by Mike Masnick

Philips Patents Pissing Off TV Viewers

from the yeah,-that-will-go-over-well dept

It's hard to figure out where to start pointing out just how ridiculous this story is. Philips has patented a system for inserting flags into television broadcasts that would prevent you from changing the channels during commercials or prevent you from fast forwarding if watched on a DVR. Yes, this is a "feature" that not a single person in this world would want -- except perhaps folks like former TV exec Jamie Kellner, who once said that people who went to the bathroom during commercial breaks were "stealing" TV. To deal with the fact that this is a feature no one wants, Philips has the positively lovely suggestion that when such "forced" advertisements were playing, a note can pop up on the screen giving you the opportunity to pay extra to change a channel or fast forward. It's not hard to imagine how that would go over. Who would actually buy a TV that had such functionality included? What will they work on next? A couch that won't let you stand up and walk away during commercial breaks? Or how about a toilet seat that won't open during commercials? However, more to the point, why is this patentable? The idea isn't unique or innovative. It's pretty obvious. It's just absolutely pointless.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    eric, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 5:36pm

    now if they...

    gave me cable for free...i'd watch a few commercials...or use the picture within picture feature...and use my vcr.

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

  2. identicon
    Nathan, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 5:41pm

    This is the same think the movie folks have forcing on us, for a few years now with the Copying=Stealling advertisement that leads off on so many dvds these days.

    I hope the failure of both Blue Ray and HD DVD will start to wake people up.

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

  3. identicon
    Aaron, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 5:48pm

    I would say it's very non-obvious.

    Who would think of this? I thought they quit doing lobotomies in developed countries long ago.

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

  4. identicon
    John, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:06pm

    Sign Me Up!

    Have they absolutely gone mad? This is just ridiculous...

    I truly hope that this "feature" does NOT make it to the mainstream. If it does, expect a new market to evolve--commercial free spinoff providers (along with fresh cracking challenges).

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

  5. identicon
    A chicken passeth by, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:08pm

    Yay American Corporate Logic.

    "If you don't watch TV, you're stealing TV." = "If you don't buy our product, you're stealing it."

    Keep your grubby policies in your own country PLEASE.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:26pm

    Perhaps there should be an effort to patent such "inventions" to keep corporations from implementing them.

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

  7. identicon
    Jeff, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Yay American Corporate Logic.

    I dont agree with a lot of what the US does (and I live here) but you need to bash another country dude - Phillips isnt a US based firm.

    Additionally, the logic used to describe not watching commercials as stealing TV speaks to someone who is trying to SELL commercials to PAY for the television shows that are aired.

    Although I dont support that statement, it really sounds like a (moronic) frustrated exec trying to sustain thier (fat) profit margins.

    Phillips is clearly wasting thier R&D and legal money on this. Look at what is happening with DRM and music.

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

  8. identicon
    G. Steve Arnold, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Yay American Corporate Logic.

    Hey, don't blame US for this crap. Philips is a Dutch company (

    Besides, greed and idiocy are international. :)

    Apparently, making an honest 10% isn't enough for anybody anymore.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:35pm

    Great, that will also kill channel surfing :D

    Flipping through the channels, come across a "FLAGED" channel that's on a commercial, and you cant leave it to contune surfing tell the movie comes back on.

    What's next, TVs that prevent you from turning them off ?

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

  10. identicon
    Papa P, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 6:39pm

    great for a hacker

    Sounds like a calling to use the flag for an "auto skip" commercial hack.

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

  11. identicon
    WhoTheHellCaresWhatMyNameIs, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:13pm


    Then TVs that watch you. Fuck soviet russia, think orwellian.

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

  12. identicon
    Gordon Levett, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:20pm

    TV Comercials

    To me tv commercials while being a necessary evil, should either be done away with, or we should get a break on the price it costs for us to get the signal to our homes. Besides TV has become more of a means to promte things like, music and sports and movies and movie stars. It's is suppose to be cheap entertainment, but it is far from that anymore. It has become more of a tool for the industries.

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

  13. identicon
    Mo, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:27pm

    Actually Philips is owned by LG, a Korean Company

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

  14. identicon
    PAY ME MOW, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:28pm

    I'm getting paid soon

    I'm going to find a way for the companies wanting me to watch their ads to pay me. How about a feature click here to watch this ad and get paid to do it. Also if I don't get the chance to get paid to watch an ad I think the ad companies just stole from me.

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

  15. identicon
    grnaliein, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:31pm

    phillips crap

    Isn't it bad enough that they have started running commercials in the movies theatres to basically captive audiences?

