On any given Sunday, the only thing packed tighter than a Houston megachurch's pews is the radio frequency spectrum surrounding them. Today's worship services are high-tech and high stakeswith pastors, musicians, and support staff relying on an increasing number of wireless audio devices to ensure each service goes smoothly for thousands of attendeesand a potential nightmare for sound professionals responsible for delivering crystal-clear wireless audio.
Wes Matthew, owner of Houston's Puresound, a large provider of church audio/visual installations, rentals and sales, understands this well. "Churches are going wireless with everything now," says Matthew. "Wireless nursery pagers, walkies, in-ears, instruments, hearing assistance, parking lot aids, security, and of course, microphones."
Even 30 miles outside the city, Matthew discovered that his RF scans at client churches were consistently full. "I could never find an open frequency," he remembers. "So I ended up just picking the least crowded channel and hoped for the best."
For one of his church installations, Matthew describes that each room had seven lavaliers and a handheld wireless microphone fed to Sennheiser EW 100 G3 receivers with basic whip antennas. "After extensive troubleshooting, no matter what we did, we were still getting signal dropouts and hit with interference," Matthew says. "We dropped the RF Spotlight on the stage, and the mics have been solid. I haven't gotten a call in the six months since the installation."
Chris Regan of RF Venue comments, "More and more devices are competing for less and less spectrum, so we designed the RF Spotlight to deliver spectrum efficiency to any brand of wireless system. We're happy to be working with Wes [Matthew] and his clients to enable reliable performance under the toughest RF conditions."
The RF Spotlight is designed for placement on the floor or under a stage to optimize reception for nearby wireless microphones or in-ear monitors, but minimize reception of unwanted devices outside of its local field. In churches, where multiple wireless systems operate simultaneously, the RF Spotlight enables wireless operators to increase the number of open frequencies available, lower transmitter power for longer battery life, and improve signal-to-noise ratio at the receiver.