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Old January 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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Sony wireless mic frequency question

It appears that the digital switch is coming either next month or later. My Sony UWP C1 set up transmits in the 758-806 MHz section of the band. I researched the new digital spectrum in my state and there is not a TV station proposed in this part of the spectrum.

Will I still be allowed or able to use my wireless set up?.. When I contacted Sony they were not longer offering wireless transmitters and on camera receivers working on this part of the band. I asked if they could be converted to a lower frequency and they said that they did not offer this service. To replace my wireless setup with a lower frequency set will be right at $1,000 from B&H.

Thanks
Ronnie Martin
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Old January 26th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #2
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Ronnie, your wireless will still work, but does risk the chance of interference.

The interference that you might experience won't be from tv stations, but rather emergency usage. As the frequency ban from the 700 mhz range was done to set aside a portion of the airwaves for emergency usage only.

So, while your wireless will still function, you can't guarantee that you won't get interference. Also, if you are found that you interfered with an emergency broadcast, you are open for prosecution. Although it's highly unlikely that your system will be powerful enough to interfere, rather the other way around, you still can be prosecuted if this happens.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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This is a bummer, but for these low-budget systems, it isn't financially feasible to reconfigure their operating frequencies.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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Hi Marco,

Shure, Sennheiser and AKG have competitive trade ins. Each are a bit different. Check 'em out.

Regards,

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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Hi Marco,

Shure, Sennheiser and AKG have competitive trade ins. Each are a bit different. Check 'em out.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Since my wirless set up is Sony... do you know if they are offering any trade ins?

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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #6
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Correct me if I am wrong, but did these companies use this bandwidth illegally? Shouldn't they have been licensed to operate in these freq ranges?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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What companies?

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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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Sorry. I'm referring to the companies who manufactured these wireless mics. They never had a license to use those frequencies, did they?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #9
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I would assume that if a company like Sony makes and sells a product that it would be a legal product. I had no idea that my wireless set up would be illegal. How do we know that the wireless products that they are selling now are or will be legal in the future. Something like this is probably not an issue to large production houses but to the small guy like me it is an issue. As a group collectively the small companies do purchase a good bit of products. Don't get me wrong, I am a loyal supporter of Sony Products. Every video camera that I have owned over that past 15 or so years has been a Sony along with my decks and wireless on camera system.

It looks like to me that Sony would be wise to have some type of trade in program to those of us that bought the wireless systems that operate in the banned spectrum.

For the first time I am looking at other wireless systems. A couple of companies are offering trade ins of their old systems that operate in the banned frequency spectrum.

Thanks guys for letting me vent.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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Sorry. I'm referring to the companies who manufactured these wireless mics. They never had a license to use those frequencies, did they?
They make mics to use all over the planet. Not all frequencies are legal all over the planet. It's up to the user to know what they are buying.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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You mean, "Let the Buyer Beware?" Not in this country Ty. Working for WBAL, you certainly know that.

Sony knows about FCC licensing standards. Every product Sony sells fall within FCC's purview. IMO, these companies probably decided to ignore the proper procedures for licensing. Now, many of us will suffer for it.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Um, Paul,

It's a big planet. Not every frequency that's legal in the US is legal elsewhere and vice versa. Those frequencies are legal in some countries, not be legal in other countries. The FCC didn't say, don't make mics in this range. They've never said that. They never will. That's not their job.

The wireless mic makers knew about the FCC's plans for DTV and splitting off the spectrum was coming a full ten years ago. Audio-Technica dropped out early making mics that operated in 798-806 then. At that point, the FCC was in serious denial. I personally attended a meeting of wireless mic makers, interested parties and the FCC at NAB ten years ago. The guy from the FCC said he didn't expect any problems based on "our list of registered users." (meaning TV stations, and networks and maybe some theaters.)

I popped up and suggested that if he were to look at the mfgrs. sales figures he'd know that the number of licensed users was probably about 1/10 of the user base. He shrugged his shoulders and said the FCC would wait to hear complaints from registered users.

Hey, any wireless user out there now who hasn't registered his or her wireless system by filling out the card and sending it in is operating illegally. You don't see the FCC smacking heads do you? It is illegal for anyone to fire up anything on a TV channel within 50 miles of the tower. If that were enforced, the jails or the treasury would be full.

Since then, the industry trade magazines have covered the story pretty well. I've had several stories published about the shift myself alone and I've seen it talked about on forums for more than the last 5 years. No one knew exactly how it was going to play out, and quite frankly there are still some questions.

It's not like you can't fire them up after the 17th. You can, but just like now, you don't have the right of way. No one knows how long after the 17th it'll take before those parts of the spectrum begin to be used, where any holes may be.

Jeeze Paul, I understand you're upset, but I don't think you have the right target.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #13
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That part of the frequency spectrum was being used legally by the users of the products. To manufacture a product in that range was not illegal, not was its registered use at any time in the past. As Ty notes, no one did anything wrong, but true to current form for a lot of folks, we kept our heads in the sand until the last moment.

My guess is that depending on where you live and use your 700 MHZ band wireless, you may not ever see any problems EVER. Some, in more metro areas may see problems very soon. Lots of emergency providers are currently sharing too few frequencies... those with money for the capital outlay for new systems will probably be switching into clearer airwaves very soon... but in this economic climate, I bet a lot have to wait. Buying a quantity of new systems to out fit an emergency responder department of any type will not be cheap... trust me, I have seen some of our procurements where I work and WOW. PRICEY.

(Btw, the 700MHZ band is broken into 5 bands, C only being one of them. Verizon bought C for around 4 Billion as I recall... I dount they plan to wait to work their investment.)
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Old January 29th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #14
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Sorry. I'm referring to the companies who manufactured these wireless mics. They never had a license to use those frequencies, did they?
Manufacturers of radio gear have never been the party responsible for obtaining the licenses to use a certain frequency. Having the proper licenses has always fallen to the user so the manufacturers didn't have licenses because they didn't need to, they weren't doing anything that required licensing. If you had wanted to go on the air with a new AM radio station using a transmitter built by Collins, it was up to you, not Collins, to obtain the station and operating licenses.

There is an FCC type acceptance process for equipment that is required before it goes on the market to certify that it's operating on the frequency it's designed without emissions on other frequencys, is within power limits, etc, but that's not an operating license. The law did permit unlicensed operation in various bands and for various purposes -if you have a laptop with a wireless network card, a cordless phone, or if you have a cellphone, you have an unlicensed radio transmitter yourself.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #15
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I understand your point, but I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. People who bought wireless lav from Sony had a right to expect they were not simply "renting". Thes mics were squatting on bandwith that were not desginated for such a purpose and now the consumer is left holding the bag. The so-called trade-in programs are inadequate IMO and I would not be surprised to see a class action suit.
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