[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/SluggyFreelance http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Snowy_Screen.jpg]]]]

How do you know that a perimeter has been breached or that the soldiers you've sent in the alien hive have met a messy end? The screens that were giving you a visual feed have gone full of static, meaning that the cameras have been disabled or shredded, like their wearers.

This effect was the precursor to the infamous Blue Screen Of Death, and was itself an outgrowth of the dead telephone line and the radio receiving only the static of a carrier wave with no signal.

See also CameraAbuse. Related to InsecurityCamera, in which malfunctioning cameras are ignored.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'': The TV coverage of the military's takeover of Neo-Tokyo.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'', when [[DisappearedDad Clyde's]] CoolStarship, the Hestia, is slowly being taken over by the [[ArtifactOfDoom Book of Darkness]], half the screens in the HolographicTerminal of TheBridge showing the damaged areas of the ship are shown to be in static. Clive's transmission to Gil Graham also gets cut off in static as he salutes his friend.
* ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'': When the black blob submerges the TV studio in the last episode.
* ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion End of Evangelion]]'': When JSSDF is taking over the NERV HQ, they blow up all the outpost stations around it with artillery. This results in turning every CCTV screen at the TheBridge into static.
* Averted in {{Dragonball}} The camera of the news crew remains intact, showing us that they vanished without a trace and left their clothes behind, one of the first clues heralding the arrival of the arc's villain.
* ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'': Kusanagi gets the Snowy Screen of Death when the hotel staff whose vision she had hacked into gets killed by a stray bullet.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''TheRing''. Even the Dreamworks logo before the film starts suffers from it.
* ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'': when General Ross's soldiers try to take on the Abomination.
* Auditory example in ''Star Wars: Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' -- "Imperial troops have entered the base, Imperial troops have entered--" *kshhzzt*
** Also from ''The Empire Strikes Back'', a three-dimensional example: the bridge of one of the Star Destroyers is taken out by an asteroid strike while Darth Vader (aboard the flagship) is hosting a video conference. The miniature hologram of the stricken ship's captain flickers and fades out.
* And used earlier in ''Fail Safe''. The President is on the phone, having ordered a nuclear strike on New York in order to prevent the Russians from launching their own nuclear attack following an accidental bombing of Moscow. The audience hears the squeal caused by the phone on the other end of the line melting.
* "A communications disruption could mean only one thing: invasion." Governor Sio Bibble in ''StarWarsThePhantomMenace''.
* When ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' finally goes off-air, the channel shows static. It might have made more sense to show the channel logo or commercials, but the static tells us "it's over" better.
* Happens repeatedly in one scene in ''Film/AlienResurrection'', as the Space Marines get picked off one by one.
* ''TheChinaSyndrome'' ends with one of these, right before it goes to SilentCredits.
* Happens in the movie version of ''Film/{{Watchmen}}''.
* ''{{Poltergeist}}'': The little girl communicating with a SnowyScreenOfDeath lets us know that All Is Not Well. "They're ''heee-ere''..."
* Weird variation in ''Film/PitchBlack'', where the monsters are blind and navigate by echolocation. When the ''movie'' screen shifts from conventional footage to static in which ghostly figures can be seen, we're [[ImpendingDoomPOV "seeing" via the creatures' sonar]]. Still paired with death, as they're invariably stalking some poor loser when this happens.
* ''TheExpendables'': When Barney shoots the camera in the customs office.
* ''Film/{{Lockout}}'': When the negotiator sent to the SM-1 orbital prison gets shot in the head, the camera concealed in his glasses abruptly stops transmitting, and the screen at the other end goes full of static.
* ''The Hidden'': The opening scene is a bank robbery as seen from a security camera. The last thing the robber does before leaving the building is shoot his shotgun at the camera, resulting in the Snowy Screen of Death.
* ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'': Happens twice; first when the President of the Federation sends out his message to stay away from Earth, which is so garbled from the Probe's transmissions that is can barely be seen in the first place fades to static at the end. Later, Kirk contacts Starfleet to explain his plan, but the transmission is lost, causing Admiral Cartwright to yell, "Get him back, get him back!"
* Happens in ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'' with a message from [[EarthShatteringKaboom what's left of the Klingon moon Praxis]], followed by a message from Brigadier Kerla that [[BlatantLies everything is under control]].
