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Fake TV
 

How It Works

FakeTV is an easy and straightforward product to set-up.  You do not need technical knowledge to use the FakeTV – all you need to do is to take it out of the box, read the instructions and turn it on.

When you look at a real TV, you see images on the screen.  But when you look at the light it casts in a room, the light from the screen melds to a uniform glow that changes with the changing images on the television.

 
FakeTV uses a built-in computer to control super-bright LEDs to produce light of varying intensity and colour that light up a room just like a real television does.


The light effects of real television programming --scene changes, camera pans, fades, flicks, swells, on-screen motion, and more, are all faithfully simulated by FakeTV.  Just like a real TV, FakeTV fills a room with colour changes, both subtle and dramatic, in thousands of possible shades.  Like real television programming, FakeTV is constantly shifting among more and less dynamic periods, more vivid and more monochromatic, and brighter and darker scenes.  FakeTV is completely unpredictable, and it never repeats.

The effect is uncanny. From outside the home, FakeTV is essentially indistinguishable from a real television. Test subjects were not able to tell if it was FakeTV or the real thing, even when they knew it had to be one or the other. "I think that was a news program, but now a bunch of commercials just came on. It must be the real TV"  No, that was FakeTV, the whole time!  And an operating television sends the clear message to prowlers: "This home is occupied.  Try somewhere else."

It's Partly About Light

How does something the size of a coffee cup produce as much light as a television set many times its size? 

Recent advancements in LED technology have brought about "Super Bright LED's" many that are more than ten times as bright as the "plain old LED's" we are all familiar with.  FakeTV packs a dozen of these technological marvels into a package that includes the computer and some well-designed optics.  Super Bright LED's are very expensive, but  we have a special partnership with Kodenshi, allowing us to offer FakeTV at a remarkably affordable price.  And the FakeTV diffuser lens is a bit of science that borders on art, making the FakeTV unit very attractive.

the prower thinks someone is home watching television

And Partly About Random

FakeTV is not just a flickering light or flasher!  And neither is it just a "random light source."  Yes, there are random number generators in the computer in FakeTV, and FakeTV never, ever, repeats.  Real TV is not random- any more than music is random sounds. The light from TV is highly characteristic.  Discovering what makes the light from a TV look like, well, the light from a TV, was the key to making FakeTV so realistic.

But Mostly About A Really Good Counterfeit!

To develop FakeTV, we took data using real televisions of different types and makes.  We characterized TV programs, analyzing the light output for intensity and colour variation.  We generated a lot of computer files of television data.  Then, we came up with mathematical formulas that behaved just the same way.  We programmed these into FakeTV's computer, and ran the same tests.  We tested these in the field, as well, and verified that our test subjects simply could not tell the difference between FakeTV and the real thing.


Gathering Data for FakeTV

We had to develop special test equipment to analyse the light and colour from TV as well as FakeTV. Our store-bought optical lab instruments were not sensitive enough.

We didn't stop with just a great imitation of TV light, either.  The FakeTV unit is extremely usable.  The light sensor works very well, so in most applications all you need to do is plug it in, set the timer switch appropriately, and let it mislead burglars.