Article Says Churches Can Expect Audio Interference
According to an article in The Christian Century magazine (August 11, 2009), the sound systems in use in many churches are likely to experience interference as a result of the transition to all-digital television signals that took place earlier this year.
The article says that in conjunction with that switch, the Federal Communications Commission auctioned off the lower half of the 700-megahertz band to several telecommunications companies. When they start making use of the bandwidth they've purchased, it will crowd the airwaves, creating interference for churches that operate in that 700-megahertz band, as many of them do.
"Eventually if someone continues to use a wireless mike in that 700-megahertz range, they will get nothing but static," the article quotes a/v expert Tim Hendrix as saying. Hendrix, a senior accounts manager at Ford Audio Video in Dallas, admits that no one knows when that interference will begin, but agrees with other experts that churches in urban areas may feel the effects first.
Wireless microphone manufacturers no longer sell systems in the affected range, Hendrix told The Christian Century, adding that most offer rebates (though they may be small) to churches wanting to trade in their old systems for new ones that operate in a different range.
However, Rev. Jerry Raines of Hampton Road Baptist Church in DeSoto, Texas, told the magazine that churches may wish to donate their outdated systems to churches outside the United States, instead.
"These mikes are still good anywhere else in the world," he points out.