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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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Wireless recommendation for the future (FCC and 2009)

Looking ahead to the FCC and 2009, and all of the wireless frequencies being gobbled up.

What options are on the horizon, fo those of us who depend on wireless equiptment in order to record and monitor our audio with?

TY it would be great if we could hear from you on this.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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I found this site.

http://www.answers.com/topic/north-a...on-frequencies
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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
Looking ahead to the FCC and 2009, and all of the wireless frequencies being gobbled up.

What options are on the horizon, fo those of us who depend on wireless equiptment in order to record and monitor our audio with?

TY it would be great if we could hear from you on this.

Who me?

I was at the NAB show 1n 1999 (can it be THAT long ago?)

There was a special meeting of wireless mic mfgrs and the FCC. Bruce Franca has since retired from the FCC. He had his head seriously in the sand that day. When he said the number of registered wireless users made it pretty obvious that there was no problem, I suggested that mfgrs sales figures would indicate that the number of wireless systems operating in the US were many times the number of registered systems.

Below is a portion of the article I wrote as a result of that meeting.....

Before you read it (if you do) know that, IMO, right now, big money will buy the spectrum, or, rather, Congress will approve selling the spectrum to big money.

We're pretty screwed. I spoke to some wireless mfgrs recently who are still trying to fight the good fight.

Best I can offer is that you register every wireless system you have, so maybe you'll be recognized as a legitimate user.

Regards,

Ty Ford


---------------------------------------------------
In an effort to clarify the issues, an open meeting was held at NAB'99 to discuss the problems and to move toward some solutions. At that meeting were moderator Craig Blakeley from Enterprise Law Group, Vienna Virginia, Bruce Franca from the FCC's Deputy Chief Office of Engineering and Technology, Sony's Bob Tamburri, Vega's Gary Stanfill, Sennheiser's Uwe Sattler and Bruce Jones from Lectrosonics. With 51 DTV signals already up, 124 Construction Permits approved and 111 pending, the panel was prepared to discuss the best survival strategies.

A major hidden problem is the number of unlicensed wireless mic operators. To date, letters to the FCC from the mic manufacturers detailing the broad use of unlicensed wireless mics in the theatrical, film and video production sectors have been dismissed by the FCC, creating a standoff between unlicensed users and the FCC. An attempt to simplify the registration method using email and web technology was discussed to provide a more accurate picture of wireless mic terrain. It was also suggested that with that information in hand, the FCC could make a better case to Congress for allocating parts of the returning spectrum now used for N.T.S.C. broadcast for wireless mic users after the transition to DTV is complete.

Sony's Bob Tamburri showed concern for "the millions and millions of casual users who don't have the resources to check out the RF environment before firing up their mics. He favored the idea of reserving part of the spectrum for wireless mics, noting that at the moment, he had not had reports of problems due to the part of the spectrum used by Sony. Most of that area, around the newly-designated Public Safety wireless service, has yet to be used by it's licensees.

Lectrosonics' Bruce Jones offered that the short-term solution was user-education and better planning, followed by allocation of the spectrum in the long-term for wireless mics, IFB and cueing systems. Jones has found the experiments in the crowded LA market have shown successful operation, but with a range reduction of typically several hundred feet down to 20 feet. He also noted that spectrum space there is so critical now that different times of day and that different sides of the same building yield different results. Lectrosonics currently sells a computer front ended real-time spectrum analyzer (UDR200B) that runs on Windows and detects RF on both UHF and VHF bands to help users pick the best frequencies at each site.

Vega's Gary Stanfill noted that most television broadcasters and film production companies who have applied for and received licenses for use of their wireless mic systems will not likely be forgiving of others as the spectrum crunch makes itself more evident. "In fact, it will probably be the broadcasters who will be 'the police.' They have the money and something (the spectrum) to defend." Stanfill thinks existing single-frequency systems that end up in the wrong band and that are not as robust will be the first to have problems. "But big users of 100 or more mics are already taking hits. This is a serious economic issue. You can't produce a show today without extensive use of wireless mics. With them you can save $30K a day, over hardwired mics. That's millions of dollars a year for the movie and television crews." Stanfill said present wide-band wireless mics are an inefficient use of the spectrum, implying that new, narrow-band technical solutions might provide some relief although they will probably also cause sticker shock.

