In setback to Obama, House rejects digital TV switch delay

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US House of Representatives handed President Barack Obama his first legislative setback on Wednesday, rejecting his call to delay next month's planned nationwide shift to digital television.

The Senate unanimously agreed on Monday to delay the switch from an analog to a digital signal, which had been scheduled for February 17, until June 12 but the House rejected the move in a 258 to 168 vote on Wednesday.

Democrats enjoy a majority in the House but the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage of the bill without amendments.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House but Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, blamed Republicans for the bill's defeat.

"I am very disappointed the House Republicans blocked the DTV extension today in the House," he said in a statement.

"A clear majority in Congress supports postponing the transition and providing assistance to the millions of households that are unprepared."

Waxman left open the possibility that the bill may return to the House floor under rules which would allow for its passage by a simple majority.

"I am working with the Obama administration and congressional leadership to explore all available options," he said.

Before he took office, Obama's transition team had called for the switch to digital to be delayed, arguing th

at many people were not yet ready for the end of analog broadcasting by the major US television networks.

The government has been providing Americans who rely on over-the-air signals with a 40-dollar coupon to defray the cost of buying a digital converter box.

But the coupon program has run out of funds and, according to research firm Nielsen Co., more than 6.5 million American households are not prepared for the move.

Many of the unprepared are low-income househ

olds, minorities, seniors or disabled, according to Nielsen.

The switch to digital television will free up wireless airwaves for public safety agencies and other advanced mobile services.

Gary Shapiro, president of the powerful Consumer Electronics Association, issued a statement following th

e House vote saying that a delay would be "costly, affects broadcasters and affects emergency responders."

"We pledge our full support for a successful transition to DTV even if the date is extended, and we urge Congress to take all necessary steps to ensure adequate supply of converter boxes and to educate consumers regarding the date change," Shapiro added.

From Google News.

This may be the best illustration of the state of the DTV transition. Note the name on the car:

Digital TV switchover could be delayed by Congress

We've been awaiting the change with bated breath, and now we get to wait longer. Instead of making the change from analog TV to digital TV (and thus messing with our wireless frequency assignments) on February 17th, now the FCC and congress are talking about June 12th. 

I told you it was too early to panic! 

Here's the report (albeit from a consumer viewpoint). More news shortly.

(If your browser has trouble with the embedded video, click here.)

Easiest, Most Affordable Personal Monitor Mixing

This is an article from CCI Solutions about personal monitors. It's a good intro to entry level personal monitors. It's written in the vocabulary of a sales pitch, but the content is still valuable nonetheless.

Personal monitor mixing systems have revolutionized modern performances for musicians, singers and audiences.

They benefit the performers by letting them hear themselves better. The sound the audience hears is better since the musicians perform better and the volume onstage interferes less with what the audience is supposed to hear.

Until now, the most popular systems ranged from fifteen hundred to several thousand dollars, making them out of reach for some.

Our product solutions team created several extremely affordable packages utilizing new products from the Rolls Personal Monitor or PM line. These products and complete systems will help you improve the performances in your space at a price you can afford.

Get the inside scoop on how they work here.

Benefits of an in-ear monitor mixing systems:
• Less stage volume means better sound for the audience
• Musicians can hear and play together better
• Musicians and singers have control of what they hear in their headphones.

Benefits of our new packages:
• Similar control to expensive systems
• Scalable, start with one person and add as you go.
• Very easy to use.
• Extremely affordable (nothing else even comes close)

Your current systems can benefit.

Even if you have an in-ear monitor system, you could benefit from these new products. For more about these fantastic mixers and systems see the video here.

from:; used by permission.

Danger: Low Power

Too Little Amplifier Power Can Produce Too Much

See also How Much Amplifier Power Do I Need?

It’s a common occurrence, unfortunately: high-frequency components of loudspeaker systems damaged because they’re being fed by power amplifiers rated at lower (rather than higher) power output than recommended.

Understandably, this can be a bit difficult to understand. Let’s look at how it happens and then present some preventative solutions.

