TiVo Fast Forward Banner Ads Return

from the this-space-for-rent dept

TiVo has long been trying to derail Hollywood efforts to have DVR fast-forwarding banned by reaching some kind of middle ground. A few years back, “lucky” TiVo customers were automatically selected by the company (whether they liked it or not) to take part in a new trial of technology that bombarded them with additional ads if they tried to fast forward through commercials. Only viewable by test participants, the ads were usually random banner ads for TiVo partners. After a brief hiatus the fast forward banner ads have apparently returned, this time designed so you’ll see an ad for the company whose commercial you were trying to avoid in the first place. Since many TiVo users pay monthly subscriptions on top of pricey hardware costs largely to avoid ads, it’s akin to having to watch a Coke TV commercial in a movie theater after shelling out ten bucks for a feature film. If that annoys you, these ads probably will too. As previously mentioned, broadcasters complain over ample “lost” revenue from ad skipping — revenue they’d regain if advertisers and DVR manufacturers were more innovative and less annoying. While TiVo has tinkered with some user interactive advertising — having users press a “thumbs up” button for more product info barely qualifies as a creative solution. A better solution is offering interesting advertising users don’t want to skip in the first place.

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Comments on “TiVo Fast Forward Banner Ads Return”

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zeromus says:

Either tivo is bowing the the mafia boss, or it discovering that it can have its cake and eat it–selling equipment to consumers which helps them skip advertisements, as well as selling advertisements.

Dont be too quick to dismiss the pecuniary motive. Ad-supported services have been tried before. What if tivo users got a break on their bill in exchange for having to view those extra ads.

Uhh… wait, isnt this _television_? And isnt your product partially built around circumventing that business model? Don’t put a lot of faith in it..

Jason Bateman says:

By using the 30-second-skip feature when the comercial break begins, you not only are able to skip all of the commercials, but also this new in-break-advertising as the article mentions.

The 30 Second Skip:
Every TiVo can do a 30 second skip – you just have to enable it. Here’s how you do it:

1 Start playing any recording.
2 During playback press:
Select – Play – Select – 3 – 0 – Select
3 You should hear three bongs (if you don’t have the TiVo sounds disabled), and you’re done.

Your “skip to beginning/end” button (the arrow pointing to a line) is now a 30 second skip button. During fast-forwarding or rewinding, the button will still “skip to tick.”

To turn the feature off, repeat the three steps.

Important note: this feature is set to “off” at default on restarts. So if your TiVo restarts or loses power, the feature will be turned back off. Just enter the code again while watching a recording to re-enable it.

Anonymous Coward says:

As an advertising director it’s not always lies, granted many many companies prefer to tell “the best truth” which means show your product how and where it works best. I on the other hand would prefer to undersell a product, you lose sales to begin with but you gain them overall when people start talking about your product.

That’s besides the point.

Try this.

Show the commercial, place a small banner, 1/4 the screen below the moving picture, animated it like a simple ad for the internet, so it can be viewed effectively on DVR when run at high speeds. This could also be used to have website or phone numbers for the regular video commercial.

Benefit: Ads are nearly removed from DVR users but the companies still get the revenue they are looking for

Downside: You pay to skip the damn ads, you still see the damn ads

Suggestions: Use The Office as an example, product placement is what makes that show work. Remember the Staples Salad/Paper shredder…brilliant. I didn’t even realize it was a product placement until the staples commercial during the break showed it(which I forwarded through btw)

anonymouse says:

or you could..

Download the episodes you want in ad-free HD from irc or bittorrent.
It’s not hard to do, it’s actually easier than using tivo. Setup uTorrent or mIRC to read an rss-feed and automatically download the file you want. Living on the westcoast I get the episodes before they actually *air* over here from atlantic cappers.

At the end of it all you can even burn the episodes to dvd and create your own compilation discs well before the official show season dvds appear.

It’s just easier. Not that I don’t think you should buy the seasons of worthwhile shows (like House MD for example).

Justin Lockleer says:

Re: or you could..

yeah, but bittorrent doesn’t have the latest cartoons from cartoon network, or current shows from fuel or news from CNN, FSW, MSNBC or even sporting events from SPEED channel. Not to mention, HGTV, DIY, Science Channel, History Channel and older movies from AMC or classic Clint Eastwood films from the Western Channels… all channels of which do have commercials.

Plus, if you get home from working 8 hours infront of the computer and just want to veg watching TV shows for the next 5 hours until you sleep; whatever your download speeds are, and your searching skills, you will never be able to watch the all the shows you want to watch from BT, as you would if they were just easily recorded on a DVR while you were at work

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: or you could..

> Download the episodes you want in ad-free HD from irc or bittorrent. It’s not hard to do

I recently tried to download an episode of the Simpsons, The Wife Aquatic, that was interrupted by a football game on my local channel. I tried using bittorent, Limewire, and Sharezella. Not a single one could download such a file even though there were dozens of files listed as match.

Whenever I tried to download one of these files, I always get “need more sources.” If I click on “find more sources” it waits for 10 minutes and then replies “need more sources.”

How exactly is bittorent easy to use or reliable? Heck, it’s not like I’m even trying to download illegal content. I’m trying to download a low definition show broadcast on a public, unencrypted channel from free (as in beer) TV. If you can’t even get that from bittorent, it’s useless.

