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Author Topic: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please  (Read 4757 times)

Steve Payne

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Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« on: December 01, 2016, 02:01:08 pm »

I am getting ready to drop $10K+ on Shure ULXD systems.  I am now in my third round of replacing perfectly good wireless due to disappearing frequency bandwidth.  If you were going to purchase today, would you buy 470/530 UHF or the newly offered VHF stuff.  Thanks for your thoughts.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 10:22:23 pm by Steve Payne »
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Don Boomer

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 08:17:11 pm »

I am getting ready to drop $10K+ on Shure ULKD systems.  I am now in my third round of replacing perfectly good wireless due to disappearing frequency bandwidth.  If you were going to purchase today, would you buy 470/530 UHF or the newly offered VHF stuff.  Thanks for your thoughts.

So if your are looking for a guarantee that band will be available for a long time the answer is... who knows. The likely answer is that looks about as good as it's gonna get (although frequencies below 500 have some reservations for emergency services in most metro areas).

Another consideration is how will the repacking of TV stations that give up their 600MHz spots affect what's left?  At this point I don't think anyone really knows. On top of a mountain in Idaho your probably safe but in the middle of a big metro area maybe not so much.

Will it be manageable?  Well it's gonna take more planning and careful setup than it did in years past. In addition to great wireless TX/Rx,  antennas and distro systems are gonna be your friends. You may need to invest in scanning equipment and you'll probably benefit from some of the software systems designed to optimize channel assignments.

Are you planning to use the new systems in a fixed location?  There are probably things you can do to the venue to improve your chances especially if you are indoors. Also picking systems with the widest possible tuning range would probably be in your best interest.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 10:12:16 pm by Don Boomer »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 07:49:53 am »

I am getting ready to drop $10K+ on Shure ULXD systems.  I am now in my third round of replacing perfectly good wireless due to disappearing frequency bandwidth.  If you were going to purchase today, would you buy 470/530 UHF or the newly offered VHF stuff.  Thanks for your thoughts.
I have considered this very question and would have some channels of UHF (high 400-low 500 band)and some VHF.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 04:16:45 pm »

What's your location, and your market application? 

If I was working for a rental company in a big city (actually I am) I'd be very interested in the VHF band. If I was a church, or just using gear for my own shows... well, it depends on how many TV stations are already in your area. If it's pretty sparse then not much should change in the remaining spectrum. Here in Chicago I'm expecting most all of my current empty channels will be filled.

EDIT: Took a quick look in WWB... you really only have seven TV stations?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:20:10 pm by Scott Helmke »
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 06:29:51 pm »

The big question here will be antenna and visibility.  My vhf Omni are the Audio Technica ATW-10 ground plane.  They are large and to get a directional antenna I have to use something around 5 ft x 4ft  TV vhf.  That will give me about 9db.  The size and eye sore of the antenna is one of the big reason for moving to UHF.   Helical antenna also removes the problem of vertical or horizontal. 

The directional and Helical in the UHF world is small and easy to manage and hide.  The older vhf is analog and works well in the vocals.  The new digital will expand the Frequency response from 100 hz to 15 KHz in analog to 40 hz upto 18 KHz in digital.  Will use a smaller space in the spectrum and give you 4 channels of digital in my one channel of analog.   

The trouble with 2.4 MHz is computers wireless networks in conference, DMX lighting and such.  To much in one area.   
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 07:56:04 pm »

The big question here will be antenna and visibility.  My vhf Omni are the Audio Technica ATW-10 ground plane.  They are large and to get a directional antenna I have to use something around 5 ft x 4ft  TV vhf.  That will give me about 9db.  The size and eye sore of the antenna is one of the big reason for moving to UHF.

The Radio Active Designs VF-1 is not that big, and it's a 6dB gain LPDA. The Shure UA60V is a little longer whip on a ground plane and is fairly compact. Both seem to work fine.

Mac
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 04:31:17 pm »

Looked at the new antenna  Radio Active designs and the price is out of my budget. 
Radio Active VF-1 would be $1180.00 plus shipping

I guess I will wait a year or two and see if the prices drop as we see more of the vhf wireless updates. 

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Dan Currie

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 08:42:08 pm »

The Shure 'barn door' antennas aren't as expensive. But yes, you will need 2 for diversity.

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas/ua874v-active-directional-antenna

I used these along with a their VHF ULXD at Lollapalooza with no hiccups. 

My crystal ball says the UHF band will be packed with TV/TVBD and VHF will help alleviate some of the spectrum crunch.  It's nice to have options in that part of the spectrum.