* ''Film/IronMan'' has this occur a few times. First when the door to Tony and Yinsen's workshop in the 10 Rings' base is rigged with a bomb. Just as somebody opens it looking for the two, the bomb detonates and takes out one of their remote cameras. We then see the screen for that camera show static, and the boss dispatches more men. Another instance plays this with Obidiah's suit: after Tony rips out a critical piece, static accompanies the HUD shutting down.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* One of the [[XWingSeries X-Wing novels]] had a scene where a security expert was tracking a target by which cams he shot out. Also, X-Wings and other fighters in various media have a tendency to get interrupted in mid-transition by something (up to and including the fighter) blowing up.
** Tycho Celchu was at the Imperial academy calling his family on Alderaan for his birthday when the transmission suddenly dissolved into static then went out completely. He later found out it was because the [[EarthShatteringKaboom planet had been completely destroyed]], which marked the end of his Imperial service.
* The title of the novel ''SnowCrash'' refers to this phenomenon. [[spoiler: The plot revolves around a BrownNote hidden in some static.]]
* In Robert Sawyer's novel ''[=FlashForward=]'' (the basis for the [[FlashForward2009 unsuccessful TV series]]), all video recording devices show only static for the entire two minutes and 37 seconds of the first blackout, when all of humanity is unconscious. Sawyer has said this is meant to be confirmation of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29 observer effect]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* In ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Stolen Earth", when Harriet Jones is [[HeroicSacrifice killed by the Daleks]] her feed turns to static. Justified in that there was a psychic link driving the video-conference.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Season two finale, ''The Fall Of Night'': A minor character had spent the entire season trying to find the ship that caused the death of his commander. The last shot of the season is the gun camera footage, indicating that [[CuriosityKilledTheCast he found it.]]
** In the third season, ISN starts reporting on things the government doesn't want out, including the shock troops storming the studio. The sound of gunfire is heard, and several explosions, then the transmission is cut, while on the station, the crowd that had been watching it looks at each other uncertainly.
** Also in season three, the station starts picking up transmissions they determine to be coming ''from'' the station—a number of day into the future. Some investigation confirms this to be a potential future (brought through an unstable time vortex) unless they travel through time to fill in some gaps in history. The message repeats over and over and always ends with static, implying the command center just got blown to bits.
* In the 2010 BBC adaptation of ''Literature/TheDayOfTheTriffids'', the flash of light that blinds most of mankind also causes a loss of TV signal, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ_W9b9E0DA TV technicians watch with rising alarm as all the screens go full of static]].
* In ''Series/FallingSkies'' a digital form of snow is shown during the title screen. An artist's rendition of a digital video stream getting weaker, (and being picked up with more errors) and then finally cutting out. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za7jajL-fGw]]
* An early episode of ''{{Farscape}}'' shows D'Argo in the midst of a [[UnstoppableRage Hyper Rage]] and is looking for something—anything—to destroy. He fixates on a repair drone, then we see D'Argo from the drone's perspective as he punches out its lights. Cue static.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime''
** Some enemies cause your visor to do this when they are close.
** In ''Echoes'', you see this happening on the visual log at the ''G.F.S. Tyr''.
** If your visor is drowned in static and then blips out, then congratulations, [[GameOver you've just killed Samus]].
* In the intro of ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 4'', Kazuya is beating up a bunch of Mishima Commandos with camera attachments, while his father, Heihachi, watches incredolously from a chopper viewscreen (and with good reason, considering that he last saw his son when he threw him into a friggin' volcano, minutes before eruption). After using the camera on the last goon to declare his intention to 'Take it all back', Kazuya smashes his fist through the camera (and presumably the guy's head), causing the screen in Heihachi's helicopter to turn to static.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', the perspectives of characters who get "erased" are shown as a gray static-filled screen.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'''s Omega DLC, this happens on Petrovsky's screen when either Aria or Shepard shoots the camera that had been recording their discussion of where Aria's secret bunker is.
* Perhaps the climax of ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'''s {{final boss}} counts. There's no in-story feed, but the whole thing is such a [[BreakingTheFourthWall fourth-wall-breaking]] {{mindscrew}} that the static, snow, and final cutout has a similar effect. Also, the static is blood red.
* When your territory is being invaded in ''VideoGame/{{Saints Row|1}}'', a Saint will call you and ask for your help. More often than not, they'll be shot while talking to you and somehow hang up.
* An audio version happens in ''VideoGame/SilentHill'' as a form of monster radar: the sound of static on your radio means there's something nearby. Enjoy the ParanoiaFuel! Also happens visually to some extent in later games.
* The briefing of the last GDI mission in the first ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'': A GDI spy with a camera has infiltrated the temple of Nod, is seen, his camera goes out in the ensuing attack.
