Hackernoon logoWhat is a blank random series of characters on your TV screen? by@linkedrohit

What is a blank random series of characters on your TV screen?

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@linkedrohitRohit Sharma

I write to make readers productive and happy.

We do watch Television almost daily, but have you ever wondered about the random series of characters appearing on your screen randomly.

Have you ever tried to know what is it about?

What is this number?

You may have wondered that it is some error at the cable publisher end and this is their tracking code. No? Ok let me explain.

Well, this random number is a unique identification number of setup top boxes. So your STB will have a very unique ID number and your neighbor will have a different number appearing on his screen.

That means If your screen is showing 8128311009101112 at 1700 hours, you neighbor TV may or may not be showing any number at all.

If by coincidence it shows any number at the exact same time it will be different than 8128311009101112.

Why is it required?

Well this trick is used by digital cable network owners to stop piracy.


Many people shoot the video appearing in their television and play it somewhere else.

One classic example a barber can record a latest movie playing on his home TV using a smartphone camera and play it in his saloon for his customers for free.

In such case, The digital cable companies get that unique number and they can easily track the STB from where this video was recorded. Therefore they can reach you very easily.

Take away from above:

  1. Stop piracy now, because you can be tracked very easily.[Myth Buster, isn’t it?]
  2. Lets give the credit to original owners and not steal their content.
  3. Share the post above so thieves stop piracy.
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