Wireless Microphone Systems: Look to Digital; Don’t Wait Until 2020

Understanding the wireless spectrum will help you navigate where your new digital units will sit in the new wireless spectrum.

Wireless Microphone Systems: Look to Digital; Don’t Wait Until 2020
As this trio of musicians use a wireless microphone systems during a worship service, churches have to account for the changes being implemented to the wireless systems over the next three years as a result of the FCC auction involving the 600 MHz band.

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Wireless Microphone Systems: Look to Digital; Don’t Wait Until 2020

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It helps to know that you can get more channels of UHF out of digital units. Hopefully, this will give you the ability to keep your wireless channel count the same. Also, understanding the wireless spectrum will help you navigate where your new digital units will sit in the new wireless spectrum.

The issue then arises how some will have to get rid of your old units.

Some churches have invested a ton of money in wireless, and it’s creating a little bit of a panic to hear that they have to now purchase all new units. 

Well you will be happy to hear that Shure, Sennheiser and other wireless system manufacturers are offering rebate programs, allowing you to turn in your old units and receive a credit on your new units. Many are even taking gear that is not theirs, allowing you to put all manufacturers on the table and shop for what is best for your church. 

The date to be fully switched over is July 13, 2020, but you can’t wait for that date. The 600 MHz band is already being used and if you wait until 2020, odds are that you will start to experience issues before then and be stuck without wireless.

You want to start looking for new units right away. Knowing that, what should you look for?

Well, in my opinion, you should start looking at digital units. I’m not exclusively saying you need to go digital. You can still use analog wireless units, but from what I am seeing, and how the spectrum is getting smaller and smaller while more and more people are transmitting, it seems like digital is the way to go. This is especially true since the church market uses so much wireless.

Of course, if you don’t use that many wireless units or frequencies, you have a few more options. But if you are going to head in the digital route, here are some things I would consider when looking for new digital wireless units:

1. In terms of budget, digital units are going to run 10 to 20 percent higher than analog units. That’s just a fact. Start preparing your senior pastor or whoever makes the money decisions that, from a budget perspective, you will either have to reduce your wireless need, or be prepared to spend a little more than you have in the past.

2. Make sure you know the battery life of the unit when you compare a digital device to an analog device. You should get 30 to 40 percent more battery life out of a digital device.

More About David Leuschner
David Leuschner currently serves as the Executive Director of Digital Great Commission Ministries, a nonprofit that has a mission to utilize technology to reach the entire world for Jesus Christ. David has been in the tech industry for more than 20 years and has always had a passion for the church. From 2006 to 2017 he served on the Senior Team as the Senior Director of Technology and Technical Arts at Gateway Church. He provided oversight for all of the Technology and Live Production areas. Gateway Church is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and is one of the largest churches in America. While at Gateway, David guided and directed more than 700 volunteers, part-time and full-time staff in a mission to facilitate several hundred events a month among all venues. Before coming to work at Gateway Church, David started volunteering in a local Church at the age of 11. He progressed to working high level events that included working with President George H W Bush, U.S. Diplomat Alan Lee Keyes, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, ABC News, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys and many other major artists. David has been married to his beautiful wife Nicole for 12 years and they love their 10-year-old son Justin. Visit www.audiovideolighting.com to find out how David Leuschner can help your church. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @davidleuschner
Get in Touch: information@digitalgreatcommission.org    More by David Leuschner

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.

Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · Digital Wireless Systems · FCC · Frequencies · Sennheiser · Shure · Spectrum · All Topics

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