TWC Prevents DVR Commercial Skipping with New Patent
June 22, 2012 3:30 AM
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The new patent aims to disable the fast-forward function as well as the "Look Back" and "Start Over" features in programs that are saved on the physical DVR
Time Warner Cable (TWC) patented a technique for digital video recorders (DVRs) that may prevent viewers from
The new patent aims to disable the fast-forward function as well as the "Look Back" and "Start Over" features in programs that are saved on the physical DVR. This would apply to network-based DVR and physical DVRs in subscriber homes.
"Look Back" allows TWC subscribers to access a program within three days of the premiere date if they forgot to record it, and "Start Over" allows the user to restart a show already in progress.
The reason for the new patent? Advertising. TWC worries that advertisers won't pony up the dough for advertisements if subscribers are just skipping them to get to their movie or TV show anyway.
"The ability to prevent trick mode functionality may be important for a number of reasons. Advertisers may not be willing to pay as much to place advertisements if they know that users may fast forward through the advertisement and thus not receive the desired sales message," said TWC in the patent. "Content providers may not be willing to grant rights in their content, or may want to charge more, if trick modes are permitted."
The patent may be difficult to uphold with DVRs that aren't controlled by the operator, but the multiple system operator (MSO) can stop subscribers from skipping commercials in cable shows they record using other devices.
TWC might have some issues with this new patent because subscribers will likely just go to other services like Verizon and DirecTV for DVRs that allow them to skip commercials.
Just last month, it was reported that Fox, CBS and NBC were
taking Dish Network to court
over a new feature that allows subscribers to skip advertisements. Dish ended up filing a suit to make ad-skipping acceptable with an official judgement.
The topic has raised much debate, where advertisers and TV broadcasters are looking for better methods of monetizing their content as more subscribers use DVRs.
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Time Warner sucks
6/22/2012 8:29:14 AM
I have time Warner Internet. The service is great but the company sucks. I don't pay for television because the Internet exists. Time Warner secretly doubles my bill every 6 months unless I call them and tell them I'm canceling if they don't change it back, which they immediately do. They also LOVE to call me ALL. THE. TIME. to make sure I'm aware of their television and home phone specials. I always ask if they are free, they always say no.
Moves like this aren't making me want to jump back into cable television. They're just going to piss off more customers. The subscriber loss will negate ad revenue. Idiots.
RE: Time Warner sucks
6/22/2012 9:39:50 AM
The problem is, the people who will actually take action is minimal compared to the number of mouth-breathing man-cattle who will simply accept these tyrannical tactics like they do everything else that's wrong with the world...by blaming someone at random, adjusting their position on the couch a bit, and blithely changing channels.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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