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  • FCC---info needed...

    There's a lot of talk about FCC restriction of frequencies and its potential effect on wireless mics...anyone have some credible info on this?

    thanks,
    trent

  • #2
    Trent,
    See here ...
    http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/s...erns/#more-336

    I'm going to ask Doug Gould from Shure to come over and give us some updates, too.
    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

    Comment


    • #3
      FCC Info

      There are/were two issues regarding our wireless microphones and personal monitor systems in the new allocation of frequencies within the transition from analog to digital television. One is the "Whitespaces" Issue the other is the re-allocation of spectrum in the 700 mHz band (698-806). Two different things.
      FCC made a ruling recently regarding the whitespaces. Whitespace refers to the spectrum in-between active television transmissions. This is where wireless microphones have lived since the beginning. I could spend a lot of time blogging on about this subject but there has been so much written already, with deep discussion about this subject , I won't try to replicate but instead will refer you to the place where the information is.
      Suffice it to say that wireless microphones fared very well in the whitespace decision . We have certain protections that were afforded us. New whitespace devices, now called TVBDs , made by Google, Microsoft and others, will have to have certain standards met, before they are allowed to be introduced into the spectrum which give our wireless better protection from interference. We were fearful that these devices would be allowed free reign in the space where we now operate, which would have been disastrous for our systems. That fear seems to have been averted.

      The 700 band issue is different. The main reason we are transitioning from analog to digital is to allow that wide swath of frequencies to be consolidated. Analog transmissions are unforgivng , not as precise, they drift. Analog TV broadcasts need space between the different broadcasts so that they will not interfere with one another. (White spaces) Digital is very precise and doesn't need the guard bands in between. With digital, we are able, if necessary, to have TV stations right next to each other with no interference. With this scenario I can consolidate many more transmissions in a smaller space. Hence, part of that spectrum was auctioned off to various companies by the FCC, who will provide services to end-users. Billions of dollars were spent by companies like Qualcomm, Verizon, At&T and others for the purposes of providing content, on an interference free band for things like FIOS mobile TV, etc.

      UHF channels used to be TV CH 14-69. The 700 band relates to TV Channels 52-69. Those , as of FEB 17, 2009, will be officially closed to wireless systems operating on those frequencies. So if your wireless mic or ear monitor system operates on any of the frequencies in this band..you will have to consider in the very short term, replacing it with viable frequencies between 14-51.

      Certain cities have public safety bands in the range of TV CH 14-20. This is viable space as well as long as you're not operating in a Public Safety band in one of the thriteen largest metro areas in the country. All of this information can be had very easily by going to Shure's website.
      www.shure.com/whitespaces.

      If you want to know what TV channels and Public Safety bands are in your region, that should be avoided, go to http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/TechLi...nder/index.htm.
      Plug in your zip code and select a product if you want and it will display all of the active TV stations within a 50 mile radius. This is where you should start when considering a new wireless product. Choose frequencies that will not be on top of TV transmissions. Stay clear of these. It will also display public saftey bands.

      Do not buy any wireless until you know what frequencies will work in your location. 700 band equipment has not been manufactured for US consumption for some time by the major manufactures. Please don't sell your 700 band gear to anybody in the US. You can trade it in if all else fails , or perhaps donate it to a missionary in another country that doesn't have 700 mHz band objections. You can check out our trade-in rebate program here: http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Rebate...ebate_wireless

      Let me know if there are any other specific things that you need addressed. I',m here. My phone number is 609-259-8005 . My e-mail is gould_doug@shure.com

      God bless

      Comment


      • #4
        Doug,
        You're the best man! Thanks to you, and thanks to Shure for the great info!
        Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
        blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

        Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
        www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
        www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

        Comment


        • #5
          I have talked to a Sennheiser engineer and a Shure rep who both recommend not making any drastic changes until you have to. The DTV switch is potentially going to be postponed from the currently scheduled date if Obama gets his wish there. Also, until it becomes actually illegal to broadcast in those bands, many of us will not need to change, especially if we are not in a major urban area. It could take quite a while for these new devices to go public.

          The flip side is, with Sennheiser at least, the longer you wait, the worse off you are with their trade in program. I am not positive if Shure has a graduated rebate or not.
          Travis Paulding,
          Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church
          www.sscommunitychurch.com
          twitter.com/tpaulding

          Comment


          • #6
            Fcc

            You're right! Things may change, however, if you had spent billions of dollars on spectrum that was guaranteed to be free of any interfering transmissions so that you could broadcast your services for a fee, don't you think there would be a legal challenge to that?

            The FCC hasn't determined yet what the end result will be...will they let us stay on for awhile in the 700 band? Will they ban us from the 700 band? There are many variables. I don't know what I would do in this case. If our wireless systems that operate between 686 and 806 mHz are considered off limits, illegal in other words, how can you , as a church, in good conscience , continue to use the systems that are contraband.

            If they are allowed.... for how long?

            If Sennheiser and Shure weren't concerned about this decision, why are we offering trade-ins and rebates?

            I would probably make moves to replace 700 band equipment in steps, pieces at a time...vs. the whole rack of gear at once.

            You'll have to make your own decision. Sounds like your getting the right information. That's all I care about.

            Comment


            • #7
              To be clear, the "things to wait for" until making changes were LEGALITY or functional necessity. I was definitely not suggesting that churches keep it going if it works but is illegal.
              Travis Paulding,
              Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church
              www.sscommunitychurch.com
              twitter.com/tpaulding

              Comment


              • #8
                Fcc

                Travis

                I know you know that.. I'm sure that no church would knowingly break the law. On the other hand , once they flip the switch and say you can't use these anymore, what will churches do at that moment? Get out the cables?
                How are we preparing for that day?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great point. I guess I am hoping that we get a LITTLE bit of an advance notice. I have 7 units that I would have to replace but I hope I can get that turned around in a matter of days.
                  Travis Paulding,
                  Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church
                  www.sscommunitychurch.com
                  twitter.com/tpaulding

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Or, we could do it the old' fashioned way ... unplug everything, gather everyone around, pull out an acoustic guitar, a grand piano, and sing some of the trusted, classic, familiar songs - and likely, hear a sound that many of us don't hear much of these days - the sound of a room FULL of people SINGING. (sorry, couldn't resist, I had to throw a wrench into this one, haha!)

                    Seriously - part of me would almost welcome a sudden, drastic emergency like that - I bet people would say "that's the best service we've had in years" ... and I bet that would last for ... about 1-2 weeks, then we're all pining to plugin and broadcast again! :-)
                    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you, thank you

                      What a great resource this blog is! Thanks again to the administration for creating it. This info is super helpful...

                      A BIG amen to Fred's micro-rant too...

                      Keep it real.

                      Comment

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