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

  16. identicon
    gskwad, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:43pm

    Obvious answer to this issue

    I have an easy solution for everyone: Dont buy a TV with this technology. If it doesn't sell, they'll trash it. Capitolisim in its purest! Just stick to the older model you already own, or go ahead and buy a new one without the crap in it. It's only one company right now, and I'm sure you don't need a new tv except every 5 or 10 years. (sometimes more)

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

  17. identicon
    Naturepundit, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:46pm

    Ah ah ah --- Don't touch that dial !!!

    You won't believe this but this morning, driving along , I was just thinkinking "Next, they will force us to watch commercials!" I'm a remote control jockey. I was reminded of a joke Stephen Colbert made that if we switched channels during the Colbert Report that we owe him money.

    I thought, what -- automatic shackels on the recliner?

    I must be psychic.

    I'm SCARED!!!

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

  18. identicon
    Varekai, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 7:53pm

    I can see it now

    Next you'll buy a 500 pg. book for $25, but have to pay .05¢ to turn the page.

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

  19. identicon
    Steve-O, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:14pm this essentially makes the idea of channel surfing, or anything like it, a thing of the past...greeeeat

    this will never make it into production

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

  20. identicon
    Android412, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:24pm

    This would just further piracy...if it ever actually happened

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

  21. identicon
    James, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:26pm

    I've got the best idea...

    Better than channel-skipping, better than DVR-ing...

    Do like I do.

    Don't WATCH TV.

    Solves all the problems, and gives me more time to write and read blogs. I've saved roughly a grand so far in cable charges, and I didn't buy uncounted items I didn't need with money I don't have. My girlfriend shed her cable and DVDHDTADHD set and she loves the freedom too.

    A neccessary evil? Bullshit. If you think your choices don't include turning the motherfucker off, they have you right where they want you.


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

  22. identicon
    Scruffy Dan, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:33pm

    I like it!

    Personally I HATE it when people channel surf during the commercials... I always end up missing the first 30 seconds of the show after each commercial break

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

  23. identicon
    t42, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:54pm

    disputed patent novelty

    Actually Philips took this idea from well known Soviet Union joke where only 3 TV channels existed: You see very long speech of General Secretary on the 1st Channel in prime time, then switch to 2nd channel only to see the very same program, then switch to 3rd Channel and, behold, a policeman is on the screen saying reproachfully “It seems that You are switching channels!”

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

  24. identicon
    stghm, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 8:57pm


    I'll stick with Toshiba.

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:27pm

    I dont want to give credit where it isnt due, but isnt it possible that Philips execs realize that this patent wont sell and wont make it to production so they patented the idea just to prevent some small start up company from trying to manufacture these devices for cheap do a quick turn around before the market realizes how useless a TV with this feature would be, and then close business after 2 years or so of production?

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

  26. identicon
    John Maldonado, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:27pm


    I and my family would toss our TV'S out. TV should never be that important in any persons lives. We would watch DVD's etc only. Mostly Americans should boycott TV if this stipidety takes affect. Phillips an American Co, would blow therir wad.

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

  27. identicon
    Munka, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:41pm


    DVR pirates will just make use of the flag as an offswitch for recording, then a switch to turn it back on when commercial ends. (yah i know the commercials get skipped by people anyway, but the stop flag will make it even easier)

    how would a feature built into the TV stop a signal being sent to the cable box, or satellite box from changing the channel on the box?

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

  28. identicon
    noKenny, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    I think u guys r mistaken for what this invention would b...NOT a tv, but rather, a set-top-box used for digital cable or satelite. (this is the only way they could keep track of charging u money for changing chanels.) it would b in the best interest for the service providers to provide u with this type of box... I don't think it is phillips who we should b angry with... they're obviously catering to the demands of their clients. landing a contract with each of the major cable/satelite providers to force the use of their product would be huge! that's y they r trying to patent this... so that the whole industry would move to the use of their product. But just as someone mentioned before; this would make it that much easier to crack tivos into using these preprogrammed flags to skip commercials! ;)

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

  29. identicon
    phaz, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:00pm

    TV as a whole

    As for sitting through commercials, the original reason for cable tv was so you paid for the programming and didn't have to see any commercials.
    Now you pay for the TV and see the comercials during programs on cable channels, as well as, before, after, & breaks. I don't know how many cable channels do this, but almost everyone that I have seen do it. They run along the bottom advertizing other programs.

