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Hidden Spy Camera & Mic Found Inside Digital TV Box

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posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:11 PM
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I have wondered if the whole DTV transition was a way to somehow monitor the masses, but IMHO that device pictured in the OP's video is clearly a hoax.
As mentioned: what is being called the camera, looks to be mounted on or very near to the main transformer. That spycam would need some serious magnetic shielding in order to even work in that location, methinks.

Something isn't quite right with this.

It would be pretty easy to glue something on to a component, or board... and it might look neat and all. Second, the backside of the PCB is not shown... and there is no way to know if those things are even connected to anything at all. So, to the maker of the vid... please do us all a favor and flip that sucker over so we can see the print.

While I don't discount the idea of a conspiracy behind the whole DTV transition, I don't think we will find it in boxes or tv sets. My notion is the whole thing being promoted under the guise of "freeing up" certain bands for other nefarious uses than to clear the air for emergency services. It is basically a grab for airwaves. Who is grabbing, I dunno, but I feel that the UHF/VHF bands will soon be a hot commodity.

T-




posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:14 PM
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Good lord, what is it, people getting more paranoid as the 17th approaches?

Its just a date people, its just a change from old analog junky television to higher resolution digital television.

Digital television has been broadcasting for over 8 years now. Converter boxes have been around for those same number of years. The date of Feb 17, is only a date when broadcasters shut off the analog transmitter...thats all.

Sheesh...all this nonsense and people dont want to believe that 2012 is simply an end to the Mayan and Aztec calendar count!!!




Cheers!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:17 PM
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The question that immediately comes to mind is how could any government justify the expense of spying on its entire population? A minority of people the government might be interested in maybe, but everyone??? Also think of the number of people it would require to undertake such large scale monitoring. Sorry I just can't see any practical reason for this. Therefore I'm calling hoax.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:21 PM
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Also, I was discussing this DTV thing with a few of my co-workers last night... none of them have gotten their rebate thing. Seems the converters are even hard to come by in my area. Maybe something is amiss?

If I wasn't so leery about it, I would take my LCD TV apart to check the innards. I know enough about electronics to build my own recording equipment.

I'll keep my eye out for one of these boxes in the meantime, for a real ATS study.


T- out



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:30 PM
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Its FAKE. I have the same box. when I opened the DTV box there is no cam or mic I can post pics if you like!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by RFBurns
 


Hah, funny. What wouldn't be funny is the reaction of the couch potatoes that get shut off in the middle of their favorite game.


It's all speculation, and I'm not complaining. I do like the quality of DTV over the air, It's the first time I think I have heard Leno in 5.1 Dolby. Come to think of it, maybe the media is just trying to sucker more people in. ?

Just so ya know,
Analog shutdown date has been moved to somewhere in June IIRC.

T-



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by telemetry
 


Dont put yourself through so much unecessary trouble to do a "real" ATS study. I happen to be a 20 year broadcast engineer as well as an electronics engineer who knows everything there is about this digital tv switch as well as whats inside your LCD tv and even the insides of each component.

First off, one poster's question hits the nail right on the head. The government has far better ways to monitor everyone, and has had that capability for 3 decades, and by using a variety of methods.

Second, those coupons were government sponsored, and because they did not begin this public education campaign about digital tv transition, and waited till the last year and half to launch it, they did not expect so many people to need a converter box and did not expect so many people to not be on a cable service provider, or receive tv via satellite.

Third, to have a digital tv or converter box to be able to transmit digital signals of video and audio, the set would have to incorporate not just the camera and mic circuits, but also encoding circuits, transmitter circuits, bigger power supply capacity, and a diplexer unit to properly mesh incomming receive signals as well as the outgoing signal without causing intermod or interference. Also, that signa must be received somewhere. The signal being sent would need to be at least a few watts power to be able to reach a common reception point at some distance, and that reception point would have to be replicated at least a dozen times over in a typical suburban city setting, creating a very huge data aquisition logistics problem, not to mention..a very huge cost.

Fourth, there simply is not any part of the RF specturm that such a monitoring system could use effectively and reliably. That system would have to use spread spectrum, which would occupy several megs of bandwidth and frequencies to be able to catch every single tv receiver's transmitted signal, and would have to incorporate incredible error correction just to sort out all the signals received. Not an easy task when your talking about several hundred sets sending out a video and audio digital signal.

Its just impractical and too cumbersome of a method for government to use to monitor people with.

There are systems already in place, and have been there for at least 10 years.

Here are just a few examples....

Cell phone.

Web Camera.

GPS.

Traffic light mounted cameras.

ATM cameras.

Security cameras.

Satellites.

FLIR on helicopters.


So dispite the attempt with all this fear mongering of a converter box or a digital tv being able to monitor you...you are already being monitored with these other methods and do not have to have a digital tv or a converter box.


