Is there a sound which will create a stable image on a normal television? I ask this because I want to fool a television into playing audio. The problem is that it will not play audio at all without a steady video signal.

The only relevant link I could find is this:


What I am hoping for is an audio clip that will render as an image, any image at all that I can play in a loop. Hopefully without distorting the sound too much as

  • Interesting question. I hope an answer is forthcoming :)
    – JoshP
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:59
  • Would a video showing only black frames with the audio playing in the background (as if being a soundtrack) fullfil your needs? Could you maybe list your system set-up? What ports do your tv and computer have? Nov 13, 2012 at 23:00
  • What kind of video input ports do you have on the back of your TV? Nov 14, 2012 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


The simple answer is no - there are some misunderstandings that I need to clear up for you:

The audio and video frequencies you have coupled in an old fashioned TV signal are so far apart that there is no overlap. (Audio 20Hz to 20kHz, and video is up around 4MHz) When the signal goes to the TV, the audio frequencies are decoupled, then the horizontal and vertical sync, colour burst and intensities are taken out through an entirely different circuit.

For more modern TV's, the audio and video signals are actually carried on different wires, so there is no chance of using one for another. And for the most modern setups, audio and video are digitised, along with meta information - again, this will make it impossible to misuse the audio as a video signal.

Generally, if your TV requires a video signal, what it is really looking for is a Sync signal - so you will need something to generate this, whether you use an old laptop plugged into it, or a signal generator or something else.

  • In essence I was trying to emulate the sync signal. Since, as you say, the frequency of the signal is so far out of the reach it would seem close to impossible to do this.
    – Phillip Whelan
    Dec 4, 2012 at 0:59

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