    There are more than the three original broadcasting stations on non cable tv now, so you at least can avoid seeing a State of the Union address if you want to, but now even PBS is full of comercials.
    Some are exactly like the broadcast stations. Whatever happened to the simple 'This program is supported by (list of people, foundations, corporations, etc)... & members like you'?
    Now it is brought to you by, (comercials)... & members like you
    Give me a break!
    So if you pay for TV you still have comercials on almost all of the channels & if you pay more you can have a couple more mostly comercial free channels, pay more a few more, etc.

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

  30. identicon
    John C. Paulauski Jr., Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:12pm

    What AssHoles

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

  31. identicon
    TVster, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:14pm

    This is gonna be the biggest boycott ever

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

  32. identicon
    A Funny Guy / The Poison Pen, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 10:23pm

    The Phillips Patent

    OMG i just lost my lunch and messed up my monitor at the same time

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

  33. identicon
    Comprox, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:02pm


    Ok, let's do a little thought train here:
    1. People watch commercials willingly once a year
    2. When? The Superbowl
    3. Why? They ads have effort put into them
    4. How do we get people to watch ads on a normal day-to-day? I hope you can answer this part.

    Yes, superbowl ads may cost mroe, but with a little bloody effort... seeing a car going down a mountain road makes me go *switch channel*. Seeing guys run around a dog race track and barking makes me chuckle and watch it a few times at least.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:04pm

    Who would actually buy a TV that had such functionality included?
    If the FCC mandates it you won't have a choice when you buy a new TV.

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:10pm

    Philips sucks! Please do not patronize any Philips product! Only way to be heard is to vote with our wallets!

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

  36. identicon
    Magaralene, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:12pm

    Good LOrd.

    OK. it's an interesting piece of tech, you have to give them that. Perhaps it could be of use in the socialist nations, where the govt. would find it useful to "force" people to watch a state-approved message.

    Anywhere else, and well, we ain't BUYING it.

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

  37. identicon
    Enigma, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:23pm

    further to Anonymous Coward's comments

    Or if the service providers develop a technology that makes sure that their channels are viewed only on a TV that supports this feature.
    Anyway, 3 things can happen next if this is implemented,
    1) Viewers will boycott this, and things will revert back
    2) Viewers will decide to use cracks or DVRs without the commercials (which will be easy to come by as the flags are just what the crackers would be looking for), and things will revert back
    3) Viewers stop watching TV: Society revolutionized!

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

  38. identicon
    Pesti, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:42pm

    Give me a break!!

    The Idea is stupid much less a patent! Who do they think would actually want to pay their hard-earned money, to buy a product that would force them to watch commercials for products that are already over priced largely because they have to pay for advertising that we really don't want to see anyway! Lets face it, the premise barley deserves a comment!

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

  39. identicon
    Jerry, Apr 18th, 2006 @ 11:48pm


    Email Phillips and threaten to stop buying their products. Check that, don't buy thier products.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 12:13am

    Re: Yay American Corporate Logic.

    are you stupid or both???

    just wait until you have sat through a British 10 min commercial break, I'd pay to get away!

    why do you think this is an "american thing", you need to pull your head out and look around pal, I (for lack of choice) pay 35 GBP ($50+) per month for British "sky" sat tv that is LOADED with commercials, now thats a rip-off, especially since most of the tv shows they play have been taken from the US free networks anyway (friends, American Idol, Scrubs, E.R., West Wing, you name it, I have to pay for it), yes I know they have has to pay for the rights to show it and thats fine (isn't that why I pay them) but then to top it off, this is what really bits my ass...ets, the Brits make you pay $200 per year for a TV license. yes in the UK you must have a license to use a TV. now chicken boy, peck on that for a while!!!

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

  41. identicon
    channel surfer, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 12:22am


    so would this mean that if you are flippin through the channels and you hit a commercial would you then be forced to watch it before you could go to the next station???

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

  42. identicon
    Andrew Pollack, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 12:30am

    They have a right to include their commercials and enforce viewing as "payment" for their otherwise free product. We have the right not to accept that contract by not watching.

    Forget the patent -- which I agree is moronic --

    IMO, this is actually an important step forward in something I personally can't have soon enough. That is, shows which are freely available from broadcaster's sites immediately following their airtime. iTunes is charging $2.00 for shows from some broadcast outlets w/o commercials. IMO this is about $1.00 too much. This "new" functionality would allow a $1/show non-commercial version and a free commercial version to easily coexist.

    The choice of which of them to "purchase" -- or not to purchase either -- remains mine.

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

  43. identicon
    giafly, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 1:21am

    Just Power Cycle your TV

    Rebooting the TV should fix this feature if you're watching a direct broadcast.