Cheers!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by telemetry
 


Ya and in June people will still run around screaming the sky is falling the sky is falling!!!


It really doesnt matter about the date. These folks screaming bloody murder were not saying a word when digital tv began transmitting back in 2000.



Cheers!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:53 PM
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My stepson, who is a major self-taught tech-head was telling me not too long ago about the ability for regular power lines, ie the electrical lines going into your home to carry information both into your home and out.

Of course, I didn't pay too much attention and actually heard much of the info like Charlie Brown hears his teacher: Whahhh, Whahhh Wah, Wah, Whahhh.

But after reading this thread I decided to look it up and found this.......


There are also many specialised niche applications which use the mains supply within the home as a convenient data link for telemetry. For example, in the UK and Europe a TV audience monitoring system uses powerline communications as a convenient data path between devices that monitor TV viewing activity in different rooms in a home and a data concentrator which is connected to a telephone modem.


Link to Wiki article



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 10:08 PM
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reply to post by RFBurns
 


Right on!
Glad to see there are some here that have a level head, being a part-time audio and tech dude I would say that your analysis is about the best yet. I'm sure some will disagree, just to cry wolf.
People have been saying TV has been watching us for years, probably since the time they were invented.

No trouble mate..
I've taken apart may a thing, since I was old enough to do so... been doing some circuit-bending in the studio lately, so to take apart a TV is nothing. Now if it was an old CRT I would be more hesitant, due to the supply lines...
like I said, for the sake of putting this to an end.



I'm sure old Philo T. Farnsworth is rolling in his grave right now, with all this nonsensical hubbub.

Cheers,
T-

[edit on 09/2/18 by telemetry]



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by drsmooth23
 


I don't see why the signal cannot be split again inside the box and then a two way communication is possible. I have a cable modem that gets a 3 meg upload connected to the very same coax cable the would go to the cable box. Technically, a basic two way cable modem could be shrunk down to a "system on a chip" and incorporated onto the circuit board of the box In theory the whole thing could run as a virtual machine on what ever processor in in the box.
But since the subject is converter boxes then I agree with you 399 of those times.

And to fan the tinfoil fire, lets just say it was possible to sit outside on the street in a un-marked van. Seeing the amount of people in a house before you bust it down would be very useful.

[edit on 2/18/2009 by staple]



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:14 PM
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reply to post by RFBurns
 


It's unfortunate that quite a few people here on ATS have been taken by this obvious hoax, and then point fingers and insist that we're misinformation agents. Sure our government can't be trusted, but WANTING so much to believe anything and everything that is supposed conspiracy is illogical.

If you are not sure, instead of posting right away, why not wait a little for more informative posts to be made before jumping to conclusions, like rfburns post



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:17 PM
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OMG! The conspiracy is even greater than I had imagined!!!!! I just realized that my cell phone has a camera and a microphone!!!!!!! The telephone companies must be in on it too!!!!!!

It's the NWO and the Illuminati I tell ya!!!!!

IRM



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by sezsue
My stepson, who is a major self-taught tech-head was telling me not too long ago about the ability for regular power lines, ie the electrical lines going into your home to carry information both into your home and out.

Of course, I didn't pay too much attention and actually heard much of the info like Charlie Brown hears his teacher: Whahhh, Whahhh Wah, Wah, Whahhh.

But after reading this thread I decided to look it up and found this.......


There are also many specialised niche applications which use the mains supply within the home as a convenient data link for telemetry. For example, in the UK and Europe a TV audience monitoring system uses powerline communications as a convenient data path between devices that monitor TV viewing activity in different rooms in a home and a data concentrator which is connected to a telephone modem.


Link to Wiki article


The technique is called "carrier current", a very old technique that is mostly used to carry AM broadcast band signals over power wires.

However there is one major problem with using this concept to transmit monitoring signals.

Those nice round things hanging on the power poles...called step down transmformers, are designed to be incredibly RF blockers..or "chokes". This is to prevent all the RF signals in the air from being picked up by the power lines strung out everywhere, which would act like antennas, and sending those signals down the line and into your outlets, causing massive amounts of RF intereference. The transmformers by design are literally RF chokes like those found in RF transmitter circuits, to seperate the high level RF signal from a power supply source, as can be found on the plate of a power tube where the plate is B+ voltage potential, but also has the high level RF signal. The choke prevents the RF signal from feeding back into the power source.

On solid state circuits, the "collector" of a RF power transistor, or the "source" of a FET transitor, also has the high level RF signal on it, as well as the B+ voltage. The choke seperates the two while the choke allows for the voltage to pass through.

The carrier current system is only workable for short distances between power transformers. There are coupler devices that allow the RF signal to bypass the transformer, but that too would be incredibly expensive as that bypass circuit would have to be able to withstand several Kv of AC voltage on the lines, plus withstand any static buildup and lighting discharges. Quite expensive, and quite impractical.


