For many years pixels have been used exclusively by news crews and fly on the wall documentaries to obscure innocent bystander's faces or people who need to remain anonymous.
Since Google Street View has been required to obscure the face of every person who isn't waving at the camera and holding up a sign saying "I don't mind being on" there is a world-wide shortage of pixels.
"It got so bad during the last series filming of Cops With Cameras 3: The Porn Tapes," said TV Producer Jan Warey, "that half of the people that weren't arrested needed to wear cling film over their heads because we had no quota of pixels left."
Pixar, the only company in the west that still makes pixels has been overworked for the past few years merely supplying Google forcing TV crews to search out Chinese suppliers.
"Chinese pixels are okay," said Warey. "They do the job, but there's only the one grade. Pixar were doing three grades of pixel depending on how pixelated you wanted the face."
Crucially, the Chinese have put a squeeze on pixel exports so that they can pixelate their own web sites and television programmes.
"This is causing a world wide shortage," said Warey.
The Chinese have given no indication of when, if at all, they will resume exports of pixels, and Google show no signs in slowing their voracious appetite for all the pixels Pixar can produce, leaving the television industry to improvise.
"We're seeing if the car industry can spare some bubble wrap," said Warey. "This way we can glue it onto the camera where needed, the alternative is licking the lens every few minutes."