Since 2010, the FCC has been moving broadcasters and other casual users out of the 700Mhz and the 600MHz portions of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, and it has made a lot of people nervous about whether and when to buy new wireless microphones.Today, Shure announced the December 1, 2016 release of ULX-D® and near future release of QLX-D® digital wireless systems and accessories that operate in the VHF (174-216 MHz) frequency band. In the time since the changes made by the FCC, I've observed that the VHF portion of the radio frequency spectrum had been vacated and that if someone had existing VHF systems that still worked, that those microphones should be free from interference. Today, the problem is that many of those older systems have been retired from service with parts being obsolete. When we started into business in the early 1990's, sales of VHF wireless microphones made up almost all of our wireless systems sales. At that time, the marketing spin from wireless microphone manufacturers became that UHF was somehow an inherent improvement over VHF. In some ways, technological advances made wireless systems better, but it wasn't only as a result of the units tuning to UHF frequencies.
Aside from having longer wavelengths (which makes physical antenna length longer - a problem for some), the lower VHF frequencies actually penetrate walls and buildings better, so in some ways, VHF wireless performance is better than UHF, if the radio quality and feature sets are the same.
This news is just a few minutes old, so we'll keep you posted with more information as it's released on new transmitters and receivers, accessory antennas, antenna distribution, and signal amplifiers. Pricing for wireless systems and components in the ULX-D® and QLX-D® series will be the same as their UHF counterparts, but some antenna and distribution accessories will be slightly more expensive. These new Shure VHF products will bring wireless audio performance and digital clarity (currently unavailable from any other manufacturer) to users of the VHF portion of the RF spectrum.And it's our understanding that there's no current pressure from wireless data and phone carriers to access this part of the RF spectrum, so your use of these frequencies should be about as stable as it can be from our vantage point.