Another Way To Get Around TiVo Users Fast Forwarding: Really Interrupt Your Shows With Ads

from the ugh dept

Reader DEF writes in to point us to an interesting catch from Jason Kottke. At least some broadcasters seem to have taken things to the next level in trying to get people to watch ads without fast forwarding through them with a DVR: they literally have an overlay ad "pause" the TV show. You pretty much have to watch it to understand it, so here it is:
These overlay ads have become quite common, but having one (even jokingly) pause the action in the show that you're watching certainly seems like overkill, which is going to annoy a lot more viewers than it convinces to watch the show being advertised.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    BTR1701, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    DVR

    I'm not sure how that defeats DVR users. You can still fast-forward over the paused part of the show.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    They really haven't got a clue, have they? Eventually, people will just get tired of the restrictions on their legal content and download the shows instead. It would pay to get this through their thick skulls: people who fast forward / skip ads are not interested in them and will not buy the products advertised as a result. The advert as shown here would certainly put me off recording that channel's content again.

     

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    Iron Chef, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    You got to be kidding

    What? Wow... And they wonder why there's across-the-board, double-digit ratings declines? People aren't watching TV anymore because the platform is just plain obtrusive!

    The moment the powers-that-be start realizing that content can be monitized like DVDs without the need for advertizing revenue, people will come back. People don't have 2 or 3 hours extra per day to dedicate and plan around the tube's schedule.

     

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    Otakusensei, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Aweful

    I noticed this on one of the few occasions I watch TV. To think, I was pissed the first time I saw an add for Master and Commander take up 25% of the screen and play sound. This is getting out of hand, and the worst part is I pay extra to get this type of content.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    I was watching when this pause happened and it pissed me off. I switched off the TV and started reading a book instead. This intrusive overlay approach to advertising will simply drive people to other forms of entertainment.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    at least they pause

    A lot of channels have taken to having an ad use the bottom 25-40% of the screen with sound and without pausing the show. Really fun when you're watching a show with subtitles (like Heroes) or when the sound is so high that it drowned out the audio of the show. I actually turned off an episode of Heroes and downloaded it from the UK so I could watch it.

    I have recorded episodes of Stargate Atlantis with advertisements for Ghost taking up about 30% of the screen. I have episodes of Code Monkeys with "Midnight Spank" at the bottom and a G4 bar with stupid YouTube videos at the top and an RSS feed.

    I've taken to downloading shows from Europe because they don't have the adds yet.

     

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    KJ, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    Like putting out a grease fire with water... just makes things worse

    The industry keeps complaining about dwindling ad revenues but this isn't the solution. It makes people watch less of your programming. Don't they realize this type of advertising during a show people actually like will make them hate whatever show you are trying to promote. Just plain stupid. Like others have said, get your TV from other countries (Europe and Cananda).

     

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    Sumbuddy Stoopid, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Holy Jeebus!!!

    I have'nt seen the content above, work is blocking it, they try to keep me productive around here, good luck...

    Anywho, I have a DVR and must say at first I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. But the ads at the bottom half of the screen have gotten ridiclous, sounds an everything, they need to go... I don't buy none of their crap anyway!

     

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    Anonymous of Course, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    Maybe fix the advertising instead?

    If they would make the advertising more intersting
    people wouldn't skip them as much.

    Annoying ads people remember, but that doesn't work
    well when they can avoid them. Saturation advertsing
    is annoying too.

    The ads could often be more entertaining that the
    content, it's not much of a challenge. Bring back
    premiums and give aways, if you watch the ads you
    might win a prize or receive a discount. There are
    plenty of hooks available if some creativity is
    employed.

    The advertiser no longer have a captive audience.
    They have to adjust their strategy. Trying to
    hang onto the captive audience is a lost cause.
    The audience has tasted freedom and consider
    their time to be increasingly valuable.

    Just as some of the old business models need to go,
    so too do some of the old advertising models.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    Since when did they think it was okay to marry TV shows to "Popup Video"? Someone get a lawyer on that. Surely there's some infringement happening here.

