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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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RE: commercials
By FITCamaro on 6/22/2012 4:29:16 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not talking about with a DVR. Of course you're not stealing anything when you use your DVR to record anything. I'm talking about people download shows and movies off the internet using things like Bittorent. It's a copyrighted work that you didn't pay for and now have. Now yes there are legal ways to record TV shows with video capture cards and what not. I'm all for them.

I'm just solely talking about those who go online and download them illegally. And those who think they somehow have an inherent right to.

And yes stations won't make new shows if there's no revenue from ads. That's why certain shows get canceled. Enough people aren't watching, meaning what they can charge for ads is lower, meaning they may not be able to cover the production costs of the show and make a profit.

I can't wait for a-la-cart programming myself. I'm currently without cable or satellite. Just Netfix and an HD antenna. Now I will have to sign back up during football season since not everything is on networks or ESPN3. I am going to get Sunday Ticket through my PS3 without a DirecTV subscription though. Going to largely play it by ear.

But acting like you're forced to pay for cable or satellite is retarded. No. You value it enough to want to pay for it despite the high cost. Same goes for cell phones. We have no inherent right for to these services though.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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