Cheers!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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Here we are again with yet another claim that your settop box can watch you.

As a former instructor for a major settop box manufacturer I am an expert on the subject. It is not possible for your settop box to watch you.

It is true that your settop is basically a PC and most have a USB interface. So, you could in theory put a camera and microphone on your STB. The problem is that there is not enough bandwidth to carry the video from all of those STBs back to the cable headend.

If you subscribe to cable television, your cable connection has a total bandwidth capability of about 3.5 Gigabits per second. A color television signal in a digital format needs about 2.5 Megabits per second. Most of that bandwidth is filled up delivering television channels to you.

That's how the cable company makes their money. They don't make any money on videos of you sitting on your couch. So, they don't allocate any bandwidth to that purpose. The reverse path that carries your pay-per-view purchases, VOD requests, etc, is very small (about 1.544 Megabits per second) and it is shared by all of the other settops in your neighborhood. To put that into perspective that is less bandwidth than most DSL lines have and it is shared by 150-350 customers. So, there is not nearly enough bandwidth to carry video of you and the 200 or so other homes that would also have cameras. What you thought that you were special? Trust me, you are not THAT special.

OK, so now you are wondering what if the government mandated the cable companies to install cameras and watch you? An average sized cable company has about 50,000 subscribers. A black and white digital video of you on your couch would require at least 100 Kilobits per second. The total bandwidth available is about 3.5 Gigabits per second. So, 50,000 multiplied by 100,000 Kbps, gives us a bandwidth requirement of 5 Gigabits per second. Oops! We don't have enough total bandwidth in the system to do it. We are short by about 50 percent. That's without allowing any bandwidth to deliver video to you. So, you are not going to continue to pay for cable if they are not able to deliver 500 channels to you. So, the whole thing falls apart.

The truth is that cable companies are bandwidth constrained as it is and they are constantly looking for more bandwidth so that they can expand their lineup. They are not interested in wasting any of it to spy on you. A single channel is worth millions of dollars in revenue per year and they are not going to lose that money just to watch you.

That's the bandwidth problem. The other problem is who are they going to get to watch all of those couch potato videos and to sift out the "good stuff"? Let's say that they had one person to watch a block of 50 households. The cable company would need 1000 people just to watch the video feeds coming in from the field. That is just one cable headend, there are hundreds of cable headends from coast to coast. So, hundreds of thousands of people would be needed just to spy on the cable customers. Someone is going to talk.

Eventually you get to the point that you see that it is not practical and is not currently possible to spy on every cable customer in the country. I doubt that it will ever be possible. Let's assume that I am wrong. What would be the benefit of spending billions of dollars to watch people who are watching television?

If you want something to keep you awake at night. Worry that the government is listening to your cell phone calls. On second thought, forget about that. I hear dozens of phone conversations everyday and there is nothing worth the governments time there either.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by staple


And to fan the tinfoil fire, lets just say it was possible to sit outside on the street in a un-marked van. Seeing the amount of people in a house before you bust it down would be very useful.


They can do that with a thermal IR camera...seeing heat signatures right through the walls and windows, and use a laser beam, preferably IR, point that at the window, and then demodulate the vibrations on the window caused by the sound waves in the room and be heard as audio on the other end.

That kind of technology has been around, and used for decades. Why to to the bother of putting in an expensive method to do the same job when they already have the abilty to do it with what they got?

It just doesnt make any sense from the engineering standpoint, and doing a bi-directional digital cable signal, thats only on the cable and not over the air. There is no need for a coverter box because cable companies will continue to transmit the old analog signals along that same cable wire. Cable companies do not have to stop sending analog signals, which is why it is clearly said that the converter box is only for over the air tv reception.

If you got cable, you got digital now, and have had that since 2001, both on cable and over the air.



Cheers!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:37 PM
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looking at the cover he removed the ir sensor had to have a spot though the plastic to get light though. The other side where the camera is is completely dark and the camera would be trying to look thru the ridge in the cover hardly a picture that could be used.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by Skydancer
 


It would be cool if it used hand gestures. Even cooler if it could tell the users visually to keep the kids off the p0rn or favorites based on who is watching.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by dragonridr
looking at the cover he removed the ir sensor had to have a spot though the plastic to get light though. The other side where the camera is is completely dark and the camera would be trying to look thru the ridge in the cover hardly a picture that could be used.


Actually it could focus past the slots to see the filed of view. Hold a comb in front of your eyes and focus on something past the comb. The comb becomes transparent.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:43 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock2009

Ok, if your really buy this stuff, throw a towel over you top box, problem solved.


Oh boy.. tinfoil hats and towels on the converter boxes.
Let's get some Rowdy Roddy Pipers glasses too.







 
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