Tired of the blocky, JPEG-like resolution of digital television? Do you long for the days of RF modulation and regulated-yet-unregulated content? Do you simply have the desire to toss your converter box out the window and make use of those rabbit ear antennae that are just lying around? If so, then you might be interested in becoming a savior of analog television! This Instructable will show you how to create your own fully-fledged low-power analog television channel, with any video source(including your computer) as a source of content.
We created one that went live the minute analog tv went dead. We're still the only analog station in NYC, but please join us in making more!! Long live analog tv.

Step 1: Find A Free Channel.

The first step is to find a TV channel that isn't being used in your general vicinity. 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:


Simply type in the channel (try a range of 14 to 35) and your state, along with the type of broadcasts available. Try to avoid channels that correspond to channels in your area (i.e. CBS 2 in New York). While they might be free because of the DTV transition and broadcasting in a higher channel range, they are still virtually broadcasting through that channel and might also have dibs on it for visual identity's sake.
Please may you give me a link to a cheap uhf tv transmitter?
<p>and how about TELETEXT??? first INTERNET WI-FI system from the world!!! And it all began in the 1970!!!</p><p>how to make a full functional TELETEXT internet system manual:</p><p>=== <br>- BI-DIRECTIONAL analog ANTENA - tv || antena || server(s) || antena || tv </p><p>- remote with keyboard <br>===</p><p>CODING LANGUAGE AND &quot;STUFF&quot;</p><p>- Television systems; <br>- Data transmission within Teletext</p><p><a href="http://www.etsi.org/.../01.02.01_60/en_300708v010201p.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.etsi.org/.../01.02.01_60/en_300708v010201p.pdf</a> <br>===</p><p>Key words: Broadcasting, data, transmission, Teletext, Radio</p><p><a href="http://www.etsi.org/.../300706/01_60/ets_300706e01p.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.etsi.org/.../300706/01_60/ets_300706e01p.pdf</a></p><p>============= <br>next stage of the process: CONVERT &quot;EIA-608&quot; CODING LANGUAGE TO JAVA <br>CONVERT &quot;EIA-608&quot; CODING LANGUAGE TO C++</p><p>ETC</p><p> CONVERT JAVA CODING LANGUAGE TO &quot;EIA-608&quot; <br>CONVERT C++ CODING LANGUAGE TO &quot;EIA-608&quot;</p><p>ETC</p><p>:) ;) (y)</p>
<p>how far will be the range for a 30watt vhf tv transmitter? in plain terrain and with a good antenna.</p>
<p>+Jim Faust +coolrob73 and how about TELETEXT??? first INTERNET WI-FI system from the world!!! And it all began in the 1970!!!<br><br>how to make a full functional TELETEXT internet system manual:<br><br>===<br>- BI-DIRECTIONAL analog ANTENA - tv || antena || server(s) || antena || tv <br><br>- remote with keyboard<br>===<br><br>CODING LANGUAGE AND &quot;STUFF&quot;- Television systems;<br>- Data transmission within Teletext<br><br><a href="http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_en/300700_300799/300708/01.02.01_60/en_300708v010201p.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.etsi.org/.../01.02.01_60/en_300708v010201p.pdf</a><br>===Key words: Broadcasting, data, transmission, Teletext, Radio<br><br><a href="http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_i_ets/300700_300799/300706/01_60/ets_300706e01p.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.etsi.org/.../300706/01_60/ets_300706e01p.pdf</a><br><br>=============next stage of the process: CONVERT &quot;EIA-608&quot; CODING LANGUAGE TO JAVA<br>CONVERT &quot;EIA-608&quot; CODING LANGUAGE TO C++<br><br>ETCCONVERT JAVA CODING LANGUAGE TO &quot;EIA-608&quot;<br>CONVERT C++ CODING LANGUAGE TO &quot;EIA-608&quot;<br><br>ETC<br><br>:) ;) (y)</p>
I made one about a year ago but it is a portable model and weighs about 5 pounds. it can also transmitt up to 100 feet.
<p>I have recently started using Usenet as an inexpensive alternative to cable. I have not missed cable one bit since it's been gone. I definitely do not miss the high cable bill every month! I found this guide below and it has really helped me with set up. Hope this helps!</p><p><a href="http://www.totalhtpc.com/UltimateGuideRen.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.totalhtpc.com/UltimateGuideRen.htm</a></p>
How do you know if your broadcasting your tv
<p>very giant good</p>
<p>very good</p>
<p>very good</p>
<p>very good</p>
