HOWTO Set Up An Analog TV Station

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OMG TV, which bills itself as "the only analog station in NYC," has spent the last two months broadcasting on Channel 14 in New York. So what on Earth are they showing? The station aggregates online video content and then lets viewers vote (online, ha!) on what makes the televised broadcast. Sounds assbackwards, but that's part of the point.

According to the founders:

On the web, so many options create a panic of possibilities. On OMG TV, there is no fast forward button or other videos to distract you. In OMG TV's simplicity you can sit back and watch one video at a time.

The station was created by Jon Cohrs, who also founded the Urban Prospecting movement we wrote about in May. What's particularly cool about the project isn't the content itself, but the fact it shows you could easily do this, too.

Jon created an Instructables guide on how to set up your very own local analog tv station — everything from first finding some "whitespace" to locating a transmitter.

Here's part of Step 1: Find a Free Channel:

Although after the 2009 DTV transition in June a lot of "whitespace"(i.e. unused television bandwidth) became available, most of this whitespace is still legally dubious and many of these channels are still tied to the original owners via legal identity and copyright. However, because of this legal ambiguity a lot of free space is still up for the taking.

The best option for finding free space is the FCC's own search engine for these things

Thanks, FCC!!!

image by georgia.g

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1 Comment

  1. I was looking for the page in the instructables on finding a lawyer after the FCC raids you. This is licensed spectrum we are talking about, here.

    Seriously, folks, they are not calling it “pirate” because it is legal. If you have a lot to lose, don’t do this. FCC “forfeiture” is typically $7500 and up.

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