    If you want to hear Philips' side of the story, contact:
    Philips Global PACS Business Unit
    Philips Partners4Profit

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

  44. icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 19th, 2006 @ 1:56am

    Re: Obvious answer to this issue

    "I have an easy solution for everyone: Dont buy a TV with this technology."

    Yeah! Just like the V-chip! Oh... Wait...

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

  45. icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 19th, 2006 @ 2:03am

    Re: further to Anonymous Coward's comments

    "2) Viewers will decide to use cracks or DVRs without the commercials (which will be easy to come by as the flags are just what the crackers would be looking for), and things will revert back "

    Or the police will take it as an excuse to start kicking in doors and arresting people under the DMCA.

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

  46. icon
    Peet McKimmie (profile), Apr 19th, 2006 @ 2:09am

    Locking people into commercial breaks

    So, what happens if you were waiting for a commercial break to cue up a program you want to record on another channel? W£hat if you were only watching the channel with the commercials on it until the program you *really* wanted to watch comes on on another channel?

    Is there a "press this button, be charged $1" over-ride? Or an "I really want to change the channel" option that'll let you switch channels, but won't let you back to the channel that had the ads until you've missed two minutes of the program after the ad break?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

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

  47. identicon
    not as stupid as the rest..., Apr 19th, 2006 @ 3:16am

    open your eyes

    Product are setup for consumer benefit???
    Try it like this... Free cable... or free dish network... with manditory commercials. Newer programs will have what is called guarenteed advertising... a program will have an algorithm, which is checked when you press play on your dvr... if the comercials are gone the algorithm is incorrect and it won't play... The flags are not there and then gone like for commercial managemant currently used...
    comercial applications are endless and ammount to a lot of services which are not available now...

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

  48. identicon
    Mousky, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 5:51am


    Actually, Philips is not owned by LG. They created a joint venture to build CRTs/LCD monitors.

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

  49. identicon
    King Stone Dragon, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 6:12am

    F 2 the "Phill" Down w/the "ups"

    Why not include a remote with a 56k land line modem that lets you pay for these fetures or how about a vasectomy that only releases when you pay to download porn

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

  50. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 19th, 2006 @ 7:39am

    DVD Region Codes

    I've seen a lot of comments above, many which say "Anywhere else, and well, we ain't BUYING it." as if we consumers can vote with our dollars and kill this idea. Don't kid yourselves.

    Would you vote in favor of a technology burned into commercial DVDs that made it so that you could only play a DVD you bought legally in the country you bought it? Well, you have.

    EVERY DVD player manufacturer, including the DUTCH Philips, and all the others, put special DRM coding into their DVD players which scans the DVD region code, and will not play DVDs from another region.

    So, if your aunt from Germany sends you a DVD, you can't play it. Or if I buy some French DVDs (full price)for my kid in France, I can't play them on my US machine.

    How did this happen? Hollywood wants it, so the hardware manufacturers gave it to them. They all figure that consumers are pigeons, and disorganized, but the media houses are organized and important, so we'll give them what they want, and screw our customer.

    If you think you can kill the commercial flag idea by simply not buying Philips, I hope that in this case that's true. But big media isn't stupid. If this think were ever to emerge for real, it would be from ALL the hardware guys at the same time, not just one. And like lemmings, most consumers would just go along with it.

    Oh, what's that? My daughter wants to watch Babar? Gotta run, I have a DVD player that needs to be hacked.


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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 7:45am

    Or Philips just wants to sell their TV sets which actually zap to another channel during commercial breaks in order to ensure that other manufacturers don't patent the idea and start selling it to set manufacturers which would undermine Philips sales and in the long run force you to watch commercials... this could actually be a pro consumer patent application... let's see how they play their cards!

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

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 7:49am

    That is if those manufactorers went into "cahoots" wid the advertisement Pushers! and offered dirt cheap television/screens to the people in order to entrap the wider public and push them into submission under the Millennium Digital acts that prohibit any DRM tinkering etc.

    Forgot that bit in the piece above...

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

  53. identicon
    Justin, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 7:59am

    To hell with this BS!

    If anything happens to force everyone to watch commercials, I'm starting a new website. One that just records EVERYTHING on TV, cuts out all the commercials and plays it through either streaming video or downloads, WITH NO COMMERCIALS!!

    With computers and monitors going the way they are, it will be more econnomical to just use a computer to watch TV, movies, or play music. It's one piece of equipment that takes up less space and performs just as well if not better than home theatre systems that take up and entire entertainment center. I highly doubt the PC industry will create such a thing.