     

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    NPGMBR, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Luckily Have Not Seen This Yet

    I have not seen this on my TiVo but if I got one that big I'd get pretty upset. What think broadcasters are trying to do is intentionally annoy DVR users to the point that users drop the DVR and move to watching shows back at the tv or on the net because they need eyeballs to see those commercials so they can continue to justify the rates they charge advertisers for air space and time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    This is the cancer that's killing TV.

     

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    Overcast, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:33am

    I'm so glad there are so many more things to do now than watch TV. :)

     

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    J, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:35am

    TBS is a terrible station

    TBS is not a fun station to watch. While this example is pretty egregious, it's not significantly worse from their almost constant lower-fifth adverts which are distracting in the extreme, combined with longer than average (or so it feels) commercial breaks. Fortunately, there is almost nothing worth watching on TBS that you can't get elsewhere.

     

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    www.custompcmax.com, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:38am

    Why do they think people will treat these any different than regular commercials... you can still fast forward.

    http://www.custompcmax.com

     

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    bshock, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:45am

    it may sound harsh...

    But if you're still watching network tv, you deserve whatever hell you receive.

    Read a book.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Ads Encroaching onto Regular programing

    It seems that the TV companies are putting ever more "advertising" content on the "edges" of the regular program. So advertising is now obscuring the program you are watching and is no longer simply confined to the "commercial break".

     

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    Johnny Wrath, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:01am

    How soon before...?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Mystro, the new DVR O.S. for Time Warner Cable, removed the high speed fast forward and they also removed the 5 minute jump forward option. I assume, so you can't skip adverts as good.

     

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  20.  
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    suckerpunch-tm, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:17am

    Commercial TV

    I have come up with a simple solution for avoiding TV adverts: Not watch commercial TV.

    I literally no longer make a point of watching a single TV program. Not that I don't watch TV, but as soon as the commercials start, I am off to the next channel. (Yes, I realize that may be obnoxious for those watching with me, but since I am single, not too many worries).

    Or better yet, I will watch a movie on DVD or On Demand.

    Commercials are killing TV, and rather than trying to remedy that, networks just make them MORE intrusive & prevalent!
    Talk about short term thinking.

     

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    Paul, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    All I know is, the first time I saw one of those, the first thought that came up was that I was NEVER going to watch that show. Interruption ads FTL!

     

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    Johnny Wrath, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    How soon before...?

    How soon will it be before we have a situation like Phorm's "behavioral advertising firm" tracking our viewing pattern? I've been getting overlay ads for a while, and I can just imagine the bloodletting that will happen in this "new frontier" of completely ruining content for the viewer.

    I'm also tired of frame-pop-ups that prompt me to thumbs-up if I want to learn more about... well, its almost always penis drugs. Large ads appear in the TiVo menu as well, so it is only feasible that somehow the ad firms will find new and sickening ways to force me to watch their ads. I expect that there will be 10-15 seconds ads that freeze the show you've fast-forwarded back to, as you hit "play", before TiVo continues. There will be no escape.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:25am

    This is another reason why I don't own a Tv.

     

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    Old Guy, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Intrusive adverts

    Hip Hip Hooray! Go advertising!! We need to have more!, and I think ads on streaming content should be next.



    P.S. I use the hell out of my library card. Books = No Ads!!

     

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  25.  
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    Jess, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    However....

    The only thing that we are forgetting is that ads pay for a lot of things, could this potentially jack up the cost of television. Its already unrealistic. Even though I think I make a valid point, I still think this sucks. Ads to me are just time wasters. Half the time, I never remember what they are for, the other half I hate because I remember them.

     

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    tim stevens, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:36am

    same reason I don't rent dvds anymore

    I stopped renting dvds because of the maddeningly stupid fbi warnings against copywright infringement, drug warnings, adult warnings and all that nonsense. the fact I could not fast forward through that annoyance was the last straw.

    now I go to the dvd rental shops only to see what I need to torrent on the weekend.

