Pinhole Camera Embedded in TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by reneg, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Apr 1, 2011 #1 of 22

    reneg Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002


    TiVo enthusiast, B. Fife, from North Carolina recently discovered that the IR receiver used in every TiVo since the TiVo S3 also includes a tiny pinhole camera as well as an IR transmitter. The IR receiver part has been common among all TiVo’s produced since the TiVo S3.

    Mr. Fife theorizes that TiVo uses this camera in combination with software embedded in the TiVo to count the number of people in the room that are watching the TV programs through the TiVo. According to Mr. Fife, advertisers highly value solid evidence which identifies both the gender and age of people that are watching their commercials. Mr. Fife further theorizes that the IR transmitter is used to provide night vision capabilities such that counts can be made in a totally dark room.

    It is unclear at this time what TiVo does with the images collected from its products; however TiVo’s have long had internet connectivity as well as the capability to phone home to TiVo corporate. A TiVo spokesperson reiterated that customers have the choice to opt-out, however when customers opt-in, the data collected on their viewing habits remains anonymous. The data is solely used for statistical purposes to provide additional value to advertisers.

    Mr. Fife doubts TiVo’s policy concerning anonymity siting the recent partnership between TiVo and Facebook which could enable TiVo to cross reference through facial recognition software exactly who is watching what program. This would further help advertisers target ads directly towards individuals. Mr. Fife expects the apparel industry to be the initial target for advertisers as the recognition software is enhanced to be able to identify brands of clothing worn by TiVo viewers.

    For those TiVo users with concerns over privacy, Mr. Fife recommends putting a small piece of black tape over the IR receiver of the TiVo to thwart the video gathering capabilities.
  2. Apr 1, 2011 #2 of 22

    ajayabb Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moorestown NJ
    Are you serious??
  3. Apr 1, 2011 #3 of 22

    sieglinde Active Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Sebastopol, CA
    That is probably a military grade technology and I cannot see Tivo wasting their money on implementing this in their Tivos. Sounds like a paranoid conspiracy thing.
  4. Apr 1, 2011 #4 of 22

    modnar Active Member

    Oct 15, 2000
    Arkansas, USA
    Check the date...
  5. Apr 1, 2011 #5 of 22

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.


    B. Fife is likely a reference to Don Knotts "Mayberry" character "Barney".

    This is spam. Jokes are for the Chit Chat forum or the Fun House.


    Ooops. I forgot the date.
  6. Apr 1, 2011 #6 of 22

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    Citizen's arrest

    and Gastrof, man let the fun play out for a while yah wet blanket
  7. Apr 1, 2011 #7 of 22

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    Modnar had already let the cat out of the bag. That was the only reason I finally picked up on what was going on.

    Also, I'd started to reply before his post appeared.

    After seeing his post, I edited.
  8. Apr 1, 2011 #8 of 22

    bikegeek Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Amesbury, MA
  9. Apr 1, 2011 #9 of 22

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I think people should put the black tape over their IR receiver anyways - just in case ;)
  10. ajayabb

    ajayabb Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moorestown NJ
    You got me. Good one!:up:
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    We had a staff meeting this morning, and our General Manager said she spoke with a friend of hers before the meeting who told our G.M. that all the mice, phones, and internet access in her friend's company were non-functional this morning. It seems she and three of her other friends spent most of the night taping down all the mice to their pads, taping all the phone handsets to their cradles, and unplugging all the Ethernet cables from the back of all the PCs.
  12. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    If you go far enough back, you'll find this joke started with the original Series 1 - Partly because the center of the panel had sortof a glossy black round shape to it that was sortof cameraish. The idea was it took low resolution black and white pictures (or low resolution infrared pictures depending on the joke) of you in your underwear watching TV, and uploaded them very slowly as part of the daily calls (using the integrated modem). And that's why the daily calls took so long.
  13. Rocketslc

    Rocketslc Active Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    SLC, Utah...
    I just have everyone put black tape over their "naughty bits" instead.
  14. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    OH Boy!! class action for sure, we will get much $$ as i have xxxxx when watching my TiVo, now i know why I keep getting penis enhancers ads on my TiVo.
  15. bschuler2007

    bschuler2007 Frustrated owner

    Feb 25, 2007
    Awww man.. I spent the afternoon showing off to my Tivo my bits till I remembered it's April 1st. Oh well.. atleast I got better at dancing in the nude and had alot of fun.
  16. megory

    megory Advanced TiVoOligan

    Jan 22, 2003
    Indeed! APRIL FOOL!
  17. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

    Oct 20, 2007
    MN, greater...
    I wish I had a lesser sense of humor so that I could find this drivel that people are posting today to be as humorous and worthwhile as they seem to think it is.
  18. E94Allen

    E94Allen New Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    I pity the fools who taped over the IR and found out that they can't use remote to control their TiVo afterwards.
  19. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    so do we ;)
  20. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    Jan 17, 2002
    The Nielsen People Meters do have a camera to see not only how many are watching but who it is. I was at the research center when it was developed.

    Nielsen otherwise had people doing the diaries indicating shows that they thought should get the ratings while they watched something else. The original boxes didn't know if there was anybody in front of the television. Same thing there. "Nielsen families" would tune the TV with the box to PBS while they watched "Real Housewives of Poughkeepsie" on a portable TV.

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