New York (August 8, 2007)–In late July, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology released test results that evaluated the performance of proposed unlicensed devices that would operate in the “White Spaces” of the TV broadcast spectrum. FCC experts tested two prototypes of proposed personal/portable consumer devices that were designed to detect and avoid both active DTV channels and wireless microphone signals.
According to the test report, however, the prototype devices failed to consistently sense or detect the presence of either DTV broadcasts or wireless microphones. Testing also showed that the prototype devices interfered with digital cable TV channel reception on three DTV receivers in a typical home environment.
Shure, Inc., which has been a vocal opponent to the proposed use of white space, released a statement from Sandy LaMantia, President and CEO, noting, “Shure has always urged policymakers to leave this issue in the hands of unbiased and independent testing experts. Unfounded promises that interference mitigation technology ‘will work’ aren’t good enough. After the release of this report, the Commission and Congress can see why the independent analysis was so important.”
The tests were conducted as the FCC prepares to issue regulations in October that will govern whether unlicensed consumer devices are permitted to operate in the so-called “White Spaces” between active TV channels. This spectrum has been used by wireless microphones and other wireless audio devices for more than 20 years.
“The idea that big manufacturers can dump millions of new gadgets onto the same frequencies as wireless microphones without causing devastating interference to sports, entertainment, religious, news gathering, and other live productions is simply not supported by engineering reality,” said Mark Brunner, Senior Director of Public and Industry Relations at Shure. “The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology deserves tremendous credit for resisting pressure to forego a hard look at claims that the new devices won’t interfere and for resolving the issue on sound and objective engineering analysis.”