     

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  27.  
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    Robert, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Overkill

    Overlaying commercials is overkill. I think it is the most intrusive form of commercial on television. I don't even like it when they use the technique to advertise other shows.

    If commercials were more interesting, they would be watched more. I like watching interesting one.

    Robert
    http://www.thebestdwidefense.com

     

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  28.  
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    NIck, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Sigh

    I happened to see this on TBS the other day. This was after repeated Tyler Perry animated ad's in the bottom third. They also overlayed the end credits over the closing scene of the show. TBS seems to be the worst for force feeding advertising, but all TV seems to be getting worse. I find myself watching less and less TV, the ad's have gone from annoying to actually taking away the entertainment value from the show I'm watching; meaning that the handful of shows that I do want to watch become shows I don't want to watch b/c of the pervasive advertising. If it wasn't for sports, paying for cable would no longer be worth it.

     

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  29.  
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    shmengie, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    maybe i didn't understand exactly what was going on. it looks like if i want to fast forward through commercials, i'll get this pop up. is that correct? it doesn't stop me from fast-forwarding, does it? if it doesn't, who gives a rat's ass, really? my mind will just filter it out, like it does with 99% of the other ads i'm subjected to every day.

    and, what about 30-second skip?

     

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    Benjie, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    "This is another reason why I don't own a Tv."

    How do you play your Wii?! TVs are still good for DvDs/etc.

     

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    Jake, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:09am

    Re: However....

    So what if it does? Pay-per-view with no ads probably offers better value for money anyway, and I hope it becomes widely adopted.

     

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    Nasch, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    Re: Commercial TV

    That isn't not watching commercial TV, that's not watching commercials on TV. To not watch commercial TV, you would have to watch PBS and nothing else. Or maybe local public access. I'm not aware of any other TV that is non-commercial.

    If you're actually interested in watching TV, I recommend a DVR. You can watch the shows you want to watch from start to finish without watching the commercials. Or if you're not that interested in TV, I recommend not watching it at all. :-)

     

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    Bob, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:15am

    I even cancelled cable. It's like I was paying for the advertisements. Bah!!

     

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    bubba, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:34am

    so read

    books dont have ads...yet...

     

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    stephen, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:43am

    note what the commercial was

    the commercial was a promo for another show, not a paid product advertisement. would an actual advertiser pay for such an intrusion?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    All they do is piss off us consumers. The hell with them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Pathetic.

    This is why I no longer watch television. Anything of note will eventually be available in some other medium.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Netflix is soooooooo cool. Now I watch commercial free tv series on dvd. True they aren't current but there are no ads.

     

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  39.  
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    Vinod, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Just like popups - there will be a way around this too...

    Pop ups on the internet do not work effectively, and this is basically the same thing on the TV. There is such a small percentage (under 1%) of people that click on pop up ads, but the difference here is that it is fairly cheap on the internet.

    However, TV is different. It is expensive to advertise, therefore TBS is trying this with their own internal advertisements. I know they will get such negative feedback that they will not be able to offer it to other companies. As I said before, Internet popup advertising is cheap, with an extremely small click through rate, never mind the insanely small conversion rate, but it's cheap - so in the end it is economically feasible, but TV is different. It is more expensive, there would not be enough people to buy a product with this type of advertising.

    The only type of advertising that really works our products & services that integrated in the TV show. For example, showing (and giving away) free GE appliances on Top Chef to the winner of a challenge. If anyone saw the new Knight Rider movie you undoubtedly saw the amount of advertising from Ford that was not only shown during the commercials but integrated in the movie. Ford went so far to put in specific writing in the movie script. They discussed that KITT was actually running on gasoline, and KITT told him he wasn't running on another fuel because (I'm paraphrasing now) - sometimes simple is better.

    Yes - I hate this new form of "paused" advertising but I guess they have to at least try it out. It wont' get very far.

     

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    asdf, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:19am

    Re: so read

    thats a good idea, patent pending..

     

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    asdf, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    how much would it cost companies if we had a national "dont watch tv today" day because they are annoying us with ads. i'd do it.