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

  54. identicon
    stargazer, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    First of all, there shouldn't be any commercials to start with since WE are paying for cable/directv. The cable/sat companies are greedy -they want money from subscribers (who mostly hate commercials) plus they continue to force their crappy commercials down our throats. I have just about perfected the art of watching DVR and FF through every commercial - those Bastards........

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

  55. identicon
    AttitudeTalks, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 8:59am

    The Economics of it won't work out

    I think this whole thing is not only daft, it's also a moot point, in that, they'll never get away with it - The economics of the whole thing just won't work out. America is the world's largest consumer driven market (69% of the $12 trillion GDP is fueled by consumer spends) and the consumer here is the King, albeit, in theory.

    So, if this absurd feature of forced advertising does come to pass, there will be someone who will enter the market to cater to consumer demand for optional commercial viewing, buy the rights to some of the more popular shows and start a new channel which should have a readymade consumer base to make a quick buck if only because the current players in their corporate greed allowed a new player to gain a foothold in the market.

    Also, I have profound faith in the dubious adaptive ingenuity of my fellow humans and would expect them to come out with a flurry of inventions/devices (like Tivo) to counter this unwanted feature and bypass the system.

    On the flip side, isn't it possible that Phillips and the rest of the electronic consumer durables industry may have done this to come up with these "ingenious devices" themselves (through a subsidiary company) and in doing so will not only expanded the current electronics market into an alternate complementary device market which won't have the cut-throat competition of the TV market, therefore driving up their profit margins, but will also milk the consumers for what they're worth.

    America is the world's largest consumer driven market .... and the consumer here is the King ..... "In Theory !!"

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

  56. identicon
    Shawn Cicoria, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 9:13am

    Great Idea

    This is just what we need - a way to further reduce TV viewing by all. I'm all for it. It will just make more people just turn off the TV and move onto something else.

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

  57. identicon
    Internal Rat, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 9:15am

    Re: Yay American Corporate Logic.

    Philips (PHG) is Dutch, not American.

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

  58. identicon
    Erich, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 9:22am


    Maybe the networks should give us a credit off our cable bill for each commercial aired on our televisions. would give incentive for people to watch the freebe channels.

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

  59. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 9:32am

    Network XXIII

    This sounds like something from Max Headroom where the Zic Zac Corporation would create some new horrible device meant to captivate viewers(Blipverts are damn near here) and raise their ratings.

    Of course this would also make room for some of the people in the show like "Reggie" who was the pirate TV punker. I've wondered if people aren't gonna do the same with analog TV right now...collect all the old transmitters, etc. and broadcast pirate TV for those who are rebels and don't care to move to HDTV. This would be somewhat achievable with a CATV setup but wouldn't be nearly as illegal which of couse spoils the fun of it all.

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

  60. identicon
    mastmaker, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 11:33am

    I have an absolute gem of an invention: TVs are replaced by miniature screens worn as a spectacle. 10 seconds before the commercial break starts, the spectacle winds like a python around your head, not releasing until the break is over. Go piss all you want.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go collect my billion dollars.

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

  61. identicon
    eb, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    Forced TV Commercials

    Well, they can't stop me from holding my hands over my ears and singing really loud, which would be preferable to most commercials.

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

  62. identicon
    me, myself, and i, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 3:17pm

    funny story...

    i was watching the remade Dune last night (and this morning), and damn, about an hour and a half of actual television, with the other 3.5 hours were commercials. Then to top it off, i stayed up for nothing because all i wanted to see was the ending, which sucked...

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Get used to it: Alaska Airlines anyone?

    Have you flown Alaska Airlines recently? On every single flight they offer you their Visa card over the intercom. It's totally obnoxious and downright un-civil. It's like a telemarketer blaring at you and you can't turn it off. But then you're a captive audience, so it's okay right?

    I've told this to more than one flight attendant, but then they're clearly not calling the shots at the corporate level.

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

  64. identicon
    Jerry, Apr 21st, 2006 @ 11:46pm

    Response by Phillips to my complaint

    Dear Mr, Mrs,

    Please understand that it is always our intention to invent technology and products to make life easier for our customers. The patent described in the various press articles is not used in any product, nor do we have such plans.

    Let me give you some background on the invention. Some years ago our inventors brainstormed about watching movies without commercials and many ideas came out. Most of these inventions are about detection, advancing and skipping of commercials. This particular invention also came out of those brainstorm sessions and should be seen in the light of pay-tv and recorded programs.

    As said, at this moment the technology is not and will not be implemented in any of our products. We apologize for any trouble this news might have caused you.


