Paging system for your TV remote

[Matt] brought together a TV remote and cordless phone to add a locator system to the remote control. One of the best features of a cordless phone is the pager button on the base. When you press it the handset beeps until found. Matt gutted one and got rid of the unnecessary parts. He then cracked open his TV remote housing and inserted the telephone handset’s circuit board, speaker, and battery. The base station is used just like normal to locate the phone/remote combo, and has been modified with a charging cable to top-off the telephone battery which powers everything in the newly hacked unit. [Matt's] demonstration video is embedded after the break.

It’s too bad that he got rid of the microphone. It would be interesting to take calls on this thing.

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Adding SCART to a cheap CRT television

[133MHz] cracked open a cheap tube television to add a SCART connector. He knew he had a chance at success when he discovered all of the knock-outs on the back of the connector panel because one of them was exactly the right size for the connector. But it wasn’t quite as easy as soldering in one component. He ended up injecting his own RGB data from the SCART connector directly into the onscreen display, making an end run around the missing feature. [133MHz] removed some resistors in the circuit and used the empty lead holes to patch in his own circuit, feeding the RGB data from the SCART connector to the OSD chip in the format it needed.

This one takes you way down the rabbit hole. We’re glad he provided so much background about the hack but it’s going to take us a little while to fully wrap our heads around how he figured it out.

[Thanks Victor]

Mechanical scanning television

This project explores the early days of television. Above you see a view from the back side of a mechanically scanning television. The black disk spins and the holes, aligned in a spiral pattern, create vertical scan lines for projected light to shine through. In this case, [Eckhard Etzold] is using red, green, and blue LEDs to create a color picture. As you can seen in the video after the break it does a pretty good job. The main problem being that the scanning disc on a mechanical TV has to be much larger than the actual image. How big would the disk need to be and how fast would it spin to produce a forty inch image? We still think this is a better method than transmitting video data in parallel.

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Hulu Desktop for Linux . . . finally


The folks over at Hulu Labs have been busy it seems, as they have just released a version of their desktop client for Linux. Windows and OSX versions of the desktop client have been out for some time now, but Linux has been left in the dark. Functionality wise, it operates and plays videos identically to its counterparts. The Linux version can also be controlled via an IR remote. We certainly are excited to add this to our entertainment systems. The release is a bit of a surprise, but a welcome change to the usual treatment of Linux, and it’s nice to see the mainstream start to recognize it. Plus, this is just more ammunition for getting rid of those monthly cable/satellite subscriptions.

Twitter remote control


We’ve already brought you a homemade Twitter-enabled washing machine, and toilet, but now a new innovation is being brought to the table by a bigger player. IBM is working on a tweeting television remote, which would allow the user to inform the world what they are watching. Although unfiltered reporting could create awkward situations, the combination of America’s love for television and Twitter is sure to yield interesting results. They also mentioned that it could be configured to report to other sites, such as Facebook or joost. Any ideas why IBM would have in such a patent are welcome in the comments. More info can be found here and here.

Make: television premiering today


Make’s television series will be premiering on public television across the US over the next couple days. If it’s not showing in your area, you aren’t out of luck. All of the segments from the first episode have already been published online at

Björk teaches you about electronics

As we often suspected, [Björk] is quite the technical mastermind. In the video above, she teaches you about the ins and outs of her television. We think she’s making a strong bid as the next person to join Prototype This! Her hacking philosophy is the same as ours: “You shouldn’t let poets lie to you.”