Posted by: GW7AAV | November 25, 2010

Slow Scan TV in Alternate Reality Game Portal

I have over the years taken pleasure in seeing ham radio in mainstream media. Spotting amateur radio equipment in movies and television has been a fun sideline from time to time. The introduction of the hard drive recorder (in my case a Sky plus box) has made it easier to freeze frame the scenes with the radio gear in to try and identify it. The last fun thing was when Stig on Top Gear was learning Morse code and we all found out that he liked cheese and Strictly Come Dancing was no quite his thing.  What I have searched the net for is a definitive list of films and TV programs that feature such snippets. It is a bit of fun to see just how wrong they producers can get it.

A little while ago I was tipped off by my son Adam 2W0DPI to a very addictive game called Portal. I loved the game but did not dare get started as I knew just how much time it would cost me. This will be old news to any hardcore gamer (I doubt many of my readers are), but there are some radios (about 29) in the game portal. Turning the radios on, by completing a puzzle task,  all you get is noise, at least that is what most people thought, but the noise is easily identifiable to the amateur radio community as Slow Scan Television or SSTV.  Decoding the images left most people almost as baffled, but it turns out the images are a taster for the sequel, inventively called  Portal 2. Below is a video showing a couple of the images being decoded.

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