TV Modem

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The TV Modem was a system that allowed users to rapidly download files directly from a television broadcast to their computers. Without a traditional model, telephone line, or Internet connection. The En Cybercast System model of the TV Modem first got FAA approval in 1996 for use on the Net Cafe, a tech-based tv show showcasing interviews and software downloads in the mid to late 90's.[1]

Download times from different systems (Internet modem, phone line and TV Modem). From Net Cafe's Electronic Communities Downloads.

"En's Cybercast System, originally unveiled under the code-name "Malachi," used the speed, bandwidth and universal availability of the analog television signal to distribute data. The end user component, En's TVModem, worked with virtually 100 percent of all IBM-compatible personal computers in use in the 90's. TVModems were designed to be affordable, with models retailing for $100 to $150.[2]


Net Cafe downloads were facilitated by a "Cyber Blast", a 2-3 minute segment of computer data that displayed on the screen at the end of every Net Cafe episode. During the "Cyber Blast", TV Modems that were listening in could automatically get information downloaded from the TV to the Computer.

Related Reading


  2. Modified from the original webpage text on En's Cybercast System website.