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Skip Way
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I was talking to the sound tech at a show today. He complimented me on buying the Electro-Voice RE-2 Digital wireless mic. He went on to explain that once the TV networks convert to digital in February, that the UHF "white channels" will cease to exist - which, according to him, means that UHF wireless mic transmitters and receivers will cease to function.

I'm no techie, but it seems to me that the frequencies will exist regardless of whether or not they're being used. The stations don't create these frequencies. If they still exist then the UHF transmitters and receivers will continue to function just fine. Now that's what my limited tech logic says.

So, I have to ask - was he yanking my chain or can we look for for the older UHF wireless mic transmitters and receivers to stop working in 2009?

Dan?
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Vaughn Ver Steegt
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Dan, I don't have an answer but was wondering the same thing and if it applies for UHF wirless systems also? I had a friend that runs the sound system at church and claims that they have recieved notices that there are potential problems with the white channels. I wanted to buy another UHF system but am hesitant until I know what will happen in Feb.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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What's often being called the he "white space" issue is very controversial, and its eventual outcome is not yet set in stone. It is scary, though.

This is not a simple topic, and complete answers probably cannot come in a single sentence, but, for one good overview, check out Shure's pages dedicated to the issue, especially the first two links, "White Spaces Overview" and "White Spaces FAQ".
Dan McLean Jr
Lyndel
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First the "Rabbit Police," now this? Yeesh!


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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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From Shure's white spaces pages, in their FAQ.

Q: What are “white spaces”?
A:
It is a term used by U.S. policymakers to describe vacant radio frequency (RF) spectrum in
between UHF television channels. Because of the low risk of interference in this unused space,
Wireless Microphone Systems from all audio manufacturers are designed to transmit on these
vacant channels. This approach has allowed the broadcast, entertainment, and installed sound
industries to use wireless microphone systems confidently and reliably for nearly 20 years.

Q: What is the problem?
A:
The federal government has decided that legislation is necessary to allow new, unlicensed consumer devices to operate in these "white spaces." The U.S. Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are preparing to change current regulations and allow unlicensed devices (including local area networks, personal data assistants (PDA), Wi-Fi cards, wireless laptop computers, cordless phones, etc.) to operate in the same vacant radio frequency spectrum as professional wireless microphone systems. This creates the risk of interference for wireless microphone systems, which would significantly impact the performance of these widely used, in-demand sound reinforcement products.

Q: Who will be impacted?
A:
Television, music, theaters, movies, sports, houses of worship, and news productions could be impacted severely. Today, wireless microphone systems, including in-ear monitor systems, wireless intercoms, wireless video assist devices, and wireless cueing, are used extensively by all of these industries. Virtually all theatrical shows, musical performers and other live entertainers,
news reporters, stage and production crews, sports teams—and, of course, the listening and viewing public—rely on clear, uninterrupted audio transmissions. Interference would cause a major disruption to wireless audio signals and severely degrade overall quality.
Dan McLean Jr
nucinud
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Am I wrong? But doesn't the sending unit of the wireless mic create the signal and the recieving unit recieves it. When the TV signal goes digital wouldn't that mean less interference for wireless mics?

But now if the government changes the rules? As stated above. It would cause more interference I guess.
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Standard (NTSC) TV typically occupies only three small frequency spikes within the range of frequencies that defines a TV channel, whereas digital TV uses a large block.

For example, each TV channel resides within a 6MHz region. Each NTSC TV channel (the type of TV that North Americans have grown up with) occupies only three small spikes within that 6MHz block. A DTV signal occupies most of that 6MHz block, so it will interfere more.

There's much more to it than that, and reading the Shure docs, and whatever else you can find, will give you a better education than I can.
Dan McLean Jr
ClintonMagus
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This might be sort of like when radio-control model airplane/car, etc. frequencies changed many years ago. The transmitter and receiver still worked; it was just illegal to use them.
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2008-10-05 15:45, ClintonMagus wrote:
This might be sort of like when radio-control model airplane/car, etc. frequencies changed many years ago. The transmitter and receiver still worked; it was just illegal to use them.

No.

It's not just a matter of regulation. It's a matter of unavailability of frequencies. The governments' plans will have a massive effect on all entertainment wireless, from kids' magic shows to Broadway, from the Indy to the Superbowl, and from news broadcasts to Presidential speeches.
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Skip Way
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Ya gotta love our government "representatives'" ability to suck up the highest bidder at the taxpayer's expense, fer sure! Way t' look out for us, Unk! Smile
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ClintonMagus
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[/quote]
No.

