In a meeting with a top adviser to acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel last week, microphone maker Shure urged the FCC to act on its petition to reopen the FCC’s vacant channel proceeding, issue a further notice of proposed rulemaking to update the record, and then designate a channel for mics in each market to “ameliorate the significant loss of UHF spectrum wireless microphones have experienced as a result of the broadcast incentive auction.”
The FCC is diving into Wireless Multi-Channel Audio Systems (WMAS), an emerging wireless microphone technology designed to enable more microphones per megahertz of spectrum. The commission has officially adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that is seeking public comment on whether WMAS technology should be granted a licensed basis in frequency bands where wireless mics are already authorized.
The microphone maker’s petition argues the wireless microphone community needs clear spectrum now more than ever, as the 600 MHz band has been reallocated to mobile phone use and the DTV repack has moved many TV stations into the 500 MHz spectrum.
First announced at NAB 2019, Sony’s new UWP-D series wireless microphones have begun shipping. The UWP-D21 wireless microphones are now available, with the UWP-D22 and UWP-D26 expected to ship in December. In addition to superior audio quality, the UWP-D series wireless systems offer support for Multi-Interface Shoe (MI shoe) and a new digital audio interface. The UWP-D series enables direct […]
At IBC 2019 (Sept. 13-17, RAI Amsterdam), Sony is unveiling its latest line-up of new products, solutions and services. These include: updated IP Live solutions, two IP extension adapters HDCE-TX30/HDCE-RX30, a flagship FX9 E-mount camera with newly developed full-frame sensor for documentary shooting, an E-mount Cinema lens FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G, as well as […]
Audio-Technica, a supplier of transducer technology, is now shipping its 6000 Series High Density Wireless System, a spectrum-efficient solution that allows users to pack 31 channels in 4 MHz of bandwidth. The 2016 FCC Incentive Auction has resulted in a repack of the broadcast spectrum, reducing the amount of spectrum available for wireless microphone operations and driving […]
In late 2015, major wireless microphone manufacturers requested that the FCC “reconsider” various mostly-technical rules that it had adopted as part of a wide-ranging strategy to reallocate spectrum for wireless microphones. The commission now has responded via an order aimed at fine-tuning the technical rules for wireless microphones.
Back in August, the FCC adopted a range of new rules aimed at accommodating wireless mic use both during and after the upcoming repacking of the TV spectrum. That Report & Order has now been published in the Federal Register. As a result, we now know that most (but not all) of the new rules will take effect on Dec. 17.
The shortage of frequencies necessary for live production that looks to be coming after the spectrum repack has TV engineers very worried, says Louis Libin of Broad Comm, a broadcast spectrum consultancy, and executive director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance. He says stopgap measures, such as temporarily migrating to other bands, modifying production techniques and developing new wireless technologies, can help, but the real solution will come from an FCC that recognizes the value of over-the-air TV broadcasting.
Wireless mic users must prepare to dance a spectrum hokey-pokey to adjust to spectrum reductions, new operating rules.
New rules adopted by the FCC address the long-term needs of wireless-microphone users by providing continued access to the 600 MHz band and expanding access to other bands. The commission also agreed to permit unlicensed fixed and personal/portable white-space devices and unlicensed wireless microphones to use channels in the 600 MHz band and television-broadcast bands while continuing to protect television and other licensed services from harmful interference.
Last month the FCC proposed to preserve vacant UHF TV channel space in every geographic area of the country for use by unlicensed TV white space devices and wireless microphones. The deadlines for comments on the proposal were set, and things seemed to be moving merrily along on the fast track. But now the FCC has announced that the comment deadlines have been suspended until further notice.
Engineers and wireless equipment vendors say the FCC’s plans to reduce and limit frequencies for wireless devices following the spectrum repack next year are going to cause a myriad of problems. The commission’s proposals are “not a workable solution,” says engineer Louis Libin.
A couple of months ago we reported on two proceedings, initiated simultaneously, looking into possible solutions to the problems that the upcoming repack of the spectrum will cause to wireless microphone users and manufacturers as well as various other users of the TV spectrum. While technically separate and distinct dockets, the two proceedings have obviously been linked from Day One. And now the FCC has announced, in a single consolidated order, that the comment deadlines for both proceedings have been extended.
After the FCC conducts its incentive auction of 600 MHz TV spectrum in early 2016, the amount of available spectrum for wireless mic operation — in diminishing supply now — could become even scarcer. Less spectrum means fewer unused TV channels for wireless mics and a whole series of other wireless devices generally lumped into the wireless mic category, including wireless intercoms, IFB cueing systems and in-ear monitors used by musicians and other entertainers. In addition, switching to new equipment could be costly for broadcasters. (Photo: AP/Charles Sykes)
Two documents issued by the FCC on June 2 provide some reason for optimism on the part of licensed wireless microphone users. However, the professional audio community, which has been lobbying hard for protection of their diminishing wireless turf in the face of ongoing spectrum auctions, didn’t get everything they wished for.
With the release on June 2 of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Report and Order, following the May 15 vote — a 3-2 decision along party lines — the long-term future looks to be full of potential changes and challenges for users of wireless microphones and in-ear monitors.
Unless protections are adopted, TV broadcasters and equipment makers say the FCC’s proposed spectrum auction and subsequent band repacking could reduce or eliminate wireless frequencies needed to cover live breaking news and other events.
When the pending spectrum auction and subsequent channel repack take place, the two reserved channels that today’s broadcasters use for wireless microphones are at risk of going away. Major broadcast groups have asked the FCC to preserve them.