Will Sennheiser have a support program for wireless Block C owners ? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 25th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #1
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Will Sennheiser have a support program for wireless Block C owners ?

I bought two Evolution G2 100 sets a little over a year ago. Both are block C, the one that will soon be unusable in the U.S ( 700 mhz ).

I searched for any sort of support/rebate plan that Sennheiser might have and found nothing online. I called their support number a couple of days ago ( had to leave a message ) and never heard back from them.

Does anyone have any concrete information about whether Sennheiser will do anything for owners of Block C wireless systems ? If so, I would appreciate a reference or a link to the info.

Thanks,

Stephen H
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Old September 25th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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AFAIK the only manufacturer so far to announce any user support plans for people caught holding the bag with the soon to be illegal units is Lectro. We can hope other manufacturers will follow suit but at this point I think they're the only ones to announce a program.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #3
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Uhhhh... I missed something big here... I have C-Block sennheiser... time to google...

Edit:

Ohhhhh so that is what they were selling....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/700_MHz...ectrum_auction

great.... so... this should be fun. The college I work for just bought a boat load of C block as well...

http://www.lectrosonics.com/PressRel...whitespace.htm

So can keep using them most likely but seems that it will be illegal. Will need to get more info.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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I'm meeting with Sennheiser today. I'll see if I can get the scoop.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #5
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I too own two sets of G2 100s block C. About a year ago, I called Sennheiser and asked the upgrade/conversion question. I was told that there would be nothing for the G2 series and that it hadn't been decided on the higher end units. It may (hopefully) have changed since then.

I noticed on B+H that the c block say they can't be sold via the web.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #6
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Did Sennheiser, Sony and other companies sell these units with the knowledge that there would be legal issues?
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Old September 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
Did Sennheiser, Sony and other companies sell these units with the knowledge that there would be legal issues?

It's been well known for a number of years that there would changes in block C with the switchover to digital TV and the reassignment of that frequency band (previous used by analog TV broadcasting) for other purposes. I'm not sure when the FCC announced that sale of new wireless units operating in that band would be illegal after Feb '09 but that too has been known for quite a long time. But the new twist with the announcment that continued operation of existing units currently in the field will ALSO become illegal, is new, coming just a few weeks ago.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #8
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I emailed Sennheiser and their response was a FAQ type of reply which said they would not do anything for existing block C wireless systems/customers. But they would keep the used spectrum information updated so we could dodge between the licensed users. And this response was sent to me after the ruling that stated that unlicensed users would not be able to do that.

I don't have the technical knowledge in this area, but since these systems are so low powered and have such short range, how would the FCC be able to find someone using them anyway?
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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The situation here in the UK is that in the future Band E (where we are at the moment) is likely to be changed - nobody is sure when, or to where - but the situation is 'subject to change'. This means buying new kit is dodgy - it might be fine, or could just be a pile of junk at some point.

Interestingly, over here, all that seems to be happening is that the licensing authority make it clear, when asked, that nothing is certain. I'm not aware that any manufacturer would be expected to provide any mods free of charge. We have a Sale of Goods Act that in essence is only concerned with the state the goods are in when sold. If license rules change - for us I suspect the response would be Tough! Best of luck to all in this position stateside.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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I can't see you swapping boards out for senn g2 wireless. Those things cost about what.. $500? I think you'd be better off just buying a new set considering what they'll probably charge you to change blocks.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
I don't have the technical knowledge in this area, but since these systems are so low powered and have such short range, how would the FCC be able to find someone using them anyway?
The range isn't actually that short when using the bodypack transmitters which are more powerful in the UK at least. As an experiment, I tested it out a couple of months ago with a Sennheiser EW-112PG2 bodypack transmitter on the balcony of a top floor apartment and the lav picking up the TV.

I got an almost full scale signal least 400 yards away on the beach, line-of-sight in clear air with the camera mounted receiver, monitoring with headphones to check the quality of the audio.

In fact I ended up using the radio mic outside quite a lot that week because I forgot to take the XLR leads for my shotgun and other mics. I just stuck the lav in a Rode deadcat and positioned it out of the wind as far as possible. I acquired some very clean audio on wide shots with the mic hidden in the middle of the scene. Worked fine, but technically illegal as the bodypack supposed to be worn on the body (funny, that).

Last edited by Colin McDonald; September 25th, 2008 at 04:06 PM. Reason: ref to UK
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
I emailed Sennheiser and their response was a FAQ type of reply which said they would not do anything for existing block C wireless systems/customers. But they would keep the used spectrum information updated so we could dodge between the licensed users. And this response was sent to me after the ruling that stated that unlicensed users would not be able to do that.

I don't have the technical knowledge in this area, but since these systems are so low powered and have such short range, how would the FCC be able to find someone using them anyway?
Supposed a lot of the frequencies will be used for public safety, etc. I can easily see the mic receivers on your shoot picking up dispatch or a beat cop's walky suddenly picking up a bank robbery in progress, ie, your crime-drama dialog. Realistically you're probably pretty safe from legal difficulties but the new uses will make it increasingly difficult to find a clear part of the spectrum in which to operate as the current "white spaces" the wirelesses operate it start to fill in with new high-power users.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery Magat View Post
I can't see you swapping boards out for senn g2 wireless. Those things cost about what.. $500? I think you'd be better off just buying a new set considering what they'll probably charge you to change blocks.
Yeah, I wasn't really expecting a return/re-vamp program -- it's not Sennheiser's fault that the spectrum is getting shaken up in the U.S.

I had hoped for at least some kind of rebate, though.

Ah well.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #14
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The situation here in the UK is that in the future Band E (where we are at the moment) is likely to be changed - nobody is sure when, or to where - but the situation is 'subject to change'. This means buying new kit is dodgy - it might be fine, or could just be a pile of junk at some point.
In the UK there is no real problem.

The 863-865 MHz licence-free frequencies (1st 4 frequencies in memory bank 8 on G2 version E systems) are by International agreement - these are legal in all ETSI signatory countries and won't be changed.

It will never be a "pile of junk" as you will always be able to use these frequencies - they are not part of the government sell-off.

The lower channels of version E were licensed for fixed-site use only.

The mobile licence (memory bank 6 on G2 version E systems) is still legal with a licence from JFMG. This may stay or may go as part of a trans-European agreement - the government have not decided this yet - we can but hope.

But it is easy to change a G2 system from one version to another - Sennheiser change the RF board in the transmitter and receiver and charge an hour's labour per TX/RX system.

I assume Sennheiser USA will do the same for anyone with version C systems.

I hope this helps.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 08:20 AM   #15
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Hi John - nice to see you here! Any idea when the mobile licence (memory bank 6 on G2 version E systems = Channel 69?) question is likely to be resolved in UK?

Are we talking weeks, months, years....or waiting on some particular external decision or development?
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