is a type of simple but universal remote
control device for turning off television sets, developed and sold by Mitch Altman
. The device was designed to be able to turn off a large majority of the current available brands of television
sets. It was created to allow people in a public place to turn off nearby television sets, presumably because the broadcast was distracting them from other activities. Its inventor has referred to it as "an environmental management device". The device is part of a key-chain
, and, like other remote devices, is battery
-powered. Although it can require up to 69 seconds for the device to find the proper code for a particular television, the most popular TVs turn off in the first few seconds.
was invented by Mitch Altman, and is sold by his company Cornfield Electronics. Altman was one of the pioneers of Virtual Reality
, working with Jaron Lanier
at VPL Research, and it was during his research in this field that he discovered the almost hypnotic power of television. The standard model TV-B-Gone consists of an infra-red LED, two CR2032 cells and an IC, which contains the TV power code database, in a plastic case.
TV-B-Gone comes in two models, the "North American And Asian" model and the "European" model. The models are sometimes referred to as the "NTSC Model" and the "Pal Model" although there is no technical link between the television standards and the remote control codes used. As new televisions are made, the TV-B-Gone database is updated, eventually resulting in a new generation of TV-B-Gones. The current generation is TV-B-Gone Generation 3.
TV-B-Gone Pro SHP
The TV-B-Gone Pro SHP (Super High Power) is the latest TV-B-Gone to be announced. It is considerably more powerful than the standard model, utilizing eight infra-red LEDs to allow TVs to be turned off from distances of up to 100 meters. TV-B-Gone Pro SHP is switchable between its North American and European databases of POWER codes.
At several hacker conventions Mitch Altman has run workshops that allow participants to build their own TV-B-Gones using Adafruit Industries' micro controller
-based mini-POV kit. Around January 2008, Adafruit Industries released a kit to build an open source TV-B-Gone.
Consumer Electronics Show controversy
During the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show
, some individuals from Gizmodo
brought a TV-B-Gone remote control and shut off many display monitors at booths and during demos affecting several companies. These actions caused the individual from Gizmodo to be banned for life from future CES events.
Since December 2007
the open source project "unzap" offers free tv-b-gone-alike hardware, including a USB
-port and a learning function for new codes.