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Can your TV be used as a Camera to Watch you?

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posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:18 AM
DISCLAIMER first: Yes this is a serious question. No, I am not trying to fear monger. No this is not a 'Troll' thread - they seem to be running rampant lately. Mods, this is my first thread so if I have done something incorrect - please let me know, thanks!

I wish to discuss the probability of Your digital television being used as a camera to record an individuals activities. I lack the knowledge of optics and visual medium to comfortably disprove this theory. But as most are aware - all TV broadcasts have been converted to digital. I have comcast with a little digital converter box. So I ask - can your TV somehow now be used to capture video?

What I am aware of is audio. Audio is produced through the use of some sort of transducer. A speaker is a transducer. TV's have speakers. Electrical signal is sent to the transducer(speaker) and converted to frequencies. A microphone is the opposite of this process. Frequencies hit the transducer(speaker) and create electrical signals. So, IMO, the probability of a TV being used to capture audio is highly likely.

Below is a post from another thread titled SpyFlies. This post sent a sharp wave of discomfort down my spine and is where this idea originated:

Originally posted by asset921vector4
Thanks for the heads up johnny seagull i knew this was the case already and had warned people for years about such things, of course i was considered paranoid and delusional, finally now have proof. cheers

Aussie members using telstra products such as usb modem or bigpond (most of the country) may want to check which technology is used in their modems if ya got anything to hide that is.

there is no such thing as anonymous on the web never was
now ask yourself why we are going to digital tv only

and if ya dont like been watched in the bedroom with ya partner cover the tv screen and the digital decoder even if unplugged

privacy was a thing of the past and extremely hard to find no matter where you are.

how long till ya find yourself in court possibly for terror related with video recordings of you been somewhere and/or saying things you never said/or did good luck trying to prove you didnt do it, say it, wasnt there or has been taken out of context. its you(picture worth a thousand words) its your voice (science proves it is)
in a nut shell--- endgame.

these opinions may not necessarily have been typed by the member or be opinions held by other members or the opinions of the abovetopsecret .com network. while ever effort is made to ensure the validity of members technology is far Superior .

So, am I acting a little paranoid - yes. Would like to seriously discuss the yes/no probability of this thought- Yes


posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:27 AM

...At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast‘s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.

The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you...


I'm in no place to say exactly how far this technology has gone, or whether or not it has already been implemented. However, I would most definitely say it's something to be concerned about. I had kind of put this thought on the top shelf with everything else that has been going on recently. Thank you for bringing it back to my attention. I shall continue my studies related to this topic, and will post anything I deem important here.

It's already hard enough dealing with our weekly loss of freedoms provided by our "government for the people." Things such as the Patriot Act have already limited our privacy beyond the given rights of our constitution. It's hard to imagine how uncomfortable one would feel knowing that they're possibly being watched every time there is a digital device present. I'd at least say it's worthy of more research to be sure that this is not the case.

edit on 2-12-2011 by Strype because: Links

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:31 AM
Well, in short? I dont think so.

To be more precise, I say this because a tv screen alone can not record. Now, if that TV has a webcam on it and has internet connectivity....

As far as the audio goes, and as far as my knowledge takes me is that a speaker can be turned into a mic but a mic cannot be turned into a speaker. That being said, I do not believe that the speakers on my TV are recording me. If I had the aforementioned internet connected TV, it would most likely carry a mic for web chat purposes and thus have all the hardware to be able to be used as a full featured room surveillance system.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:35 AM
I've been having this idea for many years now.

And one thing I thought, about how transmission from your home could be made is really simple.

The phone line you use to connect uses electricity? So does the electric plug in the wall to service the TV...

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:36 AM
Someone posted a video here (I don't know where, sorry) and it showed a man opening up his set top box for the TV and it did indeed contain a tiny camera and I believe also a microphone.

Ha! Found it.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:38 AM
The TV would have to have some kind of camera built in, a webcam for instance, for it to be possible but I don't see why it wouldn't be? It is possible to hack a webcam over the net, turn it on, and see whatever it sees. There are tutorials on how to do it on youtube.

This would assume your TV would be connected to the net, however I don't see why it couldn't be done over a digital signal, be that signal over the air or via cable or satellite?

Adding to the worry all of the new 'Smart TV's' you can now buy will wirelessly connect to your home internet connection straight out of the box. If they contain webcams then all your fears could be realised!

Good thread, makes you think! S&F for you!

