World Smallest TV-B-Gone


The TV-B-Gone has proven to be a dangerous and versatile gadget. At Interactive Matter, they created an even smaller version with more sneaking potential. Called the µTVBG, it packs an entire TV-B-Gone in a 1.4 x 2.5 cm footprint and even has room for a programming header. He found some high-powered surface-mount IR LEDs that would match the original TV-B-Gone’s power. To drive the board, they used a CR1220 button battery on the bottom of the board. The whole thing is smaller than your thumb and should be easier to hide next time you wreak havoc.

41 thoughts on “World Smallest TV-B-Gone

  1. The link.. Where is the “Read” link?

    Sometimes its really hard finding the actual articles on hack a day. Not that I mind the informative “extras”.

  2. If a 3mm or 5mm LED was used you should be able to get a decent distance, for a couple of years I used to use a Casio remote control wristwatch (til the strap broke), it achieved a decent distance and a really long battery life on a coin cell like this miniature tv-b-gone, but not nearly as long as the 5+ years my Casio Thermometer watch is still getting.

    Hey that’s a thought, a tv-b-gone wristwatch…

  3. why do fuckers find it necessary to turn off tvs i’m watching? does it make your penis bigger? does it get you hot chicks? WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT of this cocksucking device.

    if there’s a tv on in an area i’m in, and i don’t like it, i act like a fucking adult and ask whomever runs the establishment to turn the volume down. is that so fucking hard for you? what the FUCK!?

  4. Oh man those were the days.

    -and talk about fireworks! (happy 4th hackaday)

    -it was a giant flame war on Gizmodo (and elsewhere) between the people who thought that stunt was funny, the people who were crying foul, and the people who were laughing at the lot of ’em.

    Good times. Good times.

    I’m always tempted to build that stuff up with larger LEDs, bigger batteries, and the thought of using optics to either spread the light or make it longer range.

    hacking, i believe it’ called ;)

    anyhoo, good stuff. have fun everybody!

  5. @jeremiah

    The answer to your question is it’s partially to stir up reactions like yours.

    Unfortunately this little toy of mischief is going to change the way remote controls operate.

  6. who cares if the raiders beat the pirates (football… baseball.. thats how little i care)
    every sports bar and pizza place should have the displeasure of experiencing this device at least a hundred times.

    isn’t there also a tv-b-randomchannel out there?

  7. Can’t you send a blank carrier wave to block these out?

    I think that you can also remove the IR sensor or cover it with tape if you don’t want this happening.

    I remember when I was a kid I put the IR from my remote on a leash so I could work the DirecTV box in the front room from my friend’s bedroom, back when dual-tuners and extra boxes weren’t standard.

  8. “Cant you send a blank carrier wave to block these out?”

    Let’s take the Gizmondo incident into consideration.

    How does a remote work? It sends pulses over IR that the TV can pick up with a sensor.

    How would you mask a TVBGone? By flooding the area with IR light.

    Where did Gizmondo do this? At an electronics convention where there is hundreds of people using cameras, video and picture, covering the event.

    This would also affect people using a remote control to control powerpoint/interactive presentations…

    Let that sink in for a second.

    So no, there’s no way to stop these from working short of blocking the sensor on every device that could be affected by it (televisions)… which is something the event organizers and reps should have done in the first place.

  9. that gizmodo prank was hilarious, I hadn’t seen it before. I’d burst out laughing and hence get caught if I tried such a stunt…

    will TV remotes start using encrypted commands to get around this? probably not, it would create more problems than it would solve…

  10. @bob

    soon enough I imagine universal remotes will have firmware that can be updated wirelessly or by usb. Encryption can be added that way and it will be no more inconvenient than the half-dozen things you probably already have that use updateable firmware.

  11. encryption is expensive. just cover the IR receiver.

    honestly i think the gizmodo “prank” isn’t really acceptable. let’s just say that i come from a place where pranks are a thing, and that i’ve been part of quite a number of them, and that we’ve got guidelines that remind us that there’s a point when a “prank” becomes vandalism. there might have been a way to do it right, but honestly the way they executed it would have been probably a violation of our honor code applied to pranking.

    there are appropriate, amusing ways to use the tv-b-gone. but knowing how most people will handle these situations, most people will probably do something fairly malicious and not amusing to a more general audience. doing pranks right requires quite a bit of discussion and thought.

  12. @Mephistopheles and others

    Guys, remotes will be similar to how garage doors work today. Instead of switching DIP switches in your garage door opener to set the code (just like current universal remotes), you ‘sync’ your garage door opener remote with your garage door opener.

    It will work exactly the same with with televisions. A similar concept to understand is how the Wii controller and xbox 360 controller work. You have to ‘sync’ the remotes with the systems. This will give the tv remotes a special key that must match the device for operation. It won’t even be a hassle and universal remotes will be that much easier to program.

  13. yeah i’ve kinda gotta agree with [threepointone] here. the folks at these conventions spend boatloads of time and money creating those presentations, and i’d have to believe this could be argued as a case for vandalism. as much as i’m not a huge fan of marketing folks (ask anyone in i.t. who their least favorite department is), morals and legalities come into play here. granted you’re unlikely to get caught, and it sure is funny as heck to those ‘in the know’, but if it were you on stage trying to sell your idea you’d be pissed. now doing this to the wife during american idol is perfectly acceptable and encouraged ;)

  14. @ jeremiah

    (1) i use my tv-be-gones to turn off a doz plasmas in our empty tv lounges because that last undergraduate to leave can’t be bothered to turn anything off– gotta save the planet;

    (2) and it has enhanced my love life when i give one to a syt– much more effective than dinner and a movie.

    hacking can be very sexy and is easily more attractive than spewing crap.

  15. If Gizmodo did it when there was purely browsing, aka not during a presentation or anything, then it’s merely a prank and is hilarious. During a key presentation, however, I do agree that it’s inappropriate.

    I want one of these, if anything so I can shut off the TVs at buffalo wild wings while my brothers are trying to watch the packers games, that’ll teach them for not liking the Bears like their chicagoland heritage should.

  16. I disagree tromoloy, it was a prank because there was a presentation, doing it when nobody is around is called ‘pointless’ and a little sad.
    I think the gizmodo thing was OK because it was a one time relatively unique thing, doing it again either by them or somebody else would not be funny but merely annoying.
    I think gismodo getting ‘punished’ with a ban was just silly.

  17. The term applicable is contempt. Both in or for applications of our talents as hackers-and in comments on forums. The most blunt clue bat in all of existence seemingly cannot dent the impenetrable ignorance of many folks around us.

    We’re supposed to be a public credit to hacking in forums like this, not a public shaming of the term hacker ok!

    What am “I” doing posting such concepts here? Ah, I’m hacking perceptions!

    we can express several of our “perceptions.” Ranging from “Well Done!” appreciation for the impressive work on this remake… Or whinging aboout the uses it’s put to… Or we can perceive the bedrock truth.

    that a microminature tv-b-gone is neither inherently good or evil as an intrinsic “fact”

    Which “fact” by extension then applies any differently between the micro version or to Mitch’s original device incarnation?

    As for the battery life issue of the micro? Simply pot one of these into a 9V battery shell with the emitter where the bottom of the battery had been-think hot melt or candle wax even… Hell, use a “joule thief” to snarf the last few tortured electrons from reclaimed 9v batteries “not dead” enough to harvest for shells&clips… Oh? Tell me that last one’s not a valid hack:>

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