ABC Still Excited About DVRs That Disable Fast Forward

from the bad,-bad-ideas dept

A few months ago, we wrote about how ABC was excitedly testing a new DVR technology that would prevent people from fast forwarding through commercials on their DVR. If this seems dumb and destined to fail, that's because it's dumb and destined to fail. You don't compete with things like a fully functional DVR that has features people want by creating a crappy DVR that doesn't have the features people want. That story got plenty of attention -- which should have made its way back to ABC. But, if it did, the company is ignoring it. As reader Joey writes in to let us know, at ABC's recent "upfronts" where it pitches its latest efforts to advertisers, it's still excitedly pushing the idea of the fast-forward-disabled DVR (in the update at 4:34). The NY Times reporter claimed it was "a fancy way to combat DVR use." Except, that it's not. It's a dumb way to combat DVR use because all it will do is anger a bunch of people and get them to go out and buy a DVR that doesn't do that sort of thing.

Filed Under: commercials, dvrs, fast forward
Companies: abc, disney

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  1. identicon
    Nate, 19 May 2008 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Ha!

    Yes, they may be banking on a select market that won't realize that they are getting a piece of junk. But, once most of them get it home and realize that you can't do the most basic DVR function... fast forward, they will bring it right back to the store. If someone kept it, it is already the same people that were probably watching the commercials... so no gain in viewers. Overall, it isn't going to take off. Now, if they wanted to improve their ad revenues, they could try a different route. Like: Offer a free DVR, with no subscription fees. The DVR allows you to pause, fast forward, rewind, whatever. But, when you pause, it shows an ad, when you FF, you get a still image add banner on the top or bottom of the screen, etc... you see where I am going? But, to just remove functions that are available else where, you are not going to be successful in the long run.

    Now, this is assuming that all it does is disable FF. If it is some special DVR that is needed to view certain "encoded" channels or shows/movies, then they could be more successful, as they will force people into it. But, it won't be with out a struggle. You can't have an nice feature that everyone is used to now, and then take it away and expect no one to care.

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