FCC Plans and How They Could Hurt the Performing Arts

November 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

Though this article is a little bit old, the FCC already voted 4 to 1 to open television’s unused channels, or “white spaces,” to broadband and wireless signals, it is an interesting assessment of how much this really could affect the performing arts. This article on wireless microphones on Broadway talks about how increased traffic on these white spaces, which are currently being used for wireless microphone among other things, can severely hinder the sound systems’ quality.

As much as I want to say, “YAY! Broadband for everyone, including those in rural areas that are more easily reached through television signal because of the incredible costs associated with laying down broadband lines across the country,” this offers a very interesting perspective on the issue. Shows as they are now would be a complete disaster if their wireless microphone systems failed, causing fewer audiences on Broadway then there are currently, as evidenced in a New York Times article posted on this blog earlier in the week. And not only Broadway, but anyone using wireless microphones around the country could start having difficulties. The most interesting part of the article is that the technology to limit this interferance exists, but only works 65% of the time!!!!

It will be intriguing to see hwo this plays out in February, when the white spaces are set to open up.

Leslie Fay


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