Arduino Photography & Video
Enough Already: The Arduino Solution to Overexposed Celebs

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of hearing about the same people on TV over and over again. I came up with this Arduino-based solution to mute my TV so that I don’t have to hear about Donald Trump’s feud with whomever or Charlie Sheen’s most recent rant. Using the Video Experimenter Shield, the Arduino is able to decode the closed captioning transcription track, which is transmitted along with the NTSC picture signal. The incoming text is processed for a set of keywords such as “KARDASHIAN” or “SNOOKI” and sends my television’s IR remote control mute command, muting the TV for 30 seconds and then unmuting it (as long as a keyword isn’t mentioned again).

The code for The Enough Already is a mashup of the closed captioning example code for the Video Experimenter Shield and Ladyada’s infrared tutorial. I added a few lines of my own code to search for the keywords and mute and unmute the TV at the right times. Now I’m curious to know: what keywords would you use in your own version of this project? And how might you use closed captioning data or IR in your project? How about a TV drinking game light? Or perhaps a flashing beacon light that’s activated when a keyword you do want to hear about is mentioned on TV?

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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