    Caroline Kamerbeek
    Director of Communications

    Philips Intellectual Property & Standards
    P.O. Box 220, 5600 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Phone office: +31 (0)40 27 44232
    Fax: +31 (0)40 27 43489

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

  65. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, May 21st, 2006 @ 11:48pm

    Re: DVD Region Codes

    My home DVD player has a code which if you enter it on the remote, it enables you to change/disable the region coding. I did that in the first 10 mins i had it, and i have never found a DVD which it does not work on. The code is so long that there is no way it was found by accident (10 numbers), so I think it was there so LG could change the region code on the player, but it also has a disable feature, which simply ignores the region coding altogether.

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

  66. identicon
    Thor, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 7:15am

    So When Can I Change the Channel

    So when do I get to change the channel? While my show is on? Ya, that makes sence.

    If I were a TV exec, I'd run the tag constantly and anyone who changed to my channel could never change away.
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

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

  67. identicon
    Jess Pike, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 10:44am

    Re: Response by Phillips to my complaint

    Ran accross this string and found it of interest.
    But why bother Philips TV's dont operate much longer than 22 Months and then they are junk. I have 3 of the 32" models that failed between 14 and 22 months and the cost to repair is more than they are worth.

    After extensive time with Philips tech. help I was given a 58 day run around to incompetant repair shops and forced to pay cash up front for even a service calll. So much for extended warrenty I paid for.

    Goodbye Phillps you have sunken even lower in quality than RCA.

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

  68. identicon
    Deb, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 9:32pm're not the only one getting the runarou

    Our daughter's $124.00 20" flat screen went out after only 40 days. Best Buy will only take a return up to 30 days! Philips "warranty" HAHAHA is for 90 through the "authorized Philips Servcie Center" She took it to the "authorized Philips Service Center" in Charlotte" June 14, 2006, where it remains today, Nov. 29, 2006, unrepaired after 6 parts being replaced, with no hope of getting it repaired. Nor does the so called "customer service center", which BEWARE is in Manilla, offer any help. She was told that the repair center must try EVERYTHING, and if this current center can't fix it, she can take it to yet another service that's going to make a difference.

    When you say EXTENSIVE...that doesn't even scratch the surface.

    Like you, Jess, she has had nothing but a runaround for almost 6 months for a lousy $124.00 TV, which is a lot of money to her since she is a 3rd year public school teacher making just over minimum wage. She has no time for these repeated phone calls that go absolutely nowhere nor does she have the time to run all over Charlotte only to go through the same hassle.There seems to be no way of getting any answers or a replacement. For all that's been spent for the repairs, they could have replaced the TV.

    A side comment. Shortly after she purchased her TV we also purchased a 27" flatscreen....which worked for about 2 weeks then the color kept fading in and out. We promptly returned it for a Samsung...which works great and has a terrific picture.

    We will never purchase another thing that says Philips, nor will be recommend Philips, and plan to tell as many people as possible about their worthless service!!!...not to mention the lousey TV!

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

  69. identicon
    Proprietary anything hater, Dec 4th, 2006 @ 5:19pm

    DMCA at work

    Some day us Americans might wake up and get tired of being in last place with technology in the world....because of the DMCA the government lobbyists got in. We fall behind more every day, kind of like our public education system. Tech is nearly dead here, software is written in India where it is legal to write.

    I have a hard time finding good products to buy; if they don't fall apart in no time then they are not useful to me. They are more often useful to the manufacturer not me. Why can't a cell phone let you record your own ring for example? It is just like when Sony kept us from having a DVD burner for 5 years or whatever, and by that time they were too small to backup a PC, drives were much cheaper, and the DMCA/protection would not let you copy anything to them anyway (waiting for blueray are you?). What if you want to copy your DVD so you can also use it in your car or weekend place, etc.? Tough. I am amazed at how many people buy iPods, I have no use for one...then the music industry wonders why they lose near 10% of their business every year!?! Everything I learned in business school they do just the opposite. More people do other things and they lose, but somehow still afford to pay billions to lawyers to make customers even more hostile...or hire hookers for congress I am not sure.

    Heck I figured I would be able to cheaply control everything in my house with my PC by now, what a pipe dream...all this technology is only used to raise one of your monthly bills not do anything helpful for you.

    Samsung? I guess you didn't get one of their miniDV cameras with the Sony chip in it that died after a few hours of use? I did, it was over $100 to buy one and put it in myself. They would not warranty it, at least worthless Sony did and now they had the exploding batteries too. Samsung SD23, it's all over the net. I have my ticket into their repair place and I never got a thing in return.

