Ryder Cup fibered up by CP Communications

The Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago turned out to be the largest ever golf event for CP Communications as the company had more than 490,000 feet of TAC12 fiber, 22 RF cameras (including three 3D rigs), 48 effect and talent mics, and three RF trucks (CP 5, 6, and 8) on hand along with a crew of 25.

“The course is small but we have 90 fiber runs leaving the compound,” said Chris Schwartzer, RF manager for CP Communications at the course on Saturday. “For the US Open we may have 50 runs leaving the compound.”

The additional fiber was a requirement for a show that had massive production efforts not only from NBC Sports but also European Tour Productions (EP) and Sky Sports, the latter of which had not only an HD show but also 3D and Sky News crews on site.

Schwartzer said it took about a week for CP Communications and NBC to lay down the fiber and splice it. “With at least 12 strands of glass going everywhere we have about 800 miles of glass on the course,” he said. “We also have 24 strands of fiber at every green, a few of the tee boxes, and the announce booths.”

All fiber runs came back to a shed on the compound so that they could be shared by NBC, ETP, and Sky. The 3D signals were sent straight to the CPG Shadowcaster 25 OB unit.

Wireless needs for NBC Sports were actually less than a typical NBC golf broadcast. But wireless cameras deployed by ETP, Sky, and even PGA.com raised the number of cameras to 21 and CP Communications also supported Presteigne Charter,  on hand for Sky’s wireless 3D systems.

“We actually outgrew our inventory of wireless mics so we reached out to BSI to support some mics,” he said.

In terms of new technologies, CP relied on fiber instead of cranes to get RF signals back from the field and also used a new router from ETL that couples a large matrix with a low noise floor. “It is much more modern than the one we used for the past 16 years,” said Schwartzer.

New CP mics that use COFDM modulation also played a role.

“It’s our own product and after three years we finally have a version that we are happy with,” he added.