This week’s technology feature article, “The Future of Wireless Mics Is Full Of Static,” like so many others I have written recently, revealed lots of interesting developments that just didn’t fit in the story.
So once again, I rely on the Playout blog to cover details that didn’t make it into the story.
In no particular order of importance they include:
- In addition to having its petition for reconsideration on preserving two reserve channels for wireless mic use in each TV market denied, Sennheiser’s filing requesting the FCC require incentive auction winners to pay on a pro-rated basis the cost of wireless mic equipment made obsolete by the repack was denied, according to Joe Ciaudelli, head of spectrum affairs for the company.
- Wireless mic makers have requested the commission allow existing 600 MHz mics to continue operating until the their users are notified by auction winners that they have built out their new spectrum, rather than the 39 months the agency has given TV broadcasters to vacate and relocate to new channels, says Dennis Wallace, chairman of the SBE’s National Frequency Coordination Committee.
- Given the strong possibility that wireless mics will be operating in various disparate bands, ENG crew wireless mics are likely to be frequency agile to accommodate the new requirements in the future, says Mark Brunner, spokesman for Shure.
- The FCC was initially surprised by the number of wireless mic users — particularly Part 74 users — because many avoided obtaining a license even though they were eligible. The process is “onerous” and the application is “quite technically challenging to fill out,” says Howard Kaufman, Lectronics technical representative.
- Clear-Com, which began 14 years ago to move out of the UHF band with wireless intercoms and other gear, got a head start because it recognized many years ago the desire of governments in Europe to reclaim UHF spectrum, says Simon Browne, director of product management for the company.
- The FCC Office of Engineering & Technology is more realistic about the impact of the repack on wireless mic users than FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, says Louis Libin, frequency coordinator for New York City. “They know the real truth, and the real truth is we are entering a phase where there are no interim solutions [to the wireless mic spectrum shortage] right now,” he says.