It's not just a matter of regulation. It's a matter of unavailability of frequencies. The governments' plans will have a massive effect on all entertainment wireless, from kids' magic shows to Broadway, from the Indy to the Superbowl, and from news broadcasts to Presidential speeches.
[/quote]

I don't understand. If a transmitter is set to a certain frequency and the receiver is set to the same frequency, what is there to stop them from working? You can't make a freqency "unavailable"...
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Skip Way
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My nutshell understanding from Dan's links is that the frequencies are still available but those "in between" frequencies that were once dedicated to wireless mic transmitters and receivers will soon be available for other uses - meaning that our mics may be overpowered or cluttered from other sources. You may set up for a show and find "I Love Lucy", "Would you like fries with that?" or "So, then I said to Mary Lou, I said..." coming through your PA. They'll still work - but, those of us who live in urban and dense industrial areas may find ourselves competing for clear channels.
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Sam Pearce
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Does anyone know if Canada will be affected by this?

Sam
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2008-10-05 22:51, Skip Way wrote:
... our mics may be overpowered or cluttered from other sources. You may set up for a show and find "I Love Lucy", "Would you like fries with that?" or "So, then I said to Mary Lou, I said..." coming through your PA.

This part is pretty-well correct, Skip. Most of the frequency ranges that are available for us now, will be used by devices that are much more powerful than ours, so we will often find our stuff un-usable.

It will also be illegal for us to use our wireless mics in any of the frequency ranges that re-designated for other uses.

Clinton, if two transmitters are on the same frequency, the more powerful one will win. That will almost never be your wireless mic, because, as I understand it, the new licenses that the governments are awarding are for devices that are much more powerful than ours.

Yes, Sam, everything in Canada will be virtually identical to America.
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Skip Way
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First rule (In the immortal words of Douglas Adams) "Don't Panic!" Let's see where this is going and how it will eventually affect us.

Looking to the future, I suppose the key is when updating your systems, be sure to buy well-made equipment with the ability to search or use a very wide band of frequencies? For example, one unit's documentation says it digitally searches over 1,100 frequencies before selecting the clearest one. It seems that most common analog systems are probably headed for the techie boneyard. Don't go cheap and investigate before you buy!

Ask questions! Apparently, this is not new news to the tech savvy guys. My personal sales rep at Sam Ash Music has always been square with me (so far) so ask before you buy!

Beware of "Great Bargains" and "Unbelievable Last Minute Deals" from electronics dealers who may be trying to unload systems that may become relatively useless in the next few years. Be especially careful with those Internet and eBay killer deals! Be smart!

Considering the VAST number of professionals and industries that rely on wireless PA and sound systems, communication systems, data & remote systems and such across the continent - up to and including Congress, the President and the Media - this seems like such a STUPID and avoidable thing for the FCC to do. I don't understand it, personally. Still, forewarned is forearmed.
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ClintonMagus
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Quote:
On 2008-10-06 06:32, Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie wrote:
Clinton, if two transmitters are on the same frequency, the more powerful one will win. That will almost never be your wireless mic, because, as I understand it, the new licenses that the governments are awarding are for devices that are much more powerful than ours.


Okay... I agree with that. It was the "unavailable" term that had me confused. We have probably all been in funerals where the service was interrupted with "That's a big 10-4, good buddy..." Smile
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MAGICBYTIM
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I do not know a lot about this frequency stuff but will this affect the remotes for things such as the virtual soundman, mp3tech, jumbo sidekick, remote drawing board, the viper and other remote controlled devices?

Tim
ClintonMagus
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Quote:
On 2008-10-06 08:59, MAGICBYTIM wrote:
I do not know a lot about this frequency stuff but will this affect the remotes for things such as the virtual soundman, mp3tech, jumbo sidekick, remote drawing board, the viper and other remote controlled devices?

Tim


I don't know a lot about frequencies either, but I'm pretty sure that it won't affect remote "start/stop/open"-type devices. (Can you imagine the confusion that would be created if everyone's car doors suddenly unlocked?) Smile
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Skip Way
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This is probably the most informative (and for me, understandable) article on the Shure page posted by Dan. It really explains a lot. Take a moment to read it and put your immediate fears - at least for the time being - to rest:

http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/PressRoom/......s_record

Thanks, Dan!

Here's another interesting article on Congress' move to enact legislation that will protect low-power white space users such as wireless mics:

http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/47213-1.html

Google "White Space Frequency Debate" and you'll find a lot of articles pushing both sides of this debate. There are two reasonable sides, it appears.

Something I did not think about and just realized reading these articles - I have an old Sony pocket-size handheld TV that I use sometimes when working out and as a back-up during power blackouts and severe storms. This unit works on the analog system and will cease to receive the signals after the February conversion because the converter boxes aren't portable. I guess it will join my old Betamax in the garage.

Also, radios that receive analog TV audio will no longer receive these signals over the air. No major loss, really - but I hadn't really realized the depth of affect this change was going to have. Progress! Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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JamesinLA
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My mipro uses a lowly vhs wireless system. Will the VHS still work? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
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