Shure Wants White Space Tests at Pats-Ravens Game

Wireless mic provider Shure wants some real-world tests for the prototype devices that use the “white spaces” between DTV channels, and the company says a perfectly good place would be at the Dec. 3 game between the Patriots and the Ravens in Baltimore.

Shure suggests that date in a proposed test plan on the white space devices (WSD) the company submitted to the FCC Monday. It’s intended to help the commission develop meaningful technical data on the issue, Shure said.

Broadcasters are fighting potential rules that would allow mobile, unlicensed devices in the DTV spectrum, citing interference concerns. Shure and others, including the NFL, are concerned with interference to wireless systems that operate on the frequencies.

“The NFL events were selected for initial field testing because they represent a variety of environments that are typical for wireless microphone uses,” Shure told the FCC. The proposed tests have been designed in close cooperation with the NFL and Society of Broadcast Engineers Game Day Frequency Coordinators to minimize the risk of interference during the game, Shure said.

Tests would include the ability of prototype WSDs to sense—and then avoid transmitting on—frequencies that are in use. Shure suggests four locations for such tests at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium: in or near the press box; within general stadium seating; in the player’s locker rooms; and in the parking lot.

The WSDs would never actually transmit during the Monday night game (broadcast on ESPN) to avoid any actual interference among the numerous wireless users.

Shure also suggested tests when the Indianapolis Colts come to Baltimore Dec. 9.

The proposed tests are primarily designed for technologies related to personal and portable white space devices, but could also be applicable to fixed devices, Shure said.

The FCC announced in October it would conduct new tests but has not given specifics about the tests or which companies’ devices would be tested. So far Microsoft, Philips and Motorola are among the companies that have submitted devices for testing.