Sennheiser's Uwe Sattler commented that frequency agility was increasingly important for travelling production crews. "Production companies using wireless mics for NFL games, golf, theatrical or corporate production are not likely to buy a second system for use in another city. And unlike the footprint of an N.T.S.C. channel which often has usable space between the sound and picture carriers, the DTV footprint is solid, eliminating the possibility of coexistence with wireless mics." Tamburri responded that in recent experiments with a 1kW DTV transmitter in Philadelphia, Sony was able to operate its wireless mics. However, since most DTV transmitters will be radiating considerably more than 1kW, more real-world tests need to be done to confirm the possibility of coexistence.

Commenting on the present rule that requires wireless mic operators to be at least 70 miles away from any television broadcast transmitter before firing up on that frequency, the FCC's Franca offered that the 70 mile limit may be pulled back if more robust wireless mics can be made with tighter specs. Even amid reports of problems already being caused, Franca commented that, "This isn't going to be a problem we need to worry about tomorrow." When asked about the possibility of the FCC allocating spectrum for wireless mics as N.T.S.C. channels are freed up, Franca said he didn't see it as a viable solution. "The FCC doesn't make the rules. The decision to auction the spectrum comes from Congress." Since the users and manufacturers are comprised of many small companies and a few larger ones, it's not likely that any one entity will be successful at auction.

Clearly, there are many more wireless systems in use than the number registered with the FCC. Some think as much as a one to one ratio. It was suggested that a streamlined registration by email or web site be employed by the FCC to get a more accurate picture of the user base. The group also suggested that users currently having problems contact the FCC and mic manufacturers so that the impact on the industry could be more accurately reported. Short of establishing an organizational trust of users and manufacturers to represent the wireless mic industry, it's unlikely that the FCC will be able to sway Congress from auctioning the returning spectrum to the highest bidder. As a glimmer of hope, all of the panelists remained well after the meeting to discuss possible solutions and a group email list was formed so that those involved could remain in contact. You can hear the entire meeting by ordering the cassette NAB'99 23B from the NAB.

FCC Bruce Franca Deputy Chief office of engineering and technology: 202.418.2470
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #4
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This is such a bite in the butt. I'm finally ready to invest in wireless, and I don't know how long this equipment will even be useable.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Who me?

I was at the NAB show 1n 1999 (can it be THAT long ago?)

We're pretty screwed. I spoke to some wireless mfgrs recently who are still trying to fight the good fight.

Best I can offer is that you register every wireless system you have, so maybe you'll be recognized as a legitimate user.

Regards,

Ty Ford
TY, quick question.
What about encypted wireless systems. Any potential in this becoming the norm like UHF is now. VHF used to be the norm, then those signals wnet away so UHF took over. Could AES (Advanced Encrytion Standard) become the norm when UHF channels get gobbled up?

The new Zaxcom systems and Lectronics currently seem like they are headed in that direction.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
TY, quick question.
What about encypted wireless systems. Any potential in this becoming the norm like UHF is now. VHF used to be the norm, then those signals wnet away so UHF took over. Could AES (Advanced Encrytion Standard) become the norm when UHF channels get gobbled up?

The new Zaxcom systems and Lectronics currently seem like they are headed in that direction.
AES isn't a frequency standard, it's just a way to protect the audio that's being sent around (I know of some guys who sat outside a concert once with a high-gain antenna and an off-the-shelf scanner and made a damn good recording off the signal for wireless monitor the lead singer wears). If a frequency block gets taken away, you can disguise what you're transmitting, but not that you're transmitting.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:08 AM   #7
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In this case, AES stands for Audio Engineering Society. In the context of AES/EBU (European Broadcast Union) inputs, outputs, etc. they are talking about a digital audio protocols and standards.

Lectrosonics is the only company I know of that makes an encrypted wireless mic system.

However, from wikipedia......
In cryptography, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), also known as Rijndael, is a block cipher adopted as an encryption standard by the U.S. government. It has been analyzed extensively and is now used widely worldwide[2] as was the case with its predecessor, the Data Encryption Standard (DES). AES was announced by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as U.S. FIPS PUB 197 (FIPS 197) in November 26, 2001 after a 5-year standardization process (see Advanced Encryption Standard process for more details). It became effective as a standard May 26, 2002. As of 2006, AES is one of the most popular algorithms used in symmetric key cryptography.


Regards,

Ty Ford

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