Looked at the new antenna  Radio Active designs and the price is out of my budget. 
Radio Active VF-1 would be $1180.00 plus shipping

I guess I will wait a year or two and see if the prices drop as we see more of the vhf wireless updates.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 09:01:27 pm »

My crystal ball says the UHF band will be packed with TV/TVBD and VHF will help alleviate some of the spectrum crunch.  It's nice to have options in that part of the spectrum.
Read THIS. So far the auction has been a bust. We are about to start round four, where the cleared spectrum is set at 84MHz, this is significantly down from the original expectations. If fewer bands get sold, fewer stations will have to be repacked into the sub 600MHz band.

It is likely there will be some sale and some repacking, but it is hard to know at this point what the final outcome will be.

Mac
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2016, 05:37:59 am »

To have a long term low risk future, it needs to be digital and spead the signal very wide.
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Dan Currie

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 02:01:08 am »

Mac,
  Thanks for the link.  I have been paying attention to the auction/s and it has been interesting.  In some markets losing an arbitrary number like 60mhz and repacking existing stations into the new spectrum would make our lives as RF coordinators pretty challenging.  Salt Lake currently has 7 TV stations above channel 37.  There are only 9 available 6mhz chunks below ch 37.  A one for one re-pack would leave 12mhz edit: 24mhz of 'white space' in this fictitious scenario.  I don't claim to be an expert and maybe I'm misunderstanding....

Would current broadcasters lose their spectrum privilege if they don't take part/bid in the reverse auction?  If so that would help us as part 15 unlicensed and part 74 users tremendously.  Right now I'm not holding my breath for blue skies on the rf horizon.


Read THIS. So far the auction has been a bust. We are about to start round four, where the cleared spectrum is set at 84MHz, this is significantly down from the original expectations. If fewer bands get sold, fewer stations will have to be repacked into the sub 600MHz band.

It is likely there will be some sale and some repacking, but it is hard to know at this point what the final outcome will be.

Mac
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 10:26:04 am by Dan Currie »
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Dan Currie

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 10:22:02 am »

To help clarify...IF a theoretical 60mhz of spectrum was lost it would leave 24mhz of spectrum above channel 37 in.  In this Salt Lake example 60mhz is represented by the X's.  TV stations labeled 1,2,3,4 could remain above channel 37 leaving no spectrum for white spaces. Stations 5,6,7,8 would have to migrate leaving 24mhz of white space available.  We could hopefully count on another 12mhz or so from the duplex gap and guard bands.  Experts...am I off base with this theoretical example? 

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Cameron Stuckey

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 11:48:20 am »

Experts...am I off base with this theoretical example?

At the risk of mixing metaphors, you're not off base but you're not on the money either.

No broadcaster is being forced to do anything, not by force of law or financial penalty anyway. This is an Incentive auction for broadcasters. They are being given (a quickly shrinking) financial incentive to get off the air, move to a VHF channel or lower UHF channel, or share a ATSC bit stream with another channel.

The Stage 4 Band Plan is 7 5MHz Uplink blocks beginning at 698MHz and descending until 663MHz, where there will be an 11MHz Duplex Gap descending to 652MHz, and then 7 5MHz Downlink blocks descending through 617MHz, and then a 3MHz Guard Band stopping at 614MHz. 70MHz of spectrum will be dedicated to Cellular services and 14MHz with be protective bands. The 3MHz guard band will have it's lower 2MHz(614-616MHz) protected for the use of unlicensed wireless microphones, no WSDs. The 11MHz D.Gap will have a 1MHz lower buffer(652MHz-653MHz), 4MHz protected exclusively for Part 74(653MHz-657MHz) and 6MHz for unprotected Part 15 wireless mics and WSDs(657MHz-663MHz). So for Part 74 users, this will be 12MHz of spectrum in the gaps, for Part 15 unlicensed it would be 8MHz(2 without WSDs, 6 with WSDs).

Using your SLC example and the assumption of Stage 4 success, everything above TV37(614MHz) would need to clear. All 8 of those channels would need to relocate in one of the prior mentioned methods(move, share, leave). It looks to me like there is a broadcaster on TV26, leaving only 10 empty options to repack 8 channels(VHF not included). However, since we do not know the desire of the broadcasters prior to the completion, there may be several in the SLC market that do not wish to move to smaller UHF for a small pay-off but to move to a VHF, share the bit stream or leave for the larger pay-offs. If any of those broadcasters above 614MHz are an SD channel(480i) there is no reason I can see of them to remain on the air with their own transmitter and antenna costs. They can easily fit in the unused space of an HD channel(1080i) on the same 6MHz signal. Or I believe it is 7 SD channels can fit on to one 6MHz signal. A common implementation is 1 720p channel, with 5 480i subchannels within one 6MHz block, but I digress.

