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Kill Your Television

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Cornfield Electronics, a company that believes turning off the television is a choice and that children should be encouraged to watch as little television as possible, has invented TV-B-Gone, a universal television remote control that doubles as a keychain. While it does not change channels, TV-B-Gone will switch on and off most individual television sets across America and in many parts of the world. It's a small device that you can conveniently carry with you at all times and put to use should you encounter an inconvenient moment with one of those oftentimes-irritating noise boxes we call "televisions."

Just point TV-B-Gone at your subject television set, press and release the button, and keep pointing it at the TV until it turns off. This may take up to a little more than a minute, but most TVs will turn off in a few seconds. TV-B-Gone is equipped with an instant-reactivation feature which allows you to press the button at any time to restart transmissions of its infrared codes. After you press the button, TV-B-Gone will not respond to further operation until just after one minute, at which time you can turn your television back on or turn off another. A flashing LED light will indicate that a signal is being sent. You can double-click to use "stealth mode," which will show no visible light.

Depending on the make and model of the television set, TV-B-Gone will activate or deactivate from between 20 and 50 feet away. The device itself has a 30-degree line of action, and keep in mind that the subject television's receptor might be narrow. Of course, TV-B-Gone is not a supergadget and cannot read through walls, ceilings, people, or clothes. But because TV-B-Gone uses infrared light, like most remote controls, it will read through some types of glass but not others.



Even if you are watching or recording a DVD or VHS tape, TV-B-Gone will shut down your television and turn it right on again. TV-B-Gone works on plasma, LCD, and projection television sets but will not work on older sets, computer monitors, and other digital signs which are not controllable remotely. It works on most television models that are newly released because manufacturers rarely implement new power codes. However, there are a few television sets that may have unavailable codes for TV-B-Gone. Also, countries that sell or manufacture television sets with unique codes may be impervious to the power of TV-B-Gone.

Supposedly, you can search online and discover how to expand TV-B-Gone's range up to 90 feet and modify the device so it can be worn under a hat.

"You can use TV-B-Gone to control access to television for philosophical or practical reasons, or simply to have fun!" said Mitch Altman, inventor of TV-B-Gone.

Cornfield Electronics has created an entertaining means by which to teach children that it's okay to turn off the TV every now and then. If it's just you and an overbearing television set at a restaurant, bar, airport, or Laundromat, TV-B-Gone can help you cherish the sound of silence in seconds. While pranksterism is so 20th century, some believers in this outdated practice might find less-than-practical uses for TV-B-Gone. If you are a prankster, be careful not to activate TV-B-Gone while the game is on in a crowded bar, unless your preferred viewing sport is bar fighting or you simply enjoy the thrill of the risk of being physically assaulted if you are found out. In short, if there is someone within range of you, your TV-B-Gone, and an activated television, be kind and do what you might typically do in most other situations—seek the approval of others.

We all know television tends to tell us and show us things we don't want to see or hear. We all know that yea-sayers of television, free-speech freaks, and armchair terrorists of the FCC challenge us to choose to change the channel or kill our television sets when we complain about those things we would rather not see or hear. But when we are not at home and other people's televisions are polluting our senses, what choice do we have? TV-B-Gone has given us the power to choose even during those times when we feel we have no choice but to watch and listen.

TV-B-Gone includes watch-like coin-cell batteries that last three months to a year. For those who intend to use this device frequently, keep in mind that replacing its batteries (like changing those of a watch) will be more of a chore than simply sitting back and watching television.

TV-B-Gone comes in attractive solid and translucent colors and retails from $10.99 to $19.99 in both North American/Asian and European models. It's available at the mall store As Seen on TV and online at Amazon.com, Target.com, Adbusters.org, and Lesstube.com. For more information or to purchase, visit www.tvbgone.com.
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