Slow Networks experiment 1: Over-the-Air TV Transmission

Happily, I have returned to working on my “Other Networks” research project. As one facet of the project, libi striegl (manager of the Media Archaeology Lab) and I are performing weekly experiments with what I call “Slow Networks” – ‘slow’ in the sense of temporality and ‘slow’ in terms of an embrace of deliberateness (ie. how exactly does this given network work? who is it connecting and how? what are its affordances?). We are attempting to thoroughly document each experiment and post the results here as well as on the MAL website. We hope you enjoy reading about our first experiment! You can also read about our second and third experiments with VHF Radio Transmission here.


Friday Dec. 4, 2020

Media Archaeology Lab, 1320 Grandview Ave., Boulder, CO 80309

Lori Emerson, libi striegl

Network Type: 
Over-the-Air TV Transmission using VHF
One-to-many broadcast network

8 analog television sets
Blonder Tongue AM-60-750 Audio/Video Modulator
VHS Video Cassette Recorder
RCA three way cable (video and two channels for audio)
RCA to coaxial adapter
RCA ANT111E Indoor Digital TV Antenna, Non-Amplified, 40-Mile Range Black
USB-C adapter
HDMI cable
HDMI to AV adapter
MacBook Pro laptop

We began by displaying Lori Emerson’s twitter feed on her MacBook Pro laptop. We then connected a USB-C/HDMI cable to an HDMI/Analog video adapter. Next, we connected the cable to the VCR through its AV inputs. The VCR was already connected to the Blonder Tongue modulator via RCA cables which were plugged into the “video/audio in” via an RCA-to-coaxial adapter and an RCA audio splitter. We subsequently set the modulator to channel 8 and FM radio station 88.1. We then plugged the digital TV antenna into the modulator jack “RF out.” Finally, we turned all the televisions on to television channel 8 and broadcast Lori Emerson’s twitter feed.

See images below. We noted how strange it was to experience scrolling on an analog television.

Three analog TVs showing an over-the-air TV transmission of Lori Emerson’s Twitter feed.
Eight analog TVs showing an over-the-air TV transmission of Lori Emerson’s Twitter feed.