->''Archer switched the screen back to normal view so Mayweather could see where the hell they were going.''
-->-- '''Farce Contact''', a ''StarTrekEnterprise'' parody

Whenever a character talks to another over a video link, often a VideoPhone, each is able to see the other party on his monitor but no camera of any sort is shown. Both parties will look directly at the screen showing their conversation partner on the other end, but neither party will appear to be breaking eye contact with their partner by doing so. This suggests that the actual screen one is looking at (or something directly behind it) is also recording one's own end of a conversation, which is viewable on their partner's monitor.

A variation also exists where one of the parties may see the other party actually holding the device he is using to chat. This would require a camera crew following the characters around to set up cameras for their conversations, but of course [[MagicalSecurityCam no such crew exists and the camera is never seen]].

Closely related to ComputerEqualsMonitor. SubTrope of HollywoodWebcam. With both tropes, ShootTheTelevision might solve many problems.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* ''{{Bakugan}}'': Dan and his friends chat over the Internet and no webcam is ever seen.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''{{Spider-Man}}'' comics, the earliest versions of the Spider-Slayer robots worked this way. The robots, piloted remotely by J. Jonah Jameson, would seem to have no technological ''need'' to project JJJ's face onto a TV screen mounted on the robot's "head," but that's exactly what they do.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* The Telescreens in ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'' are this.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''1408'' averts the trope; the cam is visible when the main character starts a video chat.
* ''AustinPowers'': Dr. Evil tends to do this a lot. He has typical villain ultimatums with various world leaders through closed circuit televisions, yet there are no cameras that would allow him to see anything.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* ''MysteryScienceTheatre3000'': The Hexfield Viewscreen
* ''{{Lexx}}'': 790's eyes and mouth are screens, cameras, and speakers.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s viewscreens, in all the show's incarnations, seem to work this way.
** On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Ronald D. Moore hatched a plan to replace the tired old viewscreens with a "holocommunicator". This was eventually deemed a failure, as it was glaringly obvious that the 'effect' was two actors in a room. ''Trek'' holograms have always been cleaner than ''Star Wars'' holograms, so flickering or static wouldn't be keeping in canon. They even tried surrounding the holographic actor in blue light (so as to appear to be transmitting from a different room), but the actor confusingly looks like a ghost(!).
* This was strangely played both straight and averted nearly every time video communication was used on ''Series/{{Firefly}}''. Every other ship besides ''Serenity'' seems to have a dual camera/screen, but the heroes have to stare into a little camera lens when they speak. The effects department apparently thought the trope was being played straight because they had to be told, repeatedly, not to add a button beep/touch tone when Mal brushed dust off the camera lens with his thumb during one scene.
* Taken to somewhat silly extremes in BigBangTheory, where everyone uses Skype. People on screen will turn their heads to look at the person they are addressing, which means on their end they would be looking at the wall.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Many of the screens in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' universe seem capable of this, particularly the Combine screens of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'': Wheatley appears to be able to see through several of the video screens dotting various parts of the facility. In fact, there are a couple of parts where he reacts in pain to any of them being damaged. He later becomes jumpy whenever a flying cube almost hits them.
* The members of the Think Tank in the ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' DLC ''Old World Blues'' each have three mounted screens displaying their eyes and mouth separately, and are capable of seeing through their "eye screens".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' videochats with Sam and Tucker with no visible webcam.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' named "Information Stupor Highway", Crocker uses a spyware program to see what's happening in Timmy Turner's room. How does the program do it? By filming the room ''through the monitor'' of Timmy's computer.
* The Comm Links in ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty''.
* The variation often occurs on ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}''. Krang in the Technodrome is talking to Shredder, who has a small handheld Comm Link. Krang has a huge wall-sized screen in front of him, yet his face fills the entire screen on Shredder's Comm Links. Meanwhile, on Krang's screen, Shredder is shown '''holding the communicator in his hand!'''
* The variation also occurs in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', who is sometimes shown to use the [[CommLinks Kimmunicator]] to call Ron on a regular cell phone. However, the Kimmunicator will show Ron holding the phone up to his ear.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSaveUms'': The Adventure Screen.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* SSTV (Slow Scanning Television) was a method of image translation used in amateur radio practice before cheap cameras were available. It required only one light sensor instead of a proper camera and used a TV screen [CRT] for scanning. It was a more or less a shadow puppet theater for a [[GeneralGamingGamepads light-gun controller]].
* Many modern laptops (and some desktop monitors) have a built-in webcam and microphone just above the screen. The distance between screen and webcam is quite small, so it isn't always obvious that neither party in a video chat is actually looking at the camera.
* In 2006, Apple [[http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220060007222%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20060007222&RS=DN/20060007222 patented]] a way to achieve this by embedding microscopic cameras between the display's pixels. However, this design has never been implemented in hardware so far.
* The trope might be influenced by the real life fact that early TV cameras used CRTs (in the same way that a microphone and a loudspeaker are essentially the same thing used differently), something that the audience at large probably didn't know, but people in the industry probably would.
* Teleprompters display a script on a glass pane in front of a camera lens, so a person can read the script while looking directly into the camera.
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