Assisted Listening devices, Suggestions ?

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Hey Folks, I've got a problem.

Ill make thise short and not go into the back story. I need an "Assisted Listening Device System" in one of my theatres. Easy enough right?. Well here's my dilema. With the radio frequencies issues currently in the U.S. I'm not sure what to get. Our main stage space has an older infra-red system. I like the idea, since we never have to worry about interference, however, the system we have has the head phones connected to a little pack < about the size of an I-pod>. The Patrons are "supposed" to hang this pack around their neck, 9 times out of 10 they wind up putting it in a shirt pocket, or it slides behind the jacket lapels. No line of sight, no sound. Then they complain and say the system isn't working or the pack is defective.
So, Who uses what? What's the best for the money? What's the Cheapest? What is not going to be obsolete in two years when the FCC sells its frequency to Verizon or ATT or the Department of Homeland Security.
One of our sound designers suggested a system that operates on 72Mhz, anybody know if this frequency is staying clear?
Sorry to be lazy, I just don't have the time to do the research on this one. TIA
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
In case anyone doesn't know...

"This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: www.dtv.gov."

Supposedly the above MUST be included in any advertisement of non-HD TV sets. After 02/17/09, the FCC is going to release the current VHF and UHF bands for purposes other than broadcast TV and wireless mics.
 

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
Administrator
Premium Member
In case anyone doesn't know...
"This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: www.dtv.gov."
Supposedly the above MUST be included in any advertisement of non-HD TV sets. After 02/17/09, the FCC is going to release the current VHF and UHF bands for purposes other than broadcast TV and wireless mics.

This is not entirely true. There are a few things going on (I will summarize here; search on this for a more complete description).

First, the FCC has re-allocated the spectrum from 698 to 806 MHz to other bands - mainly public safety and telecommunications. The rest of the spectrum will remain for TV broadcasting. However, as you've probably read, big companies are pressuring the FCC to allow secondary, unlicensed users in the UHF band (NOTHING is happening to VHF as I understand it). This has NOT been finalized yet, and the broadcasting companies are making a huge ruckus about it. In the end, I doubt we will be facing as big a problem as we're predicting today.

As far the Sennheiser rumor, I HIGHLY doubt that they would stop making wireless mics because the US changed their allocated portion of the spectrum. Remember, every other country in the world uses wireless mics as well!
 

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
Administrator
Premium Member
Hey Folks, I've got a problem.
Ill make thise short and not go into the back story. I need an "Assisted Listening Device System" in one of my theatres. Easy enough right?. Well here's my dilema. With the radio frequencies issues currently in the U.S. I'm not sure what to get. Our main stage space has an older infra-red system. I like the idea, since we never have to worry about interference, however, the system we have has the head phones connected to a little pack < about the size of an I-pod>. The Patrons are "supposed" to hang this pack around their neck, 9 times out of 10 they wind up putting it in a shirt pocket, or it slides behind the jacket lapels. No line of sight, no sound. Then they complain and say the system isn't working or the pack is defective.
So, Who uses what? What's the best for the money? What's the Cheapest? What is not going to be obsolete in two years when the FCC sells its frequency to Verizon or ATT or the Department of Homeland Security.
One of our sound designers suggested a system that operates on 72 MHz, anybody know if this frequency is staying clear?
Sorry to be lazy, I just don't have the time to do the research on this one. TIA

There are two bands allocated for assisted listening systems: 72 MHz and 216 MHz. These bands are only for these types of devices, and are NOT for wireless mics or IFB systems. Neither band is being re-allocated or altered with the coming of digital TV broadcasting, so you can safely buy one of these systems and expect it to work for years to come. As far as brand goes, look into Williams and Listen Technologies, among others.
 

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
No wireless device has passed scrutiny(as of recently) to operate in the newly open bands.
I'll know more after I go over my new issue of RCR Wireless News.
 

museav

CBMod
CB Mods
Departed Member
Read Mike's response, the frequency reallocations do not affect the reserved 72MHz and 216MHz ALS frequencies. The fact that RF systems can be picked up easily via scanners, tuners or receivers outside the room proper is sometimes an issue, but in general RF systems to be easier to use and less expensive. IR systems can sometimes provide higher fidelity but are not immune to interference, just from different sources. You may also need to consider the physical layout, IR is line of sight which works fine in most traditional proscenium thatres but may require multiple emitters in "in the round" or black box situations where users may be not all be facing the same direction.
 

blademaster

Active Member
Personally at my church we use a ancient telex that has not reception whatsoever I was checking out Listen Technologies
http://www.fullcompass.com/category/Hearing-Enhancement-Hard-of-Hearing-Systems.html
just limit it to the brand
http://www.listentech.com/
dunno what the price budget you are dealing with but a quick price check is a minimum of about 1k for transmitter and 4 recievers. and about $100 a pop for each other reciever. give 'em a call or my friend Nate can help you [email protected]
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Well I appreciate the input, after a short bit of research, narrowed down thanks to you all, I'm obtaining quotes for a Listen and Telex system. The Telex I know by experience, the listen I like because of features. We'll see how this falls into place.
 

museav

CBMod
CB Mods
Departed Member
If you have any experience with the Gentner ALS systems, Listen Technologies is the company that Russ Gentner and some other Gentner employees started after leaving Gentner (now ClearOne) some years ago.
 

Users who are viewing this thread