Artists and sound engineers who use wireless microphones and other wireless audio equipment should be interested to hear about H.R. 1320, "The Interference Protection for Existing Television Band Devices Act of 2007". With television switching to digital broadcasting in 2009, wireless communications companies are buying up all the soon-to-be-unused analog air space to expand wireless broadband access. This "unused" air space includes frequencies used by wireless audio equipment.
Wireless audio equipment operates in "white space", essentially buffer frequency that is left unused between analog television signals to prevent channel interference. DTV will require no white space, as it is much more exact than analog. And with the cell phone companies acquiring analog air space, where is the wireless audio going to stake its claim? That's where HR 1320 comes in.
Introduced by Illinois congressman Bobby Rush, HR 1320 will protect some of the white space for wireless audio equipment. Because the FCC never allocated any frequency specifically for audio equipment, without a voice in Congress to protect it, wireless audio will be in trouble. How much trouble is hard to say. With or without the bill, there will be a loss of real estate for wireless equipment, as the frequencies available will be diminished in number, requiring more care when using multiple wireless units at the same time to provent signals mixing and outside interference.
To learn more, read this month's issue of Mix Magazine.