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Unless of course the mermaids can use "super" low frequency like our subs, but wouldn't the quality become poor. How can the mermaids enjoy 4K quality digital TV programmes much like us without laying cables all over the sea floor? They share similar technology with us in the 21st century CE.

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    $\begingroup$ I've been watching this series of questions. Is there any reason we should presume mermaid culture is exactly like human culture in every way shape and form, just under water? I'd think mermaid culture would develop to take advantage of the perks and avoid the drawbacks of underwater life, rather than simply muscling through it as though they were above water. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Dec 2 '15 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon - PRECISELY! How would mermaid kind gather the scientific and technological knowledge that we posses, when no analogous circumstances for their discovery can be found underwater? $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 2 '15 at 4:17
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    $\begingroup$ Please don't say using octopus camouflaging ability that's pushing it and it is definitely animal abuse I think... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Dec 2 '15 at 9:25
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Why would you worry about transmitting an electromagnetic signal. I don't even use that anymore myself. All our tv comes into our home through fiber-optic cable and in the end through shielded wires. Some of the wiring for TV transmission (and all other kinds of telecommunications) in fact runs under the ocean. Makes no matter whether the sea water is conducive or not. And you say about not laying cable all over the ocean floor. But, laying cable all over the landscape has not stopped man, why would it stop mer-people?

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They can ultraviolet light broadcast TV.

Ultra low frequency radio and ultrasound both have bandwidth too small to stream 4k video signals. As you pointed out, higher frequency RF works poorly due to a high attenuation coefficient. They can use light, specifically ultraviolet light to increase the distance. Still, the range is terrible, they'll need repeaters about every 10 meters (or less).

They'd be better off using buried cables or they can use floating RF antennas with wired connections straight down to the TV (rather than "laying cables all over the sea floor").

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel compelled to point out that mermaids would never invent this tech, as they wouldn't even be able to craft a metal tipped spear, let alone a TV $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 2 '15 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM Well, this answer assumes the same premise as the question, where mermaids have 4k televisions. You may as well point out mermaids don't exist. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Dec 2 '15 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ #Samuel - not at all. Mermaids may be sentient and sapient beings which evolve on a world much like our own. Hell, in some parallel universe maybe homo sapiens died out, but their mermaid cousins lived on on the ocean floor. But their existence does not imply that they would reach our technological prowess. They might exist, but be dumb as rocks. Or they may be quite creative and clever, but simply not exist within an environment which allows them to advance past a certain stage of scientific knowledge - living underwater is one such massive obstacle. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 2 '15 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM Or, perhaps in a more positive light, they have 4k screens, but only have them because they are so mindbogglingly awesome that they have achieved this level of scientific knowledge as a side effect of persuing more aquatic interests. Think of the hippie aliens from SG-1 that live a carefree life on the forrest floor... except they have some of the most amazing technology in the galaxy! $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Dec 2 '15 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ The Nox! That was their name. Couldn't remember $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Dec 2 '15 at 4:28
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There are heat dissipating hydrophobic silicon gels which can keep the water and salt away from your electric components. Some of the new cell phones can survive submersion, so why not a 4k TV. As for getting the signal to the television, I think you are stuck with cable if you want a quality signal.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean hydrophobic? Or are the gels afraid of the water? $\endgroup$ – Samuel Dec 2 '15 at 6:16
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It is not necessary to lay cables across the sea floor at all, it is only necessary to hang a cable from an antenna buoy on the surface and run it down to the underwater 4K TV. That way, atmospheric rules for radio propagation can be taken advantage of while still having a bandwidth that would be impractical underwater even with heavy multiplexing.

Alternatively, merpeople could use laser communication between antenna buoys and their seafloor buildings, taking advantage of water's blue-green transmissive frequency band, and achieve a high bandwidth that way without cables. However, we could expect frequent interruptions by floating debris unless lasers were multiplexed and separated.

Finally, if merpeople's structures were floating and anchored rather than on the sea floor (which might make sense for a mammalian, air-breathing species), then a rooftop antenna and a cable would be all that is needed.

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