[LINK] Analogue TV frequencies not just used for TV, so spanner in works of spectrum sale

Adam Todd link at todd.inoz.com
Sat Jan 20 23:28:48 AEDT 2007

At 09:35 PM 20/01/2007, Glen Turner wrote:

>Something to watch for here in a few years?


>Ofcom is consulting on a proposal to sell the frequencies currently
>used by analogue TV when the grand switch over to digital starts in
>2008. But lurking among the TV channels are hundreds of wireless
>microphones and communications equipment used by the entertainment
>industry, using short-term licenses allocated by the Joint Frequency
>Management Group (JFMG) at, relatively, low cost.
>Reader DT summed it up nicely...
>     Can you imagine Cats being done with cabled mics, or Starlite
>     Express, or Les Mis, or The Lion King? I can't. I did see
>     Superstar in the west end during the 70s and marvelled that no-one
>     got tripped up or tied up in the myriad number of cables that
>     snaked constantly about the stage.

We already use the 800 Mhz band, it's not in jeopardy.

>But it's not just musical theatre that will suffer, as Fletcher
>Fletchowicz points out...
>     Regarding the sellout of radio frequencies and complaints of
>     theatre types: channel 69, the part of the spectrum allocated for
>     radio mics, is also used by film and television crews. So as well
>     as no more theatre you'll be facing no more Bill, no more
>     Hollyoaks, no more Dr Who, and no more quality UK production
>     anywhere.

Nope, we're not allowed to use that.  Actually all the VHF frequencies were 
made illegal about 6 years ago.  There was a 4 year "transition" period 
permitted because of the value of some of the equipment.

However you can buy these kits on Ebay for $10 :)  Why is beyond me, the 
noise on the band with cross talk and adjacent streaming data makes it 
unviable - in Australia anyway.

We Film and TV crews are using a limited about of 800 Mhz kit for wireless 
mic, some analog but a growing amount of digital.

Many are now moving to the 2.4 Gig and the 5 Gig bands.

Anyone sending video is using 20 and 30 Gig bands and doing it in digital

>...and no more Big Brother. Channel 69 may get a stay of execution as
>an unregulated channel, but without any guarantee of quality you might
>miss the latest racist slur. But it's not all good news. As John

We have Channel 31.  They need only apply for a digital licence :)  But as 
the politics within Channel 31 in most cities is worse than that of 
Parliament House during Question time, I doubt it will happen sooner than 

Mind you, if these "broadcasters" were serious, they'd save up the $20,000 
for their own TX kit and stop leasing one for $250,000 a year.  <sigh>

>to do. With an individual microphone rig costing up to £10,000 it's
>unsurprising they've started renting kit from abroad rather than

My goodness, that must be like 30 RX sets!

>investing in such an uncertain future.

Actually a lot of the new stuff have removable RF boards, plug and pray :)

>     I and several of my friends have used these systems since they
>     came out about two years ago. They work incredibly well, even in
>     areas with lots of interference and 2.4 GHz AirPort
>     systems. Although I don't have personal experience using 50 or
>     more channels, others do; these systems can work with up to about
>     100 channels.

You couldn't do that in Australia.  And god know why anyone would be 
running 100 channels of microphones!  No human could distinguish the sounds!

>According to the professionals, such digital systems are still not
>suitable for commercial use - not only do they lack the quality needed
>for theatre, they also introduce an unacceptable latency. The Sabine
>system also uses 2.4GHz, where competition from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and
>even microwave ovens makes guaranteeing quality of service very

Rubbish.  I use 2.4 Gig for three channels of Audio/Video feed, a number of 
wireless Mics and even as repeaters!  Never had a problem.

Even with WiFi and Bluetooth running around the place.

Mind you the RX modules are totally whipped out when someone (like me) hits 
the TX button on a 477 Mhz two way radio :)

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