Wild feeds on satellite

My father recently switched from DirectTV to one of those big satellites. Since then he has been addicted to finding what buffs of the subject call wild feeds.

I’ve watched some myself, and everything that I have seen has either been unscheduled episodes of sitcoms or relatively amusing newscasts in which the anchors apparently are supposed to be off-air and start insulting each other or ragging on professional sports players. While this is amusing after about a 6pack, it loses it’s charm quickly. Then again, I haven’t caught any of the more legendary escapades of Tom Brokaw and the like.

However, my dad and a few others have claimed that you can catch anything from porn down to signals off of peoples cameras in their own home. One of them claims he saw a bus full of high school students pointing a camera at an after school fight, and racial slurs flew like they were beads at Mardi Gras!

I’ll admit that while I find the above a strange and potentially scary possibility, it just doesn’t sound all that feasible that a small home camcorder signal could be caught and broadcast for all to see.

So, fellow Dopers, help yer ol pal MeatBeast get the facts straight here. A quick search on google gave me several links to where I could find likely times to watch the Simpsons and Spongebob, but I haven’t found any working link that tells much about the seedier stuff above. And if it’s possible, are there any cases where people have been caught doing crimes like this on camera, or, heaven forbid, making personal “home videos”?! :eek: And what about the regular pay porn or channels like HBO? Are they subject to wild feeds like the normal networks?

Your friend,
The MeatBeast

Camcorders don’t have transmitters. Perhaps a good bit of this “intercepted” media was intentionally aired. A DirectTV dish isn’t exactly like a baby monitor, you may get some riff-raff, but nothing that wasn’t intentionally broadcast.

Many (most?) TV stations have satellite-broadcast-equipped trucks that they use for on-the-spot reporting of live/breaking news (especially when these things happen just before the early evening newscast, such as the after-school fight you described). Certainly, some local reporter finagled the amateur tape from the kids who shot it and beamed it back to the station (in its unedited form) to be edited into his report for broadcast. That’s most likely what your dad saw.

Back In The Day, you could tune into premium channels like HBO with your C-band dish, just like the cable companies did. But now they’re all encrypted. I hear you can rent a decrypting doohikey for them, though.

C band equipment is going the way of the dodo but decryption has been standard equipment on the recievers for quite some time. There are wild feeds but it’s nothing like it was in the days before encryption became commonplace.