hairball

Fedora Console on Cable DTV 86.911

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Cable companies often have things hiding on undocumented channels, and I sometimes scan around to see what I can find.  Typically these are just everyday things such as subscriber's onDemand movies or otherwise uninteresting Wildfeeds.  Occasionally more juicy things pop up, like supposedly-private video-conference sessions and other things thought to be unavailable to anyone except their intended recipient(s).

 

A few weeks ago, while alone in a 24-hour Daytona Beach Gym at 4:30am, I stumbled onto a Fedora Login prompt hiding on a very high sub-channel.  The quality was awful, as if the signal had been converted from digital to analog, then back to digital.

 

While this could be any number of Linux-based video servers, the sub-channel was 911, a curious number not often used for things of little importance.  The only 3 sub channels for 86 were 1, 2, and 911.  Until this discovery, I was not even aware that DTV sub-channels went that high.

 

I have no idea what this is, but did find a mention of a similar discovery in Arizona.  

 

Does anyone know what this is for?  Any speculation?

 

IMG_20140217_042436.jpg

 

IMG_20140217_042424.jpg

Edited by Michael R. Wally
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I haven't had cable for a while. But, I think it was, back in about 2000, when they had the non-interactive information channel -- where it would list the upcoming  2hour time block for all subscriber channels... one day it was broadcasting a kernel panic screen from  Amiga Workbench, an old Commodore operating system.

 

I figured out they were running a Video Toaster by Newtek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Toaster). I figure this might doing something similar with Linux. Perhaps the operating system rebooted for some reason and was left with a login prompt.

 

I really don't know a lot about video or why/how they broadcast the screen directly.... 

Edited by tekio
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Is that ghosting there in the first image?

 

This is probably common knowledge now since it happens semi-routinely, but a lot of in-flight entertainment systems on planes will show a Linux startup screen when they reboot. I took a picture of this a while ago. If I can find out what happened to it, I'll post it here.

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