In my last entry truecritic had a link to a You Tube video showing that a converter box didn't have a camera and mic. (Thanks for the link). Here is a link to that short video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUi3sA1gdfI . It's worth watching just for the humor factor. But the video was horrendous with poor lighting, no mention of brand name and other problems. The comments were hilarious. From that video, it has not been disproven that Magnavox boxes contain them. We can't say the myth is busted just yet. I'm a little surprised that truecritic was convinced from this particular video.
Chances are very good that the video I originally linked to was a fake and the guy glued these components on...that wouldn't surprise me on You Tube. My son's buddy's dad has two boxes. I don't know the brands yet, but he's going to take them apart and see if they have them. He's an electronics tech for Fermilab so he will know what to look for and how it's configured if there is one. I'm hoping they are Magnovox because that's the brand in the original video and as you'll see below, Magnavox has a questionable background.
I did a little checking on Magnavox. Their full name is Magnavox Government and Industrial Electronics Company.
Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Magnavox:
The defense group, centered around Fort Wayne, IN, remained independent under the Magnavox Electronic Systems name, first under Philips and later in the Carlyle Group, until it was acquired by Hughes Electronics in 1995.The three areas of business of the MESC operation during the late 80sand early 90s were C-Cubed (Command, Control, and Communication),Electronic Warfare, and Sonobuoys. When Hughes Electronics sold itsaerospace and defense operations to Raytheon, the former Magnavox defense operations were transferred as well. Shortly thereafter, Raytheon spun off the sonobuoy operation to form Under Sea Systems Inc, now Ultra-USSI in Columbia City, IN. The remainder of the operations now falls under Raytheon's Network Centric Systems in Fort Wayne, IN.
Among the defense products Magnavox manufactured the AN/ARC-164 UHF radio,AN/SSQ-53 series sonobuoys, AN/ALQ-128 EW equipment, AN/SSQ-62 seriessonobuoys, and the Advanced Field Artillery Data System (AFATDS).
I didn't post the whole entry but at no point in the entry was the parent company referred to (Magnavox Government and Industrial Electronics Company). I found that kind of weird as the entry goes into detail of the company's history and evolution. But wikipedia is full of misinformation/disinformation. What did jump out at me was the Carlyle Group and Ratheon. Anyone familiar with the Carlyle Group probably knows why my suspicions are now piqued. Ratheon is a major (if not the biggest?) defense contractor in the US.
Why is a government defense contractor making TV converter boxes that millions of households have to get in order to watch TV? As far as I'm concerned the jury is still out whether the boxes have mics and cameras. Now that I know a little history behind the company, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the claim is true.
One of the commenters at the debunker's You Tube video had an interesting link you might want to check out regarding this analog to digital conversion and cameras, mics in TV's.
Remember there is no such thing as a conspiracy theory. It is just a theory that has been labeled as a conspiracy by someone who wants to debunk a theory with an adjective rather than factual proof or logic. If detectives operated on that premise, no crimes would get solved.