Daring Millennials Hack into Free TV

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    From the Wall Street Journal, as reported in The Spectrum Monitor, Sep 2017, p. 8.
    "Daring Millennials Hack into Free TV: Shhhh!
    An August 2 article in the Wall Street Journal headlined, Millennials Unearth an Amazing Hack to Get free TV: the Antenna, might have come directly from The Onion, but was real news in the WSJ.

    The article quotes a conversation between an attorney for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and members of Congress during a hearing. The NAB attorney tried to make it clear that, during the Time-Warner / CBS carriage "blackout," a dispute about how much the cable-TV company would pay the network to carry their local stations, viewers could still watch CBS for free over the air using a simple external antenna. Incredibly, according to the article, some members of Congress thought that the blackout would include over-the-air broadcasts, not just cable or satellite TV.
    W2VW and W4IOA like this.
  2. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recall, decades ago when I was just a kid, ads for a "Miracle TV Antenna!!!" that would "turn your house wiring into a GIANT all-channel TV antenna!!!" I think they cost $5 - back when $5 was a LOT of money.

    What you got for your $5 was a fancy custom-made plastic 2 prong AC line cord plug with a piece of Twin Lead coming out of it. The plastic box was sealed shut and you were warned not to try to open it, for safety and patent reasons. The implication was that it was full of secret electro-components.....

    All you had to do was connect the far end of the Twin Lead to your TV's antenna terminals and plug the mystery plastic AC line cord plug into a wall outlet. The instruction said you should try the plug both ways and see which way gave the best picture.

    What it actually had inside was a single ceramic disk capacitor, of a few hundred uuF and at least 1 kV rating, which connected one side of the Twin Lead to one prong of the plug. That was all. The whole thing cost maybe 25 cents to make back then, including the packaging and instructions.

    They sold well! (No, I didn't buy one).

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    KD8ZMN, W7JZE and K9ASE like this.
  4. W2AI

    W2AI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Had to be a gadget that "Q" of MI-5 (Her majesty's secret service) invented for James Bond in the early 60's. Didn't 007 use that device to track Goldfinger back in '64?
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some strange things going on with DTV, however. I can usually get signals from northern Iowa and a station about 40 miles west of us, as well as some from Wisconsin about 60 miles away. But our two local stations are much weaker. The main one, in fact, is too weak to receive on rabbit ears - but I can copy the more distant stations fine with them. I get the feeling that the broadcasters are going through the motions - as long as they are on the local cable provider, they don't care about the rest of us.
  6. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

  7. K5GTI

    K5GTI Ham Member QRZ Page

    It always seems like the foreign language and religious stations come in perfectly every time, but network TV or other "regular" local channels are hit and miss for me.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Many Millenials, and some hip oldies like me:cool: , dropped cable and sat TV for various streaming options. Local OTA "antenna TV" is still very useful for things like local news, sports, PBS and late night shows. The downside is the number of commercials, most of which are for the same drug companies and local injury lawyers over and over and over... I can't stand to watch more than an hour at a time, which is good because it discourages me from becoming a big sedentary blob. Besides, we have ham radio for that!
    K5URU and KF5RRF like this.
  9. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I guess it's time to make "artisanal" hand-crafted TV antennas and sell them at the farmer's market.
    WA8FOZ, KE5OFJ, WZ7U and 7 others like this.
  10. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    dvd's are a wonderful thing

    buy it once and you have it forever.
    KE5OFJ likes this.

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