Disabling the tuner in a TV set
September 14, 2012 6:38 PM   Subscribe

How can I disable the tuner in a TV set?

I'm thinking of buying a second-hand flat-screen TV to use as a video output for a DVD player, some game consoles, etc. I want to make receiving television channels impossible or close to impossible. What is the best way to achieve this goal?

The ideal outcome is that I get static or a blue screen on every channel, with either no way to fix it at all, or no way to fix it without going to a lot of trouble. I'm ok with permanent sabotage.

I know practically nothing about television sets and I don't have any particular model in mind. Some might say "just get a monitor", but large-screen second-hand TVs abound, whereas huge LCD monitors don't seem to.
posted by Maximian to Technology (6 answers total)
If you don't have an antenna attached, in most locations you probably won't get much from your tuner. There might be some kind of device you can attach to the antenna input that would inject noise though.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:40 PM on September 14, 2012

I agree with RustyBrooks, if you don't have an antenna plugged in you probably won't get a signal unless you live right next to a transmitter and are very lucky.

If you do happen to receive a channel or two mess around in the TV menus, "forget" / block those channels, then require a password to add channels. (This will be under something called "parental controls" or similar. Virtually every TV sold in the US has this.) Set a random number as the password, forget it, and throw the the manual that explains how to undo it.

If you want to keep someone from plugging in an antenna apply some JB Weld to the coaxial connector. (It's the bigger round one with threads on the outside and a hole in the middle, like this. Not exactly destructive, but would require a lot of effort and some surgery to put it right again.

(One could also pull the back off the TV and either cut the antenna trace on the main board or build a Faraday cage around it, but since you don't seem to have a lot of technical experience that's probably not for you.)
posted by Ookseer at 6:54 PM on September 14, 2012

Yeah, just don't connect the antenna.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:09 PM on September 14, 2012

If you really don't have an self control, take a pare of pliers and crush the coax input for the antenna so you can't even attach one.
posted by Oktober at 7:21 PM on September 14, 2012

Most broadcasts are digital now, so if you don’t have an antenna you’re probably not getting anything. It’s pretty much perfect or nothing, not the fuzzy kinda there signal you used to get from analog.
posted by bongo_x at 7:42 PM on September 14, 2012

We do this, so long as you don't have anything connected to either an aerial on the roof or a little rabbit ears or equivalent then you won't get any signal and the tv channels will show up as static. You will still be able to connect up DVD, PS3 , Wii, etc.
posted by biffa at 8:47 AM on September 15, 2012

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