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Dish AutoHop vs Networks Commercial Skipping Discussion


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#201 OFFLINE   Marlin Guy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:15 PM

So... one might just as well ask why can't Dish Sling customers use the Slingplayer software on their PC and Mac to Sling?


I've been doing that from almost the start. Live TV only though.

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#202 OFFLINE   Marlin Guy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

2,788,498 though there's neither song nor dance....:nono2:


You're saying 2.8 million subscribers know how to enable 30 second skip?
Show me.

#203 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:23 PM

"Customers have been skipping commercials since the birth of the remote control,


And prior to that, they'd just get up and leave the room for a bathroom break or a snack.
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#204 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

I've posted this before, but IMHO if satellite/cable would be allowed to deliver directly broadcast network content consistent with time zones, ratings would not change and the networks would make more money by not sharing ad