     

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  42.  
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    Paulywogg, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    TV is a commercial medium

    I've been weening myself off of the Network TV teet for some time now; primarily watching ad-free content from online sources, (some paid, some not) to watch via my linux-based media PC.

    A recent move left me without cable television. Initially, this was due to cost - how the hell can they charge these rates [Rogers Cable in Canada] to deliver content that they already get paid for?! Since making that decision, I haven't even thought about getting cable.

    There's still good television content being produced, but it's so rare that I'm missing nothing by not being able to receive it live and subsidized.

    Sad, though it is - television has always been an ad-supported medium. 'This hour of the Steve Allen show is brought to you by Wheeties". Programming used to be shill first, entertain second. Of course, it was so novel, people ate it up.

    Well, times have changed - so should business models. Until then, they'll get little from me... now where'd I put my keys? I want some wheeties!

     

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  43.  
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    asdf, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    why do we like superbowl commercials?

     

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    Wayne, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:42am

    Commercials thing of the past

    Most people i know just download the shows they want to watch. Your hour TV show is actually 42 minutes. So the time saving alone is worth it. I think the model should change from commercials to sponsors. I've always just recorded the shows i want and watch at my leisure, and yes i fast forward through commercials. I don't really like TV now a days. Good thing for books and video games.

     

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  45.  
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    Jim, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    I'd heard of this coming some time back. I ditched my Tivo about 3 months ago and built a MythTV box running on Linux. I skip commercials all I want and rip dvd's and watch just the movie part - no annoying FBI warnings or bits I can't skip. I like Entertainment but have slowly given up on network TV. Now it's my way, or the highway. If I can't enjoy it in its native medium then I'll "rip it or skip it" on my own terms.

     

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  46.  
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    Twinrova, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 11:56am

    Continuance: Ads = Content

    Thank you, TBS, for proving my point in my long discussions with Mike about how ads = content isn't the same thing when it comes to consumers (even though, by definition, they are).

    I warned you that if Corporate America finds a way to "merge" the two, consumers lose and this example is perfect.
    (Who's willing to sit and FF these snippets all show long? I sure won't! I'll simply find something else to watch.)

    And it's going to get worse. If you think those ad overlays that take up 1/3 (or more!) of the screen are bad, just wait. Eventually you're going to start seeing split screen displays where ads run CONCURRENTLY with the show.

    Try fast forwarding that.

    Note: Currently, the latest trend is to start a program .5-1 minute later than expected start times to push more ad space and to throw off DVR scheduling, more often cutting off the end of shows. NBC is notorious for this and ABC has caught on real damn quick. Not sure about CBS as I never watch the station enough (Big Bang Theory is it).

    Moreso, cable stations are also doing this but worse: They're literally cutting parts of the show to shove in more advertising space.

    Oh, and for those who are interested in watching A&E's new adaptation of "The Andromeda Strain", I recommend you do so via On Demand.
    The show is only 3 hours (ad free!) but if you DVR it, you'll endure 1 hour of commercial fast forwarding.

     

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  47.  
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    Rekrul, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:04pm

    I know that I don't count since I'm not a "Neilson", but I swore I'd never watch a single episode of The Shield because of F/X's overkill ad campaign, as well as the show Dexter and the second second season of Sleeper Cell on Showtime, because they wer both advertised with banners across the bottoms of other shows. Yes, a PAY movie channel was using banner ads on content that I pay for!

     

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  48.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Re:

    Because football is usually more boring than watching paint dry?

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 9th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    Boycott Target Practice

    RE #47:

    Should you be boycotting the shows you mentioned, which were advertised using the banners? Or should you be boycotting the network that chose to advertise it that way?

    Seems that in your case, it should be the latter. It's not the shows' fault, but the channel's.

     

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    Griper, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    I don't even have a dvr and I was pissed off. I use the commercial breaks like every other person, get a sandwich, go to the bathroom or tell the wife what I did that day. The same thing Americans have been doing for 50+ years. How aggressive can they get? I think they would disable all remotesif they could.

