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Old November 20th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #1
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What are my legal wireless mic options?

Is the new Senheiser and Sony stuff being sold by Markertek, B&H and others using different freqs that won't have the FCC issue?

Are there other low cost options?
Thanks
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
Is the new Senheiser and Sony stuff being sold by Markertek, B&H and others using different freqs that won't have the FCC issue?

Are there other low cost options?
Thanks
It depends which FCC issue you are talking about, because there are two different ones.

If you are asking about the FCC's ruling about reserving the 700 mhz. bandwidth for emergency use only, then yes, these systems being sold by Sony, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser are ok to purchase, as they operate on the 500-600 mhz. frequencies.

As a matter of fact Sennhesier had pulled their (C) class 700 mhz. systems off of the market several months ago, to avoid any future issues. if you purchase Sennhesier, then it would be a good idea to go to Sennheiser's website and do a frequency lookup for your area and see if the (A 500 mhz.) or (B 600 mhz.) systems are best for you.

Sennheiser USA - Frequency Finder - 3000 and 5000 RF Series

Now there is another issue that the FCC just passed that many seem to be getting confused with the 700 mhz ban in February 2009.

The other completely different issue is that the FCC just recently opened up the white band frequencies so that developers of cell phones, wireless laptop broadband, PDA's and other to operate in the legal white space area that used to be reserved to wireless systems.

What this means is that in a couple of years, products wil be developed to operate in the white space that used to be reserved for wireless transmission. This means that new products coming to market will have the ability to interfere with your wireless systems in the 500-600 mhz. bandwidth. So if someone is running their PDA, wireless laptop, cell phone etc. then they could possibly interfere with your system in the field.

Even worse, this means that churches and even Broadway will be susceptible to such problems. Imaging being a performer on Broadway who's wireless craps out because some knucklehead decided to turn their Blackberry on. Oh the Horror!

Unfortunately there isn't anything that the wireless developers can do about this at the moment. But hopefully the developers of the new electrons will have something developed to detect wireless systems in use and switch to a different bandwidth when needed. So far the prototype software has failed miserably. But I believe that they will get there by the time these new devices start coming to market.

I think they are 2-4 years away from coming to market in mass anyway. So all should be good during this time.

It's not bad idea for many to start implementing the use on non-wireless devices such as small audio recorders or multitrack audio recorders that are hard wired. we have been using off camera audio for over two years now for our critical audio, and use wireless audio for backup/sync/monitoring purposes. And this setup has worked well for us with very little issues.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
It depends which FCC issue you are talking about, because there are two different ones.

If you are asking about the FCC's ruling about reserving the 700 mhz. bandwidth for emergency use only, then yes, these systems being sold by Sony, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser are ok to purchase, as they operate on the 500-600 mhz. frequencies.

As a matter of fact Sennhesier had pulled their (C) class 700 mhz. systems off of the market several months ago, to avoid any future issues. if you purchase Sennhesier, then it would be a good idea to go to Sennheiser's website and do a frequency lookup for your area and see if the (A 500 mhz.) or (B 600 mhz.) systems are best for you.

Sennheiser USA - Frequency Finder - 3000 and 5000 RF Series

Now there is another issue that the FCC just passed that many seem to be getting confused with the 700 mhz ban in February 2009.

The other completely different issue is that the FCC just recently opened up the white band frequencies so that developers of cell phones, wireless laptop broadband, PDA's and other to operate in the legal white space area that used to be reserved to wireless systems.

What this means is that in a couple of years, products wil be developed to operate in the white space that used to be reserved for wireless transmission. This means that new products coming to market will have the ability to interfere with your wireless systems in the 500-600 mhz. bandwidth. So if someone is running their PDA, wireless laptop, cell phone etc. then they could possibly interfere with your system in the field.

Even worse, this means that churches and even Broadway will be susceptible to such problems. Imaging being a performer on Broadway who's wireless craps out because some knucklehead decided to turn their Blackberry on. Oh the Horror!

Unfortunately there isn't anything that the wireless developers can do about this at the moment. But hopefully the developers of the new electrons will have something developed to detect wireless systems in use and switch to a different bandwidth when needed. So far the prototype software has failed miserably. But I believe that they will get there by the time these new devices start coming to market.

I think they are 2-4 years away from coming to market in mass anyway. So all should be good during this time.

It's not bad idea for many to start implementing the use on non-wireless devices such as small audio recorders or multitrack audio recorders that are hard wired. we have been using off camera audio for over two years now for our critical audio, and use wireless audio for backup/sync/monitoring purposes. And this setup has worked well for us with very little issues.
Michael:

You have written a great and concise synopsis of a difficult to grasp and explain situation with several facets. I will have an article in the February '09 issue of HD Video Equipment - HD Video Tips - HD Video Technique | HDVideoPro.com magazine on the same subject. This subject is a good example of why the web is taking over print, this wireless issue has already gone through several rulings and changes since I wrote the article and the article won't even be published for another two months.

It is not the best time in the world to be buying wireless these days, nobody knows exactly how all of this will shake out yet, but the fact that the FCC is in charge of all of this makes me nervous. Huge, monolithic government entities aren't generally fair, efficient and logical. All we can do is wait and hope that the situation doesn't totally hose wireless mic users in the near and far future.

Dan
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the exellend responses. BTW, any issues with the VHF stuff?
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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The "two tin cans and a string" approach looks more and more enticing every day...

Personally, I'm putting off my purchase of a new wireless system AS LONG AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE until the waters have been tested. Thanks for all the input guys!
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