TiVo Won't Admit Ad Skip Trick

from the fear-of-being-sued dept

ReplayTV is trying to make a name for itself by being “consumer friendly” and are heavily promoting their “ad skip” feature. This, (unlike what this article says), is partly due to the lawsuits against them. SonicBlue realized that, due to the lawsuits against them, no other company would start offering commercial-skip on a PVR machine, giving them exclusivity for a period of time – which is something they can use to differentiate themselves. Before that, they weren’t promoting the feature as heavily. Now, TiVo is facing an interesting dilemma. As has been widely known among TiVo users for quite some time, there’s an easter egg that allows you to skip forward in 30 second increments (perfect for skipping commercials). TiVo refuses to comment on the “feature”, because they’re scared to death that the entertainmnet industry will turn on them and sue them as well. What’s most interesting to me, though, is that almost every TiVo owner I asked about this feature said they had tried it, but got rid of it. They all said that they like to watch commercials occasionally, and fast forwarding through the commercials lets them catch the ones they want to stop and watch. Someone in the article is quoted as saying the same thing. While I’m sure most commercials do get skipped, this is yet another argument against Hollywood’s claims of “theft” of television. People are often willing to watch an occasional good and/or relevant commercial. It’s just the constant barrage of boring, misdirected, or useless commercials that annoys most people.

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