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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 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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hello torrents
By carigis on 6/22/2012 10:39:01 AM , Rating: 3
seems to me.. people who actually pay for cable, and the use of the dvr are just going to take the path of least resistance and watch the shows where they can skip all the commercials.. like for instance torrents and websites or competitors who allow it... and then the only use of TW cable is likely going to be for thier high speed internet access, which the phone company can provide as well.

and if they really want network tv with all its commercials they can get it free.. with an antenna.

It wouldn't be so bad if commercials were not a full 1/3 of the show.

20 min of your life wasted per show on commercials that are for things you are likely never going to buy and are usually insulting to the viewers intelligence as they try to appeal to the lowest common denominator in every commercial..

plus its not like they can patent people from going to the bathroom or hitting mute and surfing the web while the precious commercials are running. Whatever happened to the whole idea of cable being it had no commercials while broadcast did?

they also should allow you to choose the channels in your package so Im not paying for 30 latin channels, 10 cooking channels, BET, a bunch of shopping channels, a million sports channels and so forth.. then maybe there would be more money to go around. let the channels that can get subscribers on thier own sink.

thats just my opinion.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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