so the learning curve wasn’t quite as steep as it might have otherwise been.

Advanced AV oversaw the A/V integration of two meeting rooms, which were each outfitted with a videoconferencing system, audioconferencing capabilities, DVD/VCR, a cable TV tuner, two analog laptops, one digital laptop and eight wireless microphones for use during meetings.

Photos: Inside Chester County’s Government Building

The company also outfitted the HR training room with a media recorder and installed a center projector, two 47-inch displays, microphones for each of the county commissioners, 10-inch monitors for each member to watch as the presentations continue behind them, and a podium for public presentations.

In the commissioners’ room, a second camera records the entire meeting as it’s streamed live on the panel’s website, giving those who miss the live broadcast the ability to search the posted agenda and find the section of the meeting in which they’re most interested quickly.

Challenged Faced, Overcome

Among the challenges were integrating wireless touch panels, but the issue was eventually resolved and done to the client’s satisfaction.

“The biggest issue we had to deal with was getting the right signatures,” McGinnis says. With as many as eight meetings per month, “We had to get the system set up the way the user wanted it to be and to make it repeatable. The good news is, at this point, they’re not thinking about the system. They’re just using it.”

Chris Turner of Advanced AV’s managed services division, did most of the training, attending meetings for two or three months to get everyone comfortable with the new capabilities.

Peter Claffey, a digital signage applications engineer for Advanced AV, says the installation included Tightrope Cablecast and they will eventually add an active head end to air broadcasts.

“We had to make sure the quality was high enough before deciding to do that,” Claffey says.

They also used a Tightrope Carousel digital signage system, making sure there guidelines in place before flipping the switch with regards to formatting issues and the like, he says.