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Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?

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Ray Palmer
Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 11, 2008 at 10:21:23 pm

I want to start a thread regarding the Digital TV roll out and what this might mean to our wireless mics.
Is it going to as big a problem as some say?


Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.


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David Jones
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 12, 2008 at 4:20:45 am

It could be an expensive problem for some.

I just talked to Lectrosonics about my two systems that fall on block 28. They told me they can change out my UCR-411a's for $565 each, and my UM-400's for $275 a piece.

However, they cannot change out any receiver that has been discontinued like the 200 series.

As far as Lectorsonics systems are concerned, it's blocks 27 (above 700), 28, and 29. So if you have units made by others whos frequencies fall between 703.700 and 766.700 you might want to contact the maker and see if there is anything they will do for you.


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George Burbano
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 12, 2008 at 4:00:38 pm

I dont get it maybe Im missing something, the feb 2009 switch has to do with broadcast tv transmission and the way it will be transmitted. What does this have to do with portable transmitter systems, such as wireless mikes.. Again maybe Im missing something.



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David Jones
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 12, 2008 at 6:31:05 pm

Broadcast (and narrowcast) TV stations operate on the same frequencies as wireless mics. Because stations are going to be required to start broadcasting digitally, some of the analog frequencies (the stations currently use) are being sold off by the FCC, making it illegal to use your wireless transmitters on those frequencies.


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Ray Palmer
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 12, 2008 at 9:39:57 pm

I just found this on Shure's site. The last line is a killer!

During the transition period, public safety agencies will begin to use TV channels 63 - 64 (764 - 776 MHz) and 68 - 69 (794 - 806 MHz) for two-way radio communications. As these frequencies gradually become busier, wireless microphones operating on these TV channels may encounter occasional interference.
After February 19, 2009, TV channels 60 - 62 (746 - 764 MHz) and 65 - 67 (776 - 794 MHz) will be opened up for use by new commercial wireless services. Licenses for these new services will be awarded by competitive bidding. Some of these auctions have already occurred, but the winners will not be able to use this spectrum until it has been vacated by the television broadcasts.


Wireless microphones may continue to operate on all of these frequencies, just as they do now. However, wireless microphones that operate on frequencies above 698 MHz should not be used after February 19, 2009.




Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.


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George Burbano
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 13, 2008 at 1:57:06 am

Im not sure about any other mic systems, but I use the allocated "C" freqs. at or around 745.00mhz from Sennheiser. TV transmissions utilize wide FM band transmissions, that are digitally encoded. Sennheiser units use narrow band FM UHF. While it may be possible to occasionally receive interference, higher end mics can be PL toned, where most interference will be eliminated. Again, when transmitting, the strongest signal to the nearest receiver will work fine. I can only speak for myself, but when I use wireless, it's for no further than maybe 30ft. where most systems operate fine at as far as 1000ft. If you need more than that there are system antennas that can be utilized to enhance reception further both from popular manufacturers like shure, sennheiser and lectronics. I dont think this is something that is of great concern to us. Also, most people,.. not all are on cable.
The extra burden of having an additional decoder unit, and even a better antenna than traditional rabbit ears on a tv, are going to sway the people who have held away from cable services, towards cable. All TVs are required to receive interference, so therefore it wont be much of a concern that you would interfere with them. This is all part of "Part 15" of FCC rules. While it may be technically illegal, I dont think you have to worry about the FCC utilizing hundreds of man hours, to try and triangulate you while you are shooting a scene or a wedding. If it is a tremendous concern, or wireless cannot be used, that is why we use wired systems..Just a thought.



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Peter Perry
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 13, 2008 at 3:49:55 am

This is the issue the way I understand it.
When the digital transition takes place, the stations will be disabling their analog transmitters, leaving empty frequency bands called white spaces, which aren't really empty because those are the freqs some of operate our wireless mics in.
These white spaces are going to be auctioned off to manufacturers of wireless devices like Blackberries, smartphones, handheld computers, etc. These devices will MOST DEFINITELY interfere with the operation of our wireless mics.
That is why these freqs will become unusable...not because of new digital TV transmissions, or legality or illegality, or cable vs rabbit ears or whatever.
Peter


3P Video Services
http://www.3pvideo.com
Audio/Video Production
Serving the Northeast


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Ray Palmer
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 13, 2008 at 8:03:21 pm

[Peter Perry] "That is why these freqs will become unusable...not because of new digital TV transmissions, or legality or illegality, or cable vs rabbit ears or whatever. "


That is exactly the way I see it also. I am amazed that there isn't more "chatter" regarding this. I, for one, don't want to be caught without the knowledge that this change is heading our way and knowing what my options are.



Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.


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Ty Ford
Re: Open Discussion. What is going to happen Feb 2009 regarding Wireless Mics?
on Sep 13, 2008 at 8:58:18 pm

Well, those specific spaces may not be the ones auctioned off. For example, if NTSC channel 11 has a DTV on Ch 59, in Feb. they may shut down Ch 59 and begin transmitting digitally on Ch 11. 59 will be auctioned.

At the risk of sounding like a scoflaw, after auctioning, it'll still take some time for the auction winners to implement. Even after they do, there's no telling what that might do to the operation of wireless mics. We might be able to fire up on those channels if the transmitters and receivers are close enough.

There has been a law on the books for years that makes it illegal to fire up any device on the same spectrum as a TV station within 50 miles of that station. The only way to enforce that is from complaints by the licensee. Do they know what's going on 50 miles from their tower? Probably not.

I caution people not to get too worked up. The wireless mfgrs didn't start putting out frequency agile gear until we needed it. There may be a rough transition period, but I'm sure they'll figure it out.


Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Jay Curtis
Re: Open Discussion. Wireless Mics in February
on Nov 5, 2008 at 4:44:48 pm

The vote happened yesterday, with Microsoft, Google, Motorola and others salivating over the chance to develop gadgets for the "white spaces."

http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/PressRoom/PressReleaseArchive/2008PressReleas...

Lectrosonics declares the sky is NOT falling, though:
http://www.lectrosonics.com/PressReleases/whitespace/whitespace.htm

Jay Curtis
Blue Vase Productions
Monroe, LA

Jay Curtis


Blue Vase Productions


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