As I watch a new production team work American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker in a new theater, I am reminded of all the behind-the-scenes details and jobs for a large ballet. Focusing lights, loading in and out of a space, setting up tissues and rosin, mopping, moving sets... it goes on and on.
Here is a new issue that may affect the state of our arts from Dance/NYC's e-newsletter:
Use Wireless Mics? Get up to speed
The wireless microphone technology currently in use by performing arts organizations will soon undergo changes. As TV goes digital in February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is re-examining the use of the broadcast spectrum, specifically the -white space- that exists between broadcast television channels. Recent auction of the -white space- is resulting in a reorganization of the broadcast spectrum, changes to the allowable uses of the spectrum, and the development of new devices.
On November 4, the FCC voted to authorize the use of new devices that would operate in the same space currently used for wireless microphones. The FCC ruling includes certain -protections- for wireless microphones - please stay tuned for more information on this latest ruling in the coming months.
Meanwhile, a specific portion of the -white space- - channels 52-69, roughly between 700 and 800 MHz frequencies, had already been auctioned off, and current users, including performing arts organizations, will most likely be required to vacate this part of the spectrum by .
The Performing Arts Alliance has filed comments with the FCC ( http://dancenyc.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=GnTX6gBzAAkAAAalAAJVcA ) on behalf of the not-for-profit performing arts community, urging the agency to find a viable solution to protect wireless audio devices ( http://dancenyc.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ct?d=GnTX6gBzAAkAAAgVAAJVcA ) from interference as new devices come into use. We are encouraging all parties to find a solution that is affordable for not-for-profit performing arts organizations and that will guarantee that migration to new technology and a new location on the broadcast spectrum will be free of interference during performances.
You are urged to contact your wireless microphone equipment manufacturer. Depending on make and model, your equipment could be re-banded with a new frequency range. Otherwise, it will need to be replaced. Please do this as soon as possible, especially if you are in a metropolitan market.