    Everyone patents everything here now because they are allowed to. Disney built their business on Grimm fairlytales and now they patent all their stuff for 90 years! It is rediculous. The Phillips Company has a ton of products they will not even bring to the US because of our outrageous legal system, many companies will not. And who do you think pays for it...yeah, you do. You pay for every lawyer, pay for every lack of technology/usefulness in any product you buy. Just another great job our government is not doing....just like an energy policy, SS, etc, etc, etc...nearly everything that directly affects me. Captive TV would be no surprise to me. Oh, and our cable just went up 100% for base and 50% for expanded.

    Don't forget the movie houses are going down hill just like the music industry. They make way more on DVD now. Those are some brilliant business plans when you consider that every year population grows. DOH! IMO our government does not have to help out the losers, that would get rid of them faster. We are getting way too much protectionism allowing these things to happen.

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

  70. identicon
    Herb, Feb 12th, 2007 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Another "Philips Sucks" story

    On June 23, 2006, I bought a Philips DVD Player at Wal-Mart. I could have purchased a cheap DVD player for $30.00 or $40.00, but frankly I spent more than that because I have other Philips products, including another Philips DVD player, and, up until now, was always pleased with them. The DVD player, even though it was not used much (it was kept at a vacation home), stopped loading disks at the end of September, 2006. I took it back to Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart would not accept the return because the purchase was slightly over three months old and the limit for store-returns is three months. However, Wal-Mart printed a proof of purchase for me and advised that the manufacturer’s warranty still applied. The Wal-Mart proof of purchase even specified the telephone number for the manufacturer.

    Accordingly, I called the number listed. I was first advised to use a disk cleaner. I purchased a Philips disk cleaner, but it did not solve the problem. (The first and second times I called, I was at first advised that the purchase date was back in 2005 and so no warranty would apply. I then was able to confirm my purchase date and the representatives “updated” the information and told me it was under warranty.)

    After I advised that the disk cleaner did not work, I was given a fax number to fax my proof of purchase and I did so; I was told the player would be replaced. My letter attaching the proof of purchase is included. After I faxed it, I received a call asking me to re-fax it and I did so. I then heard nothing for two weeks. Today, I called to find out the status of matters. I was told two inconsistent things: First, I was told it was under warranty but that only parts were warranted and it would cost me $40.00 for a replacement. Secondly, and obviously inconsistently, I was told that my proof of purchase from Wal-Mart was insufficient, even though the store specifically printed it out for me as my “proof of purchase.” The underlying message was, “We are not going to do anything for you and even if we did, it would cost you forty dollars.” I told the representative that I could buy a brand new player for that price and that I have no incentive to ever purchase a Philips product again. I have all sorts of electronics that are still working fine after years. I do not think it unreasonable to expect that a device will work for more than three months!

    I wrote to the CEO of Philips and heard nothing.

    DO NOT BUY PHILIPS. If something goes wrong, they will not treat you right.

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

  71. identicon
    Ron Maclean, Apr 2nd, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Phillips large tv

    Purchased new in 2004 over $1000.00
    failed Jan. 2006 (replace complete chassis $602.00)
    failed March 2007 Same problem



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

  72. identicon
    weathervan, May 11th, 2007 @ 6:54am

    Re: great for a hacker

    As soon as I finish my Master's Thesis in computer systems, I will look into designing a small box that you connect your cable to that will block commercials before it gets to your PVR or TV and substitute things like pictures from an SD card plugin. Many commercials are nearly pornograpic and I have young kids. It's not the fact that I don't want to watch the commericals as it is I don't want to watch the R to X-rated commercials that are becoming more pervasive at all times of the day.

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

  73. identicon
    reb, May 21st, 2007 @ 8:00am

    Philips new patent.....

    I can't wait for the first 'all commercial' station. Wow! what a deal that will be... since 90% of content of most tv programs stink. That being the case, these commercials are more often the only salvation one has during most tv shows.

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

  74. identicon
    Sunil, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 4:26pm

    Piece of Junk

    Philips is a piece of junk. I am fed up as within last 2 years I have to repair it twice.

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

  75. identicon
    Cho, Sep 1st, 2007 @ 8:17am

    Plilips quality sucks

    Philips quality sucks anyway their TV s dont last longer than a year. And when you try to have the problem resolved they are still very little help .I have called three times regaurding a recall notice .No one will return my calls. Phillips gave me two phone numbers to supposed repair shops in my area and none of them will even call me back.I now have a 42 inch paper weight hanging on my wall. The TV wont even turn on.You know you work hard and save your money so you can treat yourself to something special.I bought what I thought was a quality product from a name I could trust and all I got was CRAP.

