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Senior Staff Writer

The congestion at DEF CON 25 is rough, don’t forget about DEF CON TV

Jul 28, 20173 mins

It's possible to watch talks form the comfort of your own room depending on where you're staying

The images below tell the story. At times, the hallways at DEF CON can be flooded with people, and the lines for talks can stretch out for what feels like miles. If you were hoping to catch a talk and didn’t arrive seriously early, you might be out of luck.

In fact, earlier this afternoon, the escalators in the conference area failed because of the massive volume of people. It was an honest to goodness escalator traffic jam, there’s just no other way to put it.



In order to address issues like this, DEF CON has once again introduced DCTV (DEF CON TV). DCTV is only available thanks to the volunteers – called Goons – who help run the DEF CON NOC (Network Operations Center).

Salted Hash went to the DEF CON NOC to talk with _videoman_ about DCTV, and what it takes to power a miniature TV network. The process started years ago when DEF CON was at Alexis Park. When the show moved to the RIO years later, DCTV was essential to helping with the overflow problems.

However, DCTV is a separate build-out form the NOC itself. So the streaming / transcoding servers are built after the network itself is up and running. The process can take days to get going, and usually depends on long days, sleepless nights, and technical knowledge to find answers when you don’t fully control the environment.

(Side Note: This DEF CON can only do so much on the Caesar’s network, as they don’t control the infrastructure.)

This year, DCTV has had some hiccups and oddities. Mostly related to hardware, but Paris experienced issues that couldn’t have been predicted, as a closet holding the gear was flooded with water. However, when streams aren’t working, they’re usually aware of the issue within minutes.

For those if you unable to see the channels on the Caesar’s TVs, call the front desk and request an update, as some of the rooms are not running the latest updates. That could clear-up many of the issues. Otherwise, watch the main DCTV website, and the Twitter feed @DEFCON_TV.

The details below should help you catch the talks you’re looking for if the lines become too much.

Again, head to for updated information. You can also live stream some channels from this page.


  • DC101 (Channel 82)
  • Track 2 (Channel 83)
  • Track 3 (Channel 84)
  • Track 4 (Channel 85)
  • SOMA FM (Channel 86)

Paris and Bally’s

  • DC101 (Channel 81)
  • Track 2 (Channel 82)
  • Track 3 (Channel 83)
  • Track 4 (Channel 84)