<p>Thanks for the instructable.</p><p>Protip: Not everyone here is american.</p>
<p>Quick question, this is technically violating Part 97 of the FCC right?</p>
<p>I'm late here, but I just found out about this. Time to use the attic sized antenna I have upstairs.</p>
<p>can anyone say how to create a new tv channel to show all people's home TV ??? </p><p>please help me as soon as possible </p>
Doesn't it cost about $500 to get a license for a tv channel/station...
Bottom line is...Get a license for Amateur Radio and do the Amateur TV thing. <br>Its a lot safer to your freedom and Wallet ! <br>
The one thing I <em>don't</em> like about pirate TV is the setup cost. Sure, it's small, but I'm broke.<br/><br/>I've been intending to do something like this for a while now. Planning on using a PC as a source, running through a VGA-to-composite converter, to a VCR to use as a modulator, through to an modified splitter to act as an RF amp, through to the antenna. I've got it all except the antenna, and haven't modified the splitter yet (I hate SMD components, it makes circuit bending so hard..).<br/><br/>Oh, and I'm in New Zealand too. We don't have much of a history of Pirate TV here. Hopefully I'll be a trendsetter.<br/>
you could just use an outdoor analog antenna, or 1(or more)set of rabbit ears...rabbit ears probably wouldnt give ya much distance though, unless you made sure they were waterproof and attached 'em to the roof of your house
Or pump it right into the Cable System where you are....
wut kind of shows do u put on ur channel? me and my friends wanna do this now just so we can brodcast our own tv show ;p
Porn if you like. Or other stuff.
Much has been made about being a license amateur operator somehow means you can legally broadcast content of interest to the general public. Sorry to tell you that Part 97 doesn't not permit US amateur radio operators to broadcast content to the general public. Broadcast content that's intended to serve other amateur radio operators all you want. In the event some members of the public may watch is not a problem.<br>
You are right we don't Broadcast we Transmit to another station, However there is a time when we do broadcast and that is when we call CQ looking for someone to talk to.
Your project should be classified under Technology&rarr;Wireless.
Nice write up. But, there is a much more simpler way. You can build your own channel with a Roku box. They are under $100 bucks. I got my channel up and running in a weekend. Just fyi...
how does it work. im keen, will evry1 that owns Roku be able to watch my channel. does Roku works outside US and UK?
HOW!! D:
Got a VCR that works?<br /> Got an old antenna amp that works?<br /> Got a good TV antenna on the roof?<br /> <br /> Fine!<br /> Hook the antenna amp so that its input is fed from the output on the VCR.<br /> The VCR IS a transmitter.<br /> The antenna amp amplifies VCR output and feeds that signal to the antenna on the roof.<br /> The antenna on the roof is a tuned yagi beam antenna just as it sits.<br /> Hook it all up.<br /> Put tape of some movie in the VCR turn it on and play it.<br /> Your on the air.<br /> Point the antenna in the direction of a lot of other roof top antennas and, bingo, someone is going to receive your signal.
Finally a good and simple advice. thanks mate
Cool! Don't get in trouble though :)<br>
uhh... and how often are people caught? i rly dont like jail
You can even do it with a VCR. But you will need a proper amplification, to get anything useful out of it.
Just need an antenna amplifier placed in circuit backwards so it pulls the signal out of the VCR and pushes it to the TV antenna.
Most certainly can. That is RF coming out of the RF Out jack, usually on channel 3 or 4 analog ...
Here in the US, the FCC has absolutely no sense of humor if they think you're violating their regulations. As a ham radio operator, I read their enforcement actions on a regular basis so if you're keen on paying $25000 fines or jail time, go ahead with this. Be REALLY sure that you're in the right because even if you win your case if the FCC decides to prosecute, you'll be out thousands of dollars in legal fees, etc. They especially frown on unlicensed broadcasters using the airwaves.
... and the worst of it ... they'll CONFISCATE your nice little TV station!
And anything else they think went into making it.
<strong>party pooper.</strong><br/>