     

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    Old Guy, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Re: so read

    True but I don't need any special equipment (just give'em the finger) to skip the ad.

     

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    John, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    WTF, TBS?

    Like the other posters are saying, the clip above shows an episode of Family Guy, shown on TBS and "paused" by "The Bill Engvall Show".
    I love Family Guy, but I will *NOT* watch TBS any more, nor will I even try watching "The Bill Engvall Show". How's that for advertising, TBS?

    First "half hour" shows are constantly getting shortened to fit more commercial time. How long is a "half hour" show now: 17 minutes? 15 minutes?

    Then, networks have to "overlay" commercials for other shows in the lower part of the screen. First, it was a sliver of the screen, but now it has be at least 1/3 of the entire screen!
    Then, channels like the Discovery Channel use 10% of the screen on the right to show a rocket blasting off. If the network is going to cover 40% to 50% of the screen, just cut the show and run a commercial instead.

    But what is up with TBS? They use both of these "techniques", but they also bleed the end credits of one show into the opening credits of the second show. This, of course, further shortens the show and opens up room for more commercials!

    Geez, why don't they just put us out of our misery and show 30 minutes of commercial??

    As for the Knight Rider "movie" a few months ago: I don't even consider it a movie. It was some kind of a story to interrupt the commercials. Literally (and yes, I timed it), every 9 to 10 minutes, there would be another commercial break. So, just about the time you were getting back into the story... yep, another commercial.

    And like the above posters said, Knight Rider was such a shill for Ford, that it was basically like watching a long GM commercial. The only thing missing was an actor saying (while in character) "Buy this Mustang with KITT accessories at your local GM dealer. Financing is available!"

     

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    bl00k, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Did EVERYONE miss the big problem here?

    I don't think anyone has seen the big problem staring you in the face here. If they are putting these types of advertisments to combat the DVR fast forwarder, it is still affecting the people that are not fast forwarding. Now everyone has these ultra-intrusive adverts covering their shows. This will only serve to stop the DVR FF crowd, along with any crowd that was watching the show.

     

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    mike allen, Jun 9th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    you could

    why not all move to the UK the BBC have 8 commercial free national TV channels

     

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    greg s., Jun 9th, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    intrusive

    I wrote letters to the few cable channels I watched complaining about the use of rude and intrusive animated ads during tv programs, when they increased, I literally had cable service shut off and signed up for "5 at a time" netflix where I can get the shows, movies, documentaries without any intrusive ads at all. Fixed that problem! And it costs less than cable and it never goes out. Add the netflix streaming box and I can create my own channel 24/7 all with no ads and no added cost and no Tivo bill and no Tivo!

     

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    Joe, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:20am

    Ads on TV OVER THE CONTENT

    I can not stand the ads they put over the content its enough stations run their stupid channel logo (TRU) over the show while say COPS is on! I cant read whats on the show because the BIG DUMB LOGO is in the way!JERKS!Also the whats coming up next thing is annoying as well.TV nowadays is pushing me to watch Youtube more and more. The $60 for television just isnt worth it.ALL IT IS IS ADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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    Joe, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 4:22am

    Oh yeah

    Oh yeah ,I forgot = NOTHING WILL STOP ME FROM USING A DVR!
    So give it up morons!

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Groucho Marx, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 10:12am

    TV very educational

    I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Mich from Canada, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 7:48pm

    Re: WTF, TBS?

    I didn't see the Knight Rider movie - WHAT - They made the Kit car a FORD?

    SACRILEGE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    steveking, Jun 10th, 2008 @ 8:21pm

    YouTubeRobot.com today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from YouTube.com onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.

    YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time.

    Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos.

    Product page: http://www.youtuberobot.com
    Direct download link: http://www.youtuberobot.com/download/utuberobot.exe
    Company web-site: http://www.youtuberobot.com
    E-mail: support@youtuberobot.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 3:00am

    Good Solution

    Move to another country! I just moved to Switzerland, and as my French is not that great yet, I just simply cant tell the difference between ad's and TV!

    It's grrrrrrrreat!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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