Too Little, Too Much
Not all musical notes are created equal. There is much more power in the lower registers of music than in the midrange and treble regions. If we examine the accompanying graph, we can see that the energy content of treble frequencies is typically 10 to 20 dB less than bass and midrange frequencies.

Therefore, even if we allow for 10-dB peaks in high frequency program material, which is common, the high frequency driver of a system will be called upon to handle only about one-tenth the power that the low and mid frequency components must sustain.

This natural distribution of musical energy works to our advantage. It means, for example, that a loudspeaker system capable of handling 100 watts should have a high frequency unit capable of handling 10 watts. Thus, if the high frequency unit is designed to handle 20 watts of power (characteristic of many JBL systems), we are building a 100-percent safety factor into the high frequency unit.

Energy distribution of typical recorded orchestral music.
Rock and electronic music follow the same general contour.

The result is that the capabilities of the components of a loudspeaker system parallel the natural energy distribution of music.

The Nature Of Amplifier Power
The power output specification of an amplifier is not absolute. Under certain operating conditions, such as when the volume control is set too high or when the input signal is too great, the amplifier can exceed its published output. The power output of an amplifier is rated with reference to a given level of total harmonic distortion (THD).

If required to produce more power, the amplifier will do so, but at considerably greater distortion levels. For example, an amplifier rated at 10 watts (20 to 20,000 Hz into an B-ohm load) at no more than 0.5 percent THD could be overdriven to produce 20 watts of output power to the loudspeakers.

Under these same adverse conditions, an amplifier rated at 20 watts could deliver 40 watts to the loudspeakers; a 35-watt amplifier could deliver 70 watts and a 50 watt amplifier could be overdriven to deliver 100 watts. This distorted output could very well be in the treble region, as we shall soon see.

Here’s The Killer
The additional power generated by overdriving the amplifier is rich in harmonics (distortion). These harmonics can be particularly dangerous to high frequency drivers. Harmonics are higher frequency multiples of the original signal; therefore, the high frequency component of a loudspeaker system must bear the brunt of the distortion-even though the original signal may have been generated by a bass guitar.

What It Looks Like On A ‘Scope
When a sine wave test signal (a signal consisting of a fundamental frequency without overtones or harmonics) is displayed on the screen of an oscilloscope, its top and bottom extremes will exhibit normally rounded contours.

Average output power is one-half the peak output power. When an amplifier is overdriven, the contours are ”clipped” off, producing a near square wave, having flat areas at the top and bottom limits, in which the average power approaches the peak power. When this occurs, up to twice the amplifier’s rated output can be delivered to the high frequency driver, which may not be capable of handling the abnormal load.

A higher powered amplifier, however, can generate the required power levels without clipping, allowing the loudspeaker system to receive program material containing a normal distribution of energy levels. Under these conditions, damage to the high frequency driver is most unlikely.

There are no hard and fast rules. Very few amplifiers have meters that are capable of accurately indicating when an amplifier is being overdriven to the point that it could damage loudspeakers. Even the volume control position is not a clue- half rotation often produces considerably more or less than 50% of an amplifier’s power. There are no absolutes. We wish there were.

A Few Guidelines
1) Purchase an amplifier that will provide more power than you will need. Remember, a loudspeaker can require up to ten times the average power level for those instantaneous bursts of sonic power known as transients. If the amplifier has enough reserve power, transients will be clear and crisp. If not, the transients will be muddy or dull. When an amplifier runs out of undistorted power, it is forced to exceed its design capabilities, producing dangerous power levels rich in high frequency distortion.

2) Do not drive the amplifier into clipping. Clipping sounds something like a stylus mis-tracking. and generally occurs on loud passages when the system is played at loud volume levels. If clipping occurs regularly, turn down the volume level or install a larger amplifier that can deliver the required power without distortion.

3) Do not make or break connections to the amplifier while it is operating. Unplugging or inserting connectors into an amplifier, preamplifier or receiver while it is operating can produce momentary loud buzzes. Often, these buzzes occur at high power and can destroy loudspeaker voice coils very quickly.

