# What would TV shows look like if I was traveling at light speed?

Let’s say NASA builds a 99.999999% speed of light ship. They enlist me to travel in it as I fly off to distant stars. So that I’ll have something to keep me occupied, they give me an analog TV and mount a TV antenna on the outside so I can watch the broadcast TV that has been streaming out from Earth. As I’m flying along at 99.9999% SOL and turn on the TV, what would the shows look like? Assume NASA has provided some sort of converter box between the antenna and TV to handle any sort of change in frequencies. Will the shows be normal speed, slow motion, or fast motion?

Anyone remember the unused channels from back in the 70’s that just showed a clock and temperature? Say I was watching that channel on the launchpad. I set my wristwatch to exactly the time I see on the clock on TV. My ship blasts off and I’m soon at 99.9999999% SOL. How will the time on my watch change vs the time on the clock on TV?

The TV shows will all be in extreme slow-motion, and you don’t even need relativity to be able to derive that (though the amount of slowing would be different in relativity versus Newtonian mechanics).

Actually, the shows would be in normal speed.

While it’s true that the light will take longer to get there and thus the information received at a slower rate, filmore’s reference frame will be experiencing time slower than earth’s reference frame. The net effect is that the two time dilations will cancel out and you’ll be watching TV in what appears to be real time.

Relativity can be tricky like that.

No, it won’t cancel out. From the ship’s reference frame, it will appear that the Earth’s frame is slower, and from Earth’s reference frame, it appears the ship’s frame is slower. This is the heart of Special Relativity’s Twin Paradox.

I’m just surprised nobody mentioned that the signals would be dramatically redshifted. Would they even still be in the range capable of being picked up by an analog TV antenna?