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Sony’s solution for 2012 Channel 38 switch-over

Sony launches two new products in its DWX range and announces that all DWX systems will now be sold with modification packages in the lead up to the Channel 38 switch-over, writes Paul Watson.

Sony has enhanced its DWX range with the launch of its DWR-R01D dual-channel rackmount receiver and DWM-01 integrated microphone; both products are designed for studio and venue installations. As well as this, an optional upgrade path will be made available for Sony’s WL series analogue wireless microphones. Rob France, Sony’s UK audio product manager, says it’s imperative to be prepared for the Ofcom-driven Channel 38 switch-over well in advance of 2012. “Before the switch-over takes place, we have to move to a digital system that tracks along different frequency bands,” explains France. “It’s particularly important at the top end when companies are making serious investments; we want to make sure people can use the equipment.” France explained that in using a digital wireless system, the user can expect a far better quality of sound and the 8MHz band is increased by up to 60%. He also says that Sony’s remotely controlled receivers enable remote changes to transmission frequency and more flexible power management; and using encryption technology, its audio transmissions will now be more secure. Mark Bainbridge, general manager of Sony Media and Broadcast, believes that, because the audio market is going through what he calls “a period of uncertainty” (despite the best efforts of the likes of BEIRG), Sony’s digital upgrade path will have a “major impact on the industry”.

“Many customers are unsure of the best time to switch to digital and reluctant to invest in technology which may soon become redundant,” he says. “Sony’s modification package seeks to address buyer uncertainty and ensure that customers can continue to invest in the latest digital technology safe in the knowledge that their kit will deliver high quality digital audio over the next two years and beyond.”
 Sony’s new DMX digital wireless products are now shipping.

Sony joins a handful of other manufacturers who have announced upgrade paths well ahead of the switch.