4) Practice audio precaution. For DJ's, turning down the volume whenever handling the phonograph tone arm is prudent. If a phonograph pickup is accidentally dropped on a record when the volume is turned up. The resulting thump could destroy the loudspeaker. Do not play the system loudly with excessive bass boost, which can easily cause the amplifier to be overdriven. Remember, a 3-dB increase in volume is just noticeable to the ear, but requires double the amplifier power, and many tone controls are capable of providing boost of 15 dB.

Remember, if a small amplifier must be overdriven to obtain the desired volume levels in a listening room, thus generating high power and distortion levels, the user is advised to purchase a larger amplifier capable of producing the required power with negligible distortion.

In any case, an amplifier should be selected with an output power rating that is greater than the maximum power that will be used This margin of reserve power will ensure that the amplifier will not attempt to deliver more power than its design allows. The net result will be distortion-free sound reproduction and virtually unlimited loudspeaker life.

JBL Professional,
8500 Balboa Boulevard,
P.O. Box 2200,
Northridge, California 91329
Used with permission.

LED Lighting - an Overview

What's All This Buzz about LED Lighting?

Have you heard a little buzz about LED lights? Maybe you’re wondering how they can be incorporated into your worship services. Or maybe you don’t know a thing about them! Here is a brief explanation of LED lighting and some of the best reasons why your church should use LED fixtures.

Long Term Benefits
Imagine never needing to replace a light bulb or burned out gel again. LED fixtures make that idea a reality. High-powered LEDs have a useable running life of 2.5 years (with the lamp on 24 hours a day), which means the average church that runs their lights 10 hours a week would get approximately 38 years of use out of their LED lighting system. Just think of how many light bulbs you won’t have to buy!

With colored LEDs there are no gels to burn, so you won’t be changing those out, either. As a result, you will have stronger, more consistent color saturation. Now that you aren’t changing the lights and gels all the time, it won’t be necessary to break out the ladder as often (or rent a lift and set up scaffolding).

Another long-term benefit is that LED fixtures cost pennies to operate. The light itself is very efficient, plus it doesn’t put out as much heat as traditional fixtures (which cause the A/C system to work harder in order to keep things cool). Less heat also means happier people on the platform.

Millions of Colors to Choose From
Your color choices with LED lights are nearly unlimited. One manufacturer has created a 2’ x 2’ fixture containing 144 “nodes,” where each “node” has a red, green, and blue LED the size of a pencil eraser. The brightness of each LED can be individually addressed so that it is possible to create vibrant, moving displays of color. Up to 64 billion color combinations can be created from this single fixture without ever needing to change a gel.

Create Instantaneous Mood Changes
Perhaps you are using a soft white light on the drummer during worship but for the evening service you want to put a red, blue and green light on the drum kit so that the chrome sticks out a bit more. Normally you would have to break out the ladder and change some gels in between services. With LED fixtures all you have to do is move a fader or push a button and, voil?, instant mood changes. You can easily create fantastic theatrical scenes such as day to night by using only one LED fixture versus multiple traditional fixtures and several gels.

Strong, Rich Color Washes
Using several traditional fixtures with gels of the same color can result in varying shades of that color across your stage. With LED lights, you will get the same rich color every time. LED fixtures offer strong color washes. At the push of a button or the move of a slider you can illuminate an object in any color you wish. You can wash walls and change the mood of the entire room many times throughout the day.

The ‘Not So Bright’ Side
LED lights are not the definitive solution to all of your lighting problems. There are a few things that they do very well, but there are several areas where LED fixtures are limited. They are not well suited for producing white light simply because they are not as bright as traditional fixtures. They also do not do pastel colors very well. Lastly, many LED fixtures have a higher price tag then their traditional counterparts. Since there is no standardization for this technology, parts and components need to be considered proprietary and not interchangeable between systems from different manufacturers.

In a Nut Shell
LED fixtures are a very real solution for your church. They open doors that have been closed to you in the past through the use of traditional fixtures. The up front costs may be more then standard lights but the long-term benefits are tremendous.

From CCI Solutions Expert Advice, with permission.