Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Update on FCC Ruling

It’s been a week since the FCC voted on the issue of White Spaces. The cynic in me believes that they chose Nov. 4 as their day to vote figuring the rest of the country would be earnestly following the other election, and they could escape any real critique. That may be, but the techies among us were just as concerned about what will happen to our wireless mic spectrum. 

Details are still coming out, but overall, it looks like generally good news for those of us who use wireless mics. I talked a bit with Chris Lyons of Shure and Kirk Longhoffer at WFX, and got a few more details. The short story is that the unlicensed white space devices will be limited to a few unused TV channels in each market, the will use spectrum sensing and geo-location to avoid other signals (which means churches can register their frequencies) and they are not allowed to use channels 14-20.

So overall, it’s good news. Kirk Longhoffer has a more detailed assessment that you can read at his site, TechnoPraxis. I just met Kirk and learned of his site at WFX, and I have to say, it’s a site to check out. Stay tuned for more details, particularly regarding the ruling on the 700 Mhz relocation plans. In the meantime, check out Kirk’s article.

8 Comments

  1. chris@behindthemixer.com

    From what I’ve read, I’m not impressed with the test results of the spectrum analyzers. Initial test results were only 50% accurate. That’s akin to saying “half the time, I’m totally wrong.” I haven’t seen the numbers for the latest tests.

    Also, if I understand it correctly, if a person walks into the sanctuary and flips on a new wireless device, they could hose the wireless mic if the frequencies were close.

  2. chris@behindthemixer.com

    From what I’ve read, I’m not impressed with the test results of the spectrum analyzers. Initial test results were only 50% accurate. That’s akin to saying “half the time, I’m totally wrong.” I haven’t seen the numbers for the latest tests.

    Also, if I understand it correctly, if a person walks into the sanctuary and flips on a new wireless device, they could hose the wireless mic if the frequencies were close.

  3. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Chris–

    You are correct that the early tests have not been promising. They are, however, better than professional baseball players who strike out 66%+ of the time ‘;-).

    What does appear to be good news is that WSDs (White Space Devices) are going to be allocated a few unused TV channels in each market in which to operate. As long as we avoid those channels (as we avoid TV channels), our chance of interference should be lower.

    As always, it’s a good idea to evaluate your wireless needs. If it doesn’t need to be wireless, use a wired mic. You’ll have a lot fewer issues.

  4. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Chris–

    You are correct that the early tests have not been promising. They are, however, better than professional baseball players who strike out 66%+ of the time ‘;-).

    What does appear to be good news is that WSDs (White Space Devices) are going to be allocated a few unused TV channels in each market in which to operate. As long as we avoid those channels (as we avoid TV channels), our chance of interference should be lower.

    As always, it’s a good idea to evaluate your wireless needs. If it doesn’t need to be wireless, use a wired mic. You’ll have a lot fewer issues.

  5. jcsoundguy@gmail.com

    Mike,

    I have to disagree with the assessment you have. I have been watching this for years and see a much more dangerous situation. There are numerous posts on my blog about the 700mhz band and so I won’t rehash them here. FOH magazine just published an article which paints a good picture, at least one that I agree with completely.

    http://fohonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1885&Itemid=1

  6. jcsoundguy@gmail.com

    Mike,

    I have to disagree with the assessment you have. I have been watching this for years and see a much more dangerous situation. There are numerous posts on my blog about the 700mhz band and so I won’t rehash them here. FOH magazine just published an article which paints a good picture, at least one that I agree with completely.

    http://fohonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1885&Itemid=1

  7. klonghofer@gmail.com

    Hey Mike. Thanks for the nice words. I think the best way to sum up the reaction from Shure was “it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.” Geolocation holds promise to protect venues, including worship spaces from these devices. While the spectrum sensing hasn’t worked terribly well so far, Chris Lyons said he expects it will continue to improve.

    And, the big win, they say, is that there is a requirement that channels adjacent to existing TV stations are kept clear from fixed devices. That in combination with the geolocation and spectrum sensing, give us at least a chance of finding enough wireless real estate to operate in.

    We’ll just have to wait for the final rule to be published to know more.

    kdl

  8. klonghofer@gmail.com

    Hey Mike. Thanks for the nice words. I think the best way to sum up the reaction from Shure was “it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.” Geolocation holds promise to protect venues, including worship spaces from these devices. While the spectrum sensing hasn’t worked terribly well so far, Chris Lyons said he expects it will continue to improve.

    And, the big win, they say, is that there is a requirement that channels adjacent to existing TV stations are kept clear from fixed devices. That in combination with the geolocation and spectrum sensing, give us at least a chance of finding enough wireless real estate to operate in.

    We’ll just have to wait for the final rule to be published to know more.

    kdl

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