If there is anyone who has actually had success in using bittorent, please write in detail how you got it to work.

n/a says:

Panasonic DVRs

I have a Panasonic DMR-E-100HS which is a standalone DVR w/120GB HDD – it has a neat little button called “CM-Skip” – which instantly blips through 1 minute of content each time that you press it.

So, when watching something that I recorded and a commercial ‘session’ comes on, pressing ‘CM-Skip’ 4 times in quick succession takes care of that problem.

If you are in the market for a standalone DVR, then try the ones from Panasonic.

No, I do not work for the company, or anyone that sells them. I just happen to own one.

PhysicsGuy says:

or you could..

actually, i’ll guarantee you could find the latest cartoons from cartoon network. in fact, if you missed out on a few previous seasons you can get the torrents for whichever season you want right now. sure, there isn’t every show on television, but every worthwhile episodic series is out there. want mythbusters? it’s out there… đŸ˜›

also, and i’m not sure how many places implement this, but azureus (the best bt client) allows for RSS feeds of your shows, i know for a fact you can automatically start downloading the new episode of lost as soon as it’s available. for the most part, i’ve gotten into the habit of watching my shows a day after they air on tv. it’s convenient, i have them permanently backed up (which is nice for re-watching the office) and i don’t have to pay for tv and internet, just internet.

Bumbling old fool (profile) says:

The Easier way to skip commercials

Stop watching TV.

It’s quite liberating really. You don’t actually need TV for anything. Get something like NetFlix instead, watch movies at your own convenience. Watch TV shows at your own convenience.

Do it all without a cable subscription. Why are you paying that much money for something that aggravates that much? Just do something else.

Just stop sending the message that the intrusiveness of advertising is “ok by you”.

Dan B says:

Re: The Easier way to skip commercials

You know, I’ve consider doing basically the same thing. I love Directv, but I have thought about just buying the DVDs of shows that I want to watch. I figure that $50-60 a month, which is what you pay for basic satellite or cable, would also buy every TV show you watch. It might even be cheaper, as there are only a handful of series I watch. A single season of a TV show costs the same as a single month of TV service. And with DVDs, you get to play the shows as often and whenever you want.

The one thing that has kept me from doing that is that I like to watch specials on the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, Animal Planet, the History channel, etc. I am also concerned that I won’t even know which series I want to watch if I don’t have a TV service. For example, the Science Channel recently played an old series by Carol Sagan called “The Cosmos”. I plan to purchase the DVDs for these series, but I wouldn’t have even known about this series if I didn’t watch the Science Channel.

Any thoughts about this matter?

Greg Harris (profile) says:

Could be worse.

I noticed this the other day. I think it’s a great compromise. My problem with commercials is the time they take up to get back to the show. I usually start watching something 10 minutes into it so I can skip commercials. I have no problem with an ad showing up while I fast forward, as long as I can fast forward. Star putting pre-roll ads in and I’m gone!

Dan B says:

That's why Tivo sucks

The bottom line is that Tivo is a lousy company that is not concerned about its customers. Yeah you may like the pretty pixels and retarded sound effects, but that’s not a good enough reason to put up with all the Tivo crap, which is only going to get worse.

People think Tivo is great because they have only compared it to VCRs and to crappy cable DVRs like Scientific Atlantic — what a flaming piece of poo that DVR is.

I briefly owned a Tivo back in 2000 and promptly returned it as unsatisfactory. I have no regrets.

I own an Ultimate TV and love it. If you have ever owned an Ultimate TV, you would never want to touch a Tivo. I refuse to upgrade to high def because they don’t make Ultimate TVs anymore. The joy of using the UTV surpasses even the joy of high def. I had a high def cable DVR for one year when I lived in a condo where I couldn’t get Directv. I left at the end of my lease because of that.

The bottom line is that there is at least one DVR that is light years past Tivo. Unfortunately, you can’t buy Ultimate TVs anymore, and I doubt many owners of these wonderful machines will part with them. When you get a 30-second skip, you never want to go back to fast-forwarding. Tivo users don’t know what they are missing. It’s like having an orgasm.

Fortunately, there may be hope. I have heard that Replay makes good DVRs. I don’t think they have the 30-second skip anymore. They also got rid of the ability to copy the program from the DVR to the PC. So I don’t know how good Replays are anymore.

Another option is a Windows Media Center PC. Since Microsoft either developed or bought out the developers of Ultimate TV (don’t know which), I suspect that the UI for Media Center is good. The Ultimate TV interface makes Tivo look like a farting orangutan. I suppose that if I were to ever replace my Ultimate TV I would go with Media Center as long as it worked with Directv (don’t know if it does though).

The final option is open-source DVR software coupled with a tuner. MythTV and Freevo are the most popular. However, they are time consuming and a pain to set up and they rely on a third party tuner/capture card like Haugepage. These tuner/capture cards have to re-encode the video, which lowers quality, and I think they only work with a cable box that already decodes the signal. I don’t know if anyone has gotten them to work with Directv, but I’d love to hear some stories.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to use Tivo or cable-company DVRs. There are alternatives like Media Center, Directv and Dish DVRs, and (if you have lots of free time and patience) open source DVR software. So get out of Tivo. They will never care about their customers and things are just going to get worse with them.

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