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Unintended consequences: will digital TV make your wireless mic stop working?

A Cultural Policy Blog

There’s a fascinating article by Dominic White in Saturday’s Australian Financial Review about the looming crisis for Australia’s wireless microphone users.

Wireless mics, like the ones used by film crews, stage managers and rock musicians, work by using radio spectrum that is set to be sold off by the federal government (most likely to mobile phone companies) in 2013.

Why is that? The reason is that Australian TV is finally going digital. Digital TV uses far less spectrum than analogue TV, and the result is that the federal government can take back that lucrative spectrum to sell to the highest bidder. It’s an attractive proposition to telcos, who can use it for 4G mobile phones. The problem is, that old analogue spectrum used by the TV stations had small gaps between the channels, which wireless mics used for their transmissions. As White reports:

The proposals would mean that 85% of…

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