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Are Spy Cameras Inside Digital TV Converter Boxes-Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor: A forwarded email with links to a video of
someone taking apart a digital TV converter box to reveal a video camera
and a microphone. The email claims that the government
placed these devices in the converter boxes to spy on citizens.
The Truth: There several videos found on
the popular YouTube website as well as various blogs on the internet such as the one below:
According to a February 23, 2009
article on wired.com this is a hoax "concocted in about five minutes
with a hot glue gun and parts from an old cell phone."
Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that all television stations in the US
transmit their broadcast content digitally. This will require
every television receiver that is not already connected to a Dish or
cable system to have a small low cost converter box installed between
reception antenna and the receiver set.
The technology for
such a spying system would be impossible,
considering that rabbit ear and roof top home antennas are designed
solely for the reception of television broadcast signals.
Small kits can be purchased for low power VHF transmitters
but their distances only range to about 25 to 50 feet. Licenses
issued by the FCC would also be required to use this equipment.
In order to transmit images and sound
over great distances higher power transmitting equipment and tall
antenna towers would be needed. Average television studio
transmitter equipment consists of 19" wide components that are mounted
in metal racks ranging from 4 to 6 feet in height.
This would also pose a safety hazard as a
high watt transmitter would literally fry the 300 ohm antenna wires that
most homes use to connect their sets to the aerials on their roof tops.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Iíve just watched a video, http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80552670/
, stating that the government has placed cameras and microphones in the
digital to analog converter boxes.
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