* ''TabletopGame/SpaceHulk'' showed the Marine you currently controlled in a large central window, with the other members of the team in small windows above. If/when one of them dies, their screen shows static.
* In the ending to ''VideoGame/CrisisCore: Final Fantasy VII'', [[spoiler:Zack's DMW, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation a battle mechanic that works off of Zack's memories of his friends]], begins replacing scenes of his friends with snowy static, until the battle is over, and an image Aerith, followed by the entire screen, disappears into static...]]
* When Snake is killed in ''MetalGearSolid4'' the game's video fades to static.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'', this happens to the protagonist's demonica suit if he is killed in battle.
* Whenever the player dies or transitions between levels in ''VideoGame/MondoAgency'', the screen shows a heavily pixellated static.
* ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'' and its sequel. The cameras are in on the scares. Sometimes they will only work until the proganist checks out the feed and sees something scary. Then static.
* In ''VideoGame/DistortedTravesty'', whenever you run low on health this effect occurs, along with the music and sound effects becoming slower/lower pitched. It's surprisingly unintrusive, especially compared with other games CriticalAnnoyance.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'', the game's BigBad, [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]], appears as a man with impossibly thin arms and legs, in a suit. The strange thing about him, however, is that his face is entirely white and nondescript. Looking at its face will cause the screen to start to fill up with static until you cannot see anything. After your screen fills with static, you will catch a few glimpses of a closeup of Slender Man, and you will experience a bowel-cleansingly horrifying GameOver. This is actually a carryover from the WebOriginal videos in TheSlenderManMythos. An [[OminousVisualGlitch important sign]] that Slendy is somewhere nearby is that video equipment (and Slendy stories tend to be shown with a video camera as a FramingDevice) starts malfunctioning in a snowy kind of way.
* Feral Chaos' [[LimitBreak EX Burst]] in {{Dissidia}} Duodecim ends this way.
* Used to show short skips in time in MichiganReportFromHell.
* Occurs with [[InterfaceScrew the player's HUD]] in ''GhostRecon: Advanced Warfighter'' [[BorderPatrol if you wander out of bounds]]. If you continue, [[NonStandardGameOver you fail the mission]].
* Die in ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101'', and this happens, with the screen and Gamepad switching off like a TV set.
* Happens a few times in ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject'' ''Pegasus Prime'' and ''Legacy of Time''. Examples including when Dr. Sinclair taps the lens of his video log camera, and when Genghis Kahn punches you in the face, as you're actually watching the feed from a camera on a screen inside the Jumpsuit.
* Used a great deal in ''VideoGame/SystemShock''. Static blips flicker whenever you take damage - red from attacks, green from poisoning, and blue while in cyberspace. If any of these get too concentrated, you either die, get kicked out of cyberspace, or respawn (if you've first activated the machine for the level you're on). The manual states that the static is a by-product of the cyberspace implant you have surgically grafted into your head.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* This ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=090401 strip]].
* Used in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''.
* This ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-01-21 strip]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', this happens to the Devil himself in [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2011-10-01 this strip]].
* ''{{xkcd}}'': [[http://xkcd.com/1229/ Signal Lost]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The first appearance of Shego in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' (episode broadcast order notwithstanding) is on a security camera which she destroys, then there's a moment of static.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated,'' during a RobotWar (no, not the usual robot war... Soundwave tried to start an automaton revolt.) a newscaster's camera bot goes out of control. We see the reporter running, from closer and closer. The reporter turns back in horror, and... static.
** Incidentally, anytime afterwards that a reporter is needed, they use the reporter-bot.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Power Tower", the gang watches a video of a bodybuilder attempting a DangerousForbiddenTechnique. He slips up and suddenly explodes; the screen goes briefly to static, then a test pattern.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The switch from analog to digital [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTUDSG8L5Jw#t=38 looked]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvGkE6azzWQ#t=1m04s like]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us3_aCFOV08&feature=related this]]. Doubles as an EndOfAnAge of sorts.
* Actually very unlikely with real security cameras - if a CCTV camera is disabled the screens will turn black, or show a 'no signal' message. The only time static would appear would be in the event of a wireless camera being disabled, in which case the Snowy Screen of Death is a likely outcome.
* Not a camera screen, but radar screens tend to do something very similar when sufficiently powerful jammers/ECM start coming online. Similar to the trope, unless the jammer is somehow knocked out, the radar emplacement is going to die very soon as a result of a bomb/anti-radiation missile down the feedhorn.
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