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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Bob, 19 May 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Railing against this comment from ABC is silly and immature. ABC is not suggesting, from what I read in the link, that their regularly scheduled programming slots be fast-forward disabled for DVR. They are proposing a "premium service" for free. You would be able to watch a show out of schedule anytime you want without recording it to your DVR. The only payment you give is that you don't fast-forward through the commercials.

    I see a lot of lip-service given around here to "changing business models" This seems like a good change. How do you expect broadcast companies to make any money if they are not allowed to sell advertising?

    If the argument is that all the shows on broadcast TV suck, then just don't watch, fast-forward or not.

    I rarely watch commercials because I only watch DVR'd shows. If I had to watch a show with this proposed service, I would consider it a fair trade-off for not recording it in the first place.

    I have noticed lately that the commercials are getting more entertaining. Not quite destination entertainment, but I will occasionally stop and watch a commercial if I see an interesting blip while FF.

    I just wish when this type of conversation happens here that the "TV sucks" and "Gimme Free or Gimme Death" camps could think before they type. There are worse things then Broadcast Television and Watching Commercials. Also paying for cable doesn't mean you paid for broadcast TV. It is still free over rabbit ears.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.