    Thanks for listening to my rant

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

  76. identicon
    Mr Mad about philips, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 7:47pm

    T V ADDS

    I for one will not by any philips products or T V 's
    or by any products thay advertise.Down with philips

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 5:03pm

    bande de primates...

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

  78. identicon
    nel, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    i have found a new page related to philips and other brands at

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

  79. identicon
    Ralph, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Plilips quality sucks

    I have one of those pieces of crap too!! less than 2 years!!

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

  80. identicon
    lloyd, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    I don't feel sorry for the networks

    If the network TV isn't profitable then there wouldn't be network TV- only Cable TV- you would have to pay for everything- yes there might be a change in quality between the two due to lack of willingness to sit through commercials- but we have alway had a remote- and the Networks always have and will be profitable- this is a silly idea-

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

  81. identicon
    sean, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    Phillips worked for me

    I guess I've had better luck with them than the rest of you. I'm going on my 6th year of trouble free television viewing. I bought a 46inch 1080i HDTV and have not had one single problem to date.

    I've been researching TVs as I'm looking to upgrade to a 1080p and have come across similar message boards just like this for EVERY brand. Sony, Samsung, Hitatchi, etc. etc. Everysing one of them is filled with people saying they would never buy another (fill in a brand here). I guess the only conclusion I can come up with after reading all of these threads is just to not buy a single tv ever again because nobody makes a good one.

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

  82. identicon
    Who cares, Jun 21st, 2008 @ 5:36pm

    thank goodness

    Thank goodness that i don't live in a country that is like america! See what kind of petty things you guys worry about and we else where worry about real things like getting a life. Come on people, TV ain't your life. If it is, get a life! But my main point is, Philips would never design such a TV. It has no logic to it, and even less profit being made on the product! You would have to be a retard to think of something like this, and this is definitely not from the Philips co!!

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

  83. identicon
    Valus, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Hi I want to recommend you very useful rapidshare search You can find there a lot of new movies, games and music. Enjoy it!

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

  84. identicon
    Sick, Nov 20th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Hi I want to recommend you very useful download files search You can find there a lot of new movies, games and music. Enjoy it!

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

  85. identicon
    Y4S, Dec 16th, 2008 @ 9:08pm

    too Many commercials this got to stop and those pop up when show come back on omg yeah nice what next dont want to say we all know why they do all that so you go out buy show on dvd that cost lass then $2.00 to make, its a rip off just like cable is. they stealing our air time and money, time to fight back and how well. just watch it for free on there web site. i well never buy they show on dvd anyone who dose good job helpeing the network.

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

  86. identicon
    JIM RICK, Jan 15th, 2009 @ 10:45am



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

  87. identicon
    Mick, Feb 11th, 2009 @ 7:34am

    My patent

    I invented the basic liquid lens yesterday and got really hyped up about it (i'm 16), turns out Phillips already had the freaking patent 3 years ago!!!

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

  88. identicon
    Swein, Jan 17th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    modern tv's, modern technology

    I've been accused of being 'old', and 'past it', by my 40 year-old neice, because I refuse to sign-up for these new-fangled social-networking sites. Why, when hotmail has given me excellent service, and for free, for ten years now. The same applies for Skype, yes, I see the point of free 'phonecalls' computer-to computer, especially long-distance, but I never make such calls anyway. I send emails. Suits me fine.
    Same with tv's. I still use my 21" Sony Trinitron - I think it's 13 years-old now. I did notice a huge difference fitting new top-line cables (Swedish Supra, bought half-price in a sale) I do recommend spending cash on good cables. The resolution is about 900 by 720, the contrast is better than any plasma, as is the brightness, the refresh rate is so fast there isn't a number for it, there's no lag at all! The picture is great! I look at LCD and plasma tv's all the time, yes, the big screens look great, the Trinitron is a little small playing widescreen DVD's, but I see no need to spend the money when the Trinitron is still working. To my mind newer doesn't mean better, a lot of the old stuff worked very well. My Samsung DVD didn't work very well recording from VCR to DVD, but I found the 3 graphics cards weren't firmly pushed together. It also ran hellish hot even in standby, but I've cured that by glueing ribber-feet to the underside, to raise the unit one and a half inches and allow much better ventilation. The DVD runs quiet cool now. A guy I used to work with now works for an electronics outlet and says to buy only a big name, Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony, the rest are crap in comparison. Or buy cheap and simple, even an older, lesser, make was better a couple of years ago, things are moving too fast for many manufacturors to keep up, the development costs too much, they cut corners.

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

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