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:39 AM
reply to post by derst1988

I have no webcam. But my main thought is the IF on the converter box. That what 'they' say it is. And it very could be. But it also could be more. 'They' do not have to mention that. Even when a device is turned off, if it has a standby light, that means the circuitry has power, which means devices are functional. Now if those tv speakers have no signal going to them, they are picking up signal. How far does that signal go is an interesting thought. Its all about I/O routing.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:40 AM
reply to post by ThatGuy45

I do think they have technology that can do this.. They have lots of secrets..that only a few are privy to..

I'm trying to read where I read exactly what you are talking about.. and I can't at the moment..

Scary stuff.. but I do believe it happens..

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by NowanKenubi

ooo that is a very good thought. All one needs to know is the frequency to tune too - which is 60Hz. Nice thought!

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:44 AM
reply to post by ThatGuy45

I have been thinking the same for years.
Dont you think it funny that the media box box under your tv starts up and runs at regular intervals for no apparent reason. What about the spyware that as just been detected that is on nearly all Android phones, and monitors everything you do and where you go.
It is more than likely that your tv / media box is listening for key words and phrases rather than watching you.
Good post, keep it up.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by ThatGuy45

simply yes i have had this in my mind for ages and have talked about it with a freind
who said ive never thought of that before,
i always get the feeling of being observed.

edit : ever wounded how they know how many people watch soaps,docu.talent shows ect ect
just thought id put that out there

edit on 2/12/2011 by maryhinge because: reason given above

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by ThatGuy45

60hz is the screen refresh rate. You used to be able to tune into the signal from an old RF modulator with the right equipment, but it's much more difficult with a digital signal. Not impossible however. but to do it without any fuss your TV would have to include components that would send out their own signal to be picked up. As it stands a TV is just a receiver, unless it has WIFI. Then it can send and receive over a network.

Edit: I believe digital boxes can send and receive natively, be they sat/cable/terrestrial. So where one of these is used, add a camera and you have yourself a spying device I suppose.
edit on 2/12/2011 by Grifter81 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by ThatGuy45

In the following link, it talks about products you can buy for your computer to do just that.

It definitely falls in the category of highly possible to have such systems implemented in TV sets or recorders, etc.

And thank you.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:48 AM
reply to post by Grifter81

Actually, you can use power lines to send information...

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:50 AM
I monitor my house in various ways, but I do use the cameras mounted into my TV, XBOX and any open PC in the house with a webcam to do so.

It's just simple software.

So yes, it can be done, but it can't be done remotely as far as I know, unless your TV is conected directly to the web...

As for your PC and wireless devices, well yes, rootkits are easily installed.


posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by NowanKenubi

Correct. Same principle as a 'home plug network' but on a larger scale. Sending data over your home electrical wiring.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:54 AM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

well from the link in the post above, powerline networking is possible. As far as software - that could be firmware embedded in a chip inside the tv giving it an 'IP' essentially to be accessed remotely...
edit on 2/12/11 by ThatGuy45 because: spelling

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:57 AM
There is a whole little sub culture of people that do "teardowns" on most new tech gadgets, why they do it I'm not sure, partly out of curiosity to see what components are inside I guess.

Heres a little wiki quote

A product teardown, or simply teardown, is the act of disassembling a product, such as a television set, to identify its component parts and functions. For products having secret technology, such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, the process may be secret. For others, including consumer electronics, the results are typically disseminated through photographs and component lists so that others can make use of the information without having to disassemble the product themselves.


Anyway I think that if there were components inside that could be used to record you then they would have been noticed by now by one of the tear down folk

Here is an example of a site that does teardowns

Hopefully that might put a few minds more at rest

Heres another example

Now I guess there is always the possibility of hidden things, a tear down for example won't tell you what code the chips are running

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 08:57 AM
Recently there was a big deal about "Rent-2-Own" companies putting hidden cameras in their products to keep track of them if someone didn't make a payment.
Oddly enough, I had a 42 inch Plasma and a week after I stopped payment ( as an experiment) a small picture of a video camera popped up on my screen. I couldn't find any reason for it to be there.
I then proceeded to do gross stuff in front of it just in case someone was watching.

posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 09:04 AM
Just look at things like Xbox Kinect, and Sony Playstation's Move. I'm sure that when you use those systems there is some goon somewhere recording it and piling up all the data, how much you use it, what time/day you use it, etc.

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