There are options where the broadcasters clear the Stage 4 spectrum and do not reappear after the repack. However, it's all simply speculation until the both the Reverse and Forward auctions match successfully. I personally think that Stage 4 is the best option aesthetically and for long term engineering of spectrum sharing and proper services separation.
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2016, 02:32:27 pm »

I personally think that Stage 4 is the best option aesthetically and for long term engineering of spectrum sharing and proper services separation.

Given how fast the bidding stopped in Stage 3 Phase II, and the resulting gross bid amount was less than Stage 2, my vote is it goes to Stage 5 (as do several financial analysts who delve deeply into this).
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2016, 02:38:19 pm »

At the risk of mixing metaphors, you're not off base but you're not on the money either.

No broadcaster is being forced to do anything, not by force of law or financial penalty anyway. This is an Incentive auction for broadcasters. They are being given (a quickly shrinking) financial incentive to get off the air, move to a VHF channel or lower UHF channel, or share a ATSC bit stream with another channel.

The Stage 4 Band Plan is 7 5MHz Uplink blocks beginning at 698MHz and descending until 663MHz, where there will be an 11MHz Duplex Gap descending to 652MHz, and then 7 5MHz Downlink blocks descending through 617MHz, and then a 3MHz Guard Band stopping at 614MHz. 70MHz of spectrum will be dedicated to Cellular services and 14MHz with be protective bands. The 3MHz guard band will have it's lower 2MHz(614-616MHz) protected for the use of unlicensed wireless microphones, no WSDs. The 11MHz D.Gap will have a 1MHz lower buffer(652MHz-653MHz), 4MHz protected exclusively for Part 74(653MHz-657MHz) and 6MHz for unprotected Part 15 wireless mics and WSDs(657MHz-663MHz). So for Part 74 users, this will be 12MHz of spectrum in the gaps, for Part 15 unlicensed it would be 8MHz(2 without WSDs, 6 with WSDs).

Using your SLC example and the assumption of Stage 4 success, everything above TV37(614MHz) would need to clear. All 8 of those channels would need to relocate in one of the prior mentioned methods(move, share, leave). It looks to me like there is a broadcaster on TV26, leaving only 10 empty options to repack 8 channels(VHF not included). However, since we do not know the desire of the broadcasters prior to the completion, there may be several in the SLC market that do not wish to move to smaller UHF for a small pay-off but to move to a VHF, share the bit stream or leave for the larger pay-offs. If any of those broadcasters above 614MHz are an SD channel(480i) there is no reason I can see of them to remain on the air with their own transmitter and antenna costs. They can easily fit in the unused space of an HD channel(1080i) on the same 6MHz signal. Or I believe it is 7 SD channels can fit on to one 6MHz signal. A common implementation is 1 720p channel, with 5 480i subchannels within one 6MHz block, but I digress.

There are options where the broadcasters clear the Stage 4 spectrum and do not reappear after the repack. However, it's all simply speculation until the both the Reverse and Forward auctions match successfully. I personally think that Stage 4 is the best option aesthetically and for long term engineering of spectrum sharing and proper services separation.

Arenít some broadcasters still on the air so they qualify under the must carry rules for cable? Is there an incentive as in they will still qualify under must carry even though they arenít broadcasting over the air if they take a deal?
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Cameron Stuckey

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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2016, 03:50:43 pm »

Given how fast the bidding stopped in Stage 3 Phase II, and the resulting gross bid amount was less than Stage 2, my vote is it goes to Stage 5 (as do several financial analysts who delve deeply into this).

Too bad. TV38 will be such an orphan from our perspective. The symmetry and aesthetics of using TV37 and its services as a guard between DTV and cellular adjacent services really appealed to my engineering principles. The Sales Department can't make anything easy, can they?

Arenít some broadcasters still on the air so they qualify under the must carry rules for cable? Is there an incentive as in they will still qualify under must carry even though they arenít broadcasting over the air if they take a deal?

I do not know the specifics of Must-Carry rules but if those license holders are required to stay on the air, they still have two options that would remove them from the UHF spectrum: moving to a VHF channel or sharing a ATSC stream with another channel. Either of those options still nets that license holder some money but I think it's safe to assume that those broadcasters who qualify as must-carry make enough money from the venture to not exit the market.
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Re: Wireless Gurus take a look into your crystal ball please
¬ę Reply #15 on: December 11, 2016, 03:50:43 pm ¬Ľ


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