Hey, I didn't tell people not to do this. I just warned of the potential consequences if they do. If a person really wanted to do this legally, he could go out, get a Technician Class Amateur Radio Operator's license then can transmit using amateur TV and be perfectly legal. They'd still have to follow FCC regulations regarding amateur transmissions. Our local ham club just had a 6 year old pass the test so it's not that tough.
Yes, but the moment an Amateur radio operator in the US starts to broadcast content of interest to the general public, they are in violation of Part 97. Most reading this instructable are interest in broadcasting content to the general public not to the niche of amateur radio operators. Yes the test is not that tough, I suggest you take the test before stating what's perfectly legal.
Amateur extra class license here. And I wasn't talking about general interest broadcasting. I was simply talking about what it would take to transmit an amateur TV signal legally.
At last. Another adult.
Nice instructable! I have a idea for a transmitter. Howabout a frequency adjustable RF modulator. http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&amp;hl=en&amp;safe=off&amp;q=channel+vision+rf+modulator&amp;aq=0&amp;aqi=g1g-v4&amp;aql=&amp;oq=&amp;pbx=1&amp;fp=cd4bd38bf506aaa7 <br> <br>They come in 1 to 4 channel versions for home use and you can change your channels easy. They usually work on 14-69 off air or the cable range. Now the signal is low so you need to amp it up. You can start small and cheap and use a 20db cable/antenna amp then connect this to an antenna, either a TV antenna or something with better gain made for TV broadcasting. I did somthing like this for a workout room in a central building for a planned master community but for FM. The goal was to send the tv sound out for people exercising and wearing fm radios like they do in health clubs. <br>We had a rack mount high quality RF mod and a fm antenna (31&quot; of bare wire connected to thecenter conductor of coax from the Mod.) <br>Problem was it had 4 feet of range. So I turned the gain output wide open, then sent this to a common 10db tv amp, then into a 15db tv amp, then a 20db amp. now thats some gain! Now finally the signal was strong all over the lower floor, no static. The suprise was as I drove away in the work van could receive the station up to two blocks away! and the antenna was in the lower level of the building! <br>I believe thre sucesses here was a little luck and the fact that that tv amps were of good enoght quality that the signal didn't cause the next one to clip its input or output. I think you can try the same with the TV RF mod to get some range around your neigborhood.
Those that operate in the cable range will get you taken down real fast. You see as long as it stayed inside the coax it was cable TV. BUT outside that Coax those are Ham Radio frequencies and you will promptly run a foul of the law. We use those frquencies for Amateur TV nation wide...
Thank You ! I wanted to say this too and add that the FCC Fines are Hefty and the FCC is not backing down anymore because you have an inability to pay.
A common recreational activity in ham radio is called &quot;fox hunting.&quot; A transmitter is set up in an undisclosed location then amateurs triangulate on it using relatively easy to build equipment (homebrew directional antennas). Generally, the &quot;fox&quot; is found within a couple of hours.<br/><br/>It only takes one interference complaint for the FCC to bring their nice, professionally assembled equipment into an area and nail down the offender in a matter of minutes.<br/><br/>Hefty fines are no laughing matter. Jail time is no laughing matter.<br/><br/>Getting a Tech license here in the US is easy. You take a 35 question test and you can miss as many as 9. Look on the ARRL website (http://www.arrl.org) to find out if there are classes and/or testing near you.<br/><br/>You can also take practice tests at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.aa9pw.com.">http://www.aa9pw.com.</a><br/><br/>If I can do it, how tough can it be? :)<br/>
I got 20/35 and I know nothing about radio transmissions :P
Respectfully that's know ones fault but your own.` Amateur radio is about self study, and the ability to experiment with radio communications.

About This Instructable


243 favorites


Bio: I teach, work on art projects, and master music. For more info on me go to http://joncohrs.com or for more projects go to ... More »
More by splnlss: Build an Infrasonic Subwoofer Making Medicinal All-Salt How To Save Analog Television - Pirate TV
Add instructable to: