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  (Source: venturebeat.files.wordpress.com)
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 skipping commercials.

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.

Source: Fiercecable



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RE: commercials
By djdjohnson on 6/22/2012 10:10:56 AM , Rating: 5
Understood. But it is sure frustrating to be paying $170 per month to my cable/satellite provider and to hear that the greedy companies want to take away my ability to skip commercials. For broadcast I understand. But for pay channels, this is ridiculous.


RE: commercials
By MrBlastman on 6/22/2012 10:27:17 AM , Rating: 1
Don't pay 170 a month to them? Give them the shaft and cancel your subscription. There's more to life than television anyways.


RE: commercials
By mcnabney on 6/22/2012 10:36:29 AM , Rating: 2
Cable-free for four years. I only miss it for a few games that have moved to cable-only channels. I have discovered that I don't want content as much when the owner makes it difficult to get.


RE: commercials
By FITCamaro on 6/22/12, Rating: 0
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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