Dale Pro Audio Event Focuses on RF Issues, Solutions

Manufacturers and RF managers convene to examine a disrupted RF landscape

Dale Pro Audio’s RF Summit 2017 brought much of the technology leadership in the volatile wireless-audio sector together last week to its offices and showroom in New York City. It was Friday the 13th, but a series of presentations and panels from technology executives at wireless-systems manufacturers and RF-spectrum managers made clear that the industry is relying on innovation, rather than luck, to navigate the changing landscape of RF.

An audience of 40-plus gathered in Dale Pro Audio’s event and demo space to hear representatives from all the major wireless-microphone brands discuss their various solutions. Jacquelynn Green, president/CTO, Alteros, pointed out that the 6.5 GHz range that Alteros has staked out is populated by a variety of legitimate users. However, she pointed out, “in that range, the antennas are very small and precise. You can put tons of devices in that spectrum, and they can all play nicely together. There’s more space in the higher frequencies that you might think, once you learn to work up there.”

At Dale Pro Audio’s offices, tech leaders heard vendor panels and presentations on spectrum management and coordination.

On the same panel, Gary Rosen, global sales manager, Pliant Technologies, discussed how the company’s system has overcome challenges, such as reflectivity, in the 2.4 GHz range by tripling the bit length of the transmission, thus reducing the impact of signal reflectivity by a third. “A lot of different techniques come together to create a scenario where you have a signal you can rely on.”

Zaxcom President Glenn Sanders described the company’s ZHD high-density modulation mode that will allow up to 10 channels of wireless to be operated in just 1 MHz of spectrum space, and the ZaxNet wireless network, which runs on a 2.4-GHz RF signal for distribution of timecode, IFB audio, and metadata.

On another panel, discussing creative ways to manage increasingly disparate spectrum, RF Venue Wave CEO Chris Regan explained his company’s Tower platform, a remote sensor that can send spectrum data — present and historical — to an app that allows users to frequency management and coordination remotely.

Radio Active Designs CEO Geoff Shearing discussed his company’s UHF and VHF hybrid products, which were designed around the central question of RF today. “How are we going to fit more into less?” he asked, not at all rhetorically. “We’re all going to have to get better at this.”

Tom Conte, area sales manager, Sennheiser, reminded the audience that, even as spectrum continues to undergo change, “the basics still apply: run an RF scan, … place antennas properly, and so on.”

Other panelists were Ben Escobedo, senior market development specialist, Shure; Mark Donovan, sales engineering manager, Audio-Technica; and Howard Kaufman, area sales manager, Lectrosonics.

Dale Pro Audio co-owner Valerie Lager said the event met and exceeded expectations. “I’m incredibly pleased with this event today. Our staff is so committed to this topic and to helping our customers find solutions, and it really shows after today’s proceedings.”

Archived video of the day’s sessions, which were streamed live on Facebook Live, is available online.

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