Is This Thing on?



If you'll allow me to grossly oversimplify: Between the frequencies of television stations there are unused segments of the broadcast spectrum known as "white space." Some people want to use that white space for wireless devices. The problem is that the devices that have been developed so far aren't very good at telling the difference between white space that's actually "white" and space that's being used for something—like, say, Brad Paisley's vocals while he's singing on the Wrangler-Chevy Stage in the McDonald's-Dr. Pepper-Mary Kay Family Fun Totally Country Zone brought to you by NASCAR at this year's Sprint-Gatorade-Frito-Lay CMA music festival.

A group of Nashville music industry folks went to the FCC to warn against these newfangled gadgets interfering with our city's wireless microphones:

“We know all too well that there is no ‘second chance’ to re-do a live performance,” states Steve Gibson, music director and producer of broadcast audio for the Grand Ole Opry. “The white spaces proposals being considered by the FCC could turn Music City into a silent city unless they get it right. As it stands, these proposals will not provide critical protection to the wireless microphone systems that are integral to every show,” he adds.

Silent city. I think that's overstating things a bit. It is possible, after all, to avoid this problem altogether. They're called, uh, regular microphones. Hank didn't need no damn wireless microphone.

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