TiVO is going to lose my business as a customer really soon

Hey TiVO drop the pop ads when I am fast forwarding!

TiVO released an update to my device that pops up an annoying Ad when I am fast forwarding thru a show.  I realize T.V. shows are designed to keep your attention so an advertiser can throw something in your face; however this pop up solution reminds me of what happened to my favorite web pages.  This is what caused me to go out and get a toolbar to block pop ups.  Advertising needs to find a new means of telling us about their products instead of trying to spend money on shoving it down our throats every chance they get.

SuperBowl commercials - good because they are entertaining

Ads embedded in the Apprentice TV show - not bad because they are a part of the show and not so interruptive

Ads for TabletPC and Pocket PC devices embedded in 24 on Fox - again a good job at making the product look neat without getting in the way of the television program.

Ads for Sears during Extreme Home Makeover - really good!

I wish they had Pay per view TV just so I can avoid watching those stupid commercials.  Oh wait!  That is what TiVO was supposed to be.  Come to think of it I am pretty ticked off at having to pay to go to the movies to watch commercials as well.  The next thing you know I will buy a DVD and the movie will stop for a commercial and I can't fast forward past.  When is it all going to stop!  I thought the marketing people are supposed to be the creative group.  Those who lack creativity just become down right annoying.

Comments, feedback are all welcome!

I am going to start looking for a solution that is not mainstream that allows me to record from my television to hard drive where I can get around the stupid commercials.  I guess it is time I look at our own solutions from Microsoft.


Comments (9)
  1. Denis says:

    Does 30 second skip solve the problem?

  2. There is mythtv for Linux that is very similar to a Tivo and since it is open source, if somebody does try to slip in ad-displaying code, you can just remove it. There is a mythtv frontend for Windows, but I personally haven’t gotten it to work.

  3. Ed Ferron says:

    No 30 second skip does not help

  4. Chris Kelly says:

    Well, what makes you think that MS won’t incorporate similar features into the TV applications that it is building, assuming that TiVo has success with this? MS has designed the software to be pretty customizable, so it may not even be up to them (Comcast could certainly do something similar, not to mention the new Comcast/ TiVo deal will mean that TiVo technology could end up in the comcast cable spectrum soon enough). Perhaps a Media Center PC? But man, spending ~$2000 on a Media Center to make sure you don’t get the annoying popup ad seems a bit like overkill.

  5. Ed Ferron says:

    Call me extreme, or call me a gadget guy. I really meant what I said about having pay per view TV. and just as a note MCE is not $2k anymore you can get a some really good MCE boxes for $800-$900. Yep it still cost a lot but in all reality TiVO cost between $500-$800 (with subscription fees). I am really willing to pay to not have ads especially pop ups!!

  6. How doesn’t 30 second skip not solve this? The skip is instantaneous, and Tivo currently can’t stop you from skipping at any point. I haven’t seen any pop-up ads, and I use the 30-second skip exclusively. Perhaps I’m not one of the "lucky" beta testers for this.

    As far as Tivo losing my business, that’s not going to happen — I bought the lifetime subscription two years ago when it was around $200 (at a $14/mo subscription rate, the lifetime service paid for itself after 14 months). I don’t pay a monthly fee to Tivo, so there’s nothing for me to stop.

  7. Ed Ferron says:

    30 second skips helps but it does not solve the problem. 3-4 commercials in a row and I am watching the pop up. It is in the way. In addition all commercials are not created equally. All commericials do not run 30 seconds, so now I am playing the game of fast forward and rewind. There is only one solution to this dump the stupid pop ups. And yes I am still upset after living with this condition only 1 day. I also paid lifetime subscriptions for all three of my TiVO units. Does your TiVO have the update for pop ups yet?

    Thanks for the feedback…

  8. I have no clue if my Tivo has the pop-up update, because I truly don’t watch enough of the commercials to find out. My typical commercial-break behavior is as follows:

    1. Show breaks (easy to tell, typically by a fade to black)

    2. Hit the 30 second skip button 4 or 5 times (depending on the show I’m watching, I typically have a good idea of how long a commercial break will be)

    3. Take half a second to decide if the video stream is still in commercial or back to the show. (actually it’s less than half a second, and often happens before the video stream has even had a chance to resume playing)

    4. Hit the 30 second skip again until the show is resumed

    5. Hit the 8 second reverse skip until I get to the closest commercial before the show resumes.

    In 99% of my TV viewing, the small amount of advertisement I watch in step 5 tends to be a bumper ad for another show on the network. If a popup shows up in the ~5 seconds I spend on that commercial, so be it. Because of this workflow, I hardly ever even see commercials with the "thumbs up to learn more" banner that Tivo started doing a while ago either.

    Now, if Comcast starts doing the same thing with their DVR, I’ll be really pissed. I like the fact that it can record HD streams, but it has no 30-second skip. I have to fast-forward, which means I’ll have to see any pop-up ads put in place to catch people fast-forwarding.

    If anything will make me give up my Tivo, it’s the slowness introduced by the 7.x update. Menu pages now take forever to load, and really hinders my browsing process. The upside is that Tivo now has very rich programming capabilities, though I don’t know if they’re rich enough for you to write an app to remove popup ads in-stream.

  9. Joe Ross says:

    I know the add "feature" is in limited test in TiVo-land right now. Hasn’t hit my 2 TiVo DVRs. I’m sure I won’t like it, but what are the real alternatives for the advertisers? Or actually, how do studios continue to make money off of shows if advertising dries up because everyone is skipping commercials?

    Product placement in shows is definitely one way. The Super Bowl ad comparison isn’t necessarily fair. I’m sure every commercial would be Super Bowl-quality if the audience was always 43+ million people. Those commercials cost big bucks to make.

    The "pay for play" model is interesting. Of course the original intention of cable TV was that you paid for commercial-free programming. That didn’t work out too well 🙂

    Anyway, an interesting crossroads for TV. I think the landscape will change significantly in the next 5-10 years.

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