Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share
20/02/2014

Wireless Finesse: Sennheiser's 9000 Series

News Image
There can be little doubt that 'convergence' is the buzz word of the moment when it comes to broadcast technologies. Substantial growth in the usage of smartphones and tablets means that consumers can now digest broadcast content very differently to how they did just five years ago, writes Alan March, Product Management - Pro Division & Head of Spectrum Affairs, UK

No longer are we tied to the external antenna-fed TV set in the front room of our houses, at a particular time of day, in order to catch a particular programme. Catch up TV and programme content on the web and across mobile networks has changed the way broadcast content is consumed forever.
But, before content can be consumed, it has to be made. Increasingly, larger and larger wireless microphone and in-ear monitor systems are being deployed helping to produce dynamic, exciting content that helps to keep viewers watching. Content production today, without the use of wireless systems, would be unthinkable, yet we may have to think the unthinkable if current trends in spectrum policy are permitted to develop unchecked. But, more of that later.
Sennheiser have been the wireless supplier of choice to the broadcast sector for decades. Sturdy build quality and rock solid RF performance are just two of the features that have ensured that Sennheiser wireless equipment has been, and continues to be, relied on daily by broadcast professionals.
Sennheiser's range of wireless equipment is extremely diverse and can meet the needs of everyone; from the videographer recording audio at a wedding, to the sound supervisor looking after the audio on a TV show that will be broadcast to millions. Mainstays of many a broadcaster's wireless microphone arsenal are Sennheiser's 3000 and 5000 Series products. The SK 5212 II body-pack transmitter, in particular, is a favourite bringing lack of size - meaning that it's easy hide - to the desirable features list. Team it up with the EM3732 II receiver and add superb sound quality to the mix. However, in 2013, Sennheiser broke the mould.
Launched in the UK at the prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum, Sennheiser's 9000 Series represents the company's first step into the digital wireless microphone arena. Unsurpassed audio quality, achieved through a lack of any type of audio signal companding, results in a wireless system that, for the first time, can truly rival the sound of a cabled microphone. Additionally, deploying multiple 9000 Series channels digitally takes the headache out of frequency planning. With analogue systems, careful calculations need to be made in order to avoid intermodulation problems. With 9000 Series, RF carrier channels can be stacked up at regular intervals without fear of intermodulation between transmitters. This is simply not possible with analogue systems.
Flexibility is also another key word when looking at 9000 Series. The SKM 9000 hand-held transmitter can be fitted with up to 12 different types of microphone capsule, including two from legendary mic manufacturer Neumann, offering audio engineers unparalleled choice to meet the needs of artists, performers and presenters. Four of these capsules have been developed specifically for the 9000 Series and feature an advanced shock mount system that reduces handling noise to virtually zero.
The accompanying EM 9046 eight channel receiver is tuneable across the entire UHF TV band - from 470 to 798 MHz - leaving behind the days when different sets of equipment would need to be deployed in order to operate in different areas of spectrum due to their limited tuning ranges. And this ability to 'see' as many frequencies as possible will become ever more important as time moves on.
For more than 40 years, professional wireless microphone users have shared the UHF TV band (formerly 470 – 854 MHz, now down to 470 – 790 MHz) with broadcasters, fitting multiple channel wireless microphone systems into the TV bands that are not being used locally to deliver broadcast content. However, the UHF TV band is being eyed jealously by organisations who want access to it in order to launch new services, namely mobile broadband, delivered by the IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) sector. The 800 MHz band - which includes Channel 69, the old nationally available TV band for wireless microphone use - has already been lost. This is where mobile companies will be rolling out 4G services.
Not content with that, the IMT sector also now wants access to the 700 MHz band (694 – 790 MHz) and much work is going on internationally to ensure that their aims are met. Indeed, they have recently started 'discussions' on the future of the whole UHF TV band, which could result in the death of DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) completely. No DTT, no interleaved frequencies, equals nowhere for multi-channel wireless microphone systems to be deployed, unless alternative frequencies outside of the UHF band are identified and allocated to PMSE (Program Making and Special Events - a generic term used to cover wireless mics, in-ear systems, talk-back and wireless audio links). This is why organisations such as BEIRG (British Entertainment Industry Radio Group) and APWPT (Association of Professional Wireless Production Technologies) exist – to try to ensure that in changing times, the future for wireless microphones is assured.
In conclusion, next time you decide to watch TV on one of the convergence platforms, give a little thought as to how the audio was collected. Chances are it was wirelessly. But, for how long? You, dear reader, are urged to join one of the above organisations, if you value the future use of wireless audio tools.

Read the article in the online edition of RFV here.
(IT/JP)
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

28/01/2020
Barix Unveils New SIP Audio Endpoint
Barix has unveiled its new SIP Audio Endpoint, the company's most flexible and feature-rich SIP interface solution to date. Available immediately, the
30/07/2004
Audio-Technica to exhibit broadcast microphone and wireless microphone portfolio at IBC
Audio-Technica’s shotgun microphones, to be showcased at IBC 2004, set the benchmark for broadcast sound applications, whether for relaying trackside
27/02/2020
TV Azteca Deploys Dalet Galaxy Five
Dalet has announced that TV Azteca, Mexico's leading multimedia conglomerate, has deployed Dalet Galaxy five to reinvigorate the company's content sup
25/07/2017
Wisycom Expands Wireless Offerings At IBC 2017
Wisycom has announced that at IBC 2017 they will be presenting its brand-new options for broadcasters and live production engineers, giving its users
17/08/2017
Shure To Exhibit At Plasa 2017
Shure has announced that it will be returning to the PLASA show September 17-19 at Olympia London, where it will showcase its comprehensive line of di
22/09/2017
Production News : Sheridan Smith To Star In One-Off TV Special
ITV has announced details of a special one-off television special with Sheridan Smith. Smith, who is a singer and multi award-winning actress, will he
03/12/2008
December Edition Of 'Wonder Of Wireless' Webcast Now Available
Wireless safety applications that can help prevent drunk-driving over the holidays, a wireless globe-trotter, a quick-thinking deer hunter, and a wire
01/08/2017
Kenro 'Frees The Audio'
Messy and potentially dangerous trailing mic leads are set to become a thing of the past thanks to the cutting edge technology that's driving Saramoni
12/06/2017
Timeline TV Delivers For Love Island
Timeline Television is providing inter site connectivity and RF facilities for the new series of Love Island for ITV. Production of the reality TV sho
12/06/2017
Graduate Film Shortlisted For TV Awards
A film made by graduates of the University of Wolverhampton's Video and Film Production course has been shortlisted at this year's RTS Student Televis
07/06/2017
CHEK-TV Expands With Octopus Newsroom
Broadcaster CHEK-TV has selected Octopus 8 as the core of a major upgrade to the newsroom system at its headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia. Av
07/06/2017
A Beginner's Guide To TV Advertising
Most small business owners are hesitant about advertising on TV because of the seemingly high cost, writes South West Films. This guide will help to c
22/05/2017
Production News : Hugh Grant To Return To British TV
A new drama has been commissioned by the BBC, featuring Hugh Grant. A Very English Scandal will see Grant star as MP Jeremy Thorpe who was tried but a
06/12/2016
Shure Confirms VHF Compatibility For Wireless Microphone Systems
Shure has announced that its ULX-D Digital Wireless System, as well as related accessories in the VHF frequency band, are now available. This will be
17/02/2020
Plans Submitted For Six New Film And TV Studios
Belfast Harbour has submitted a planning application for the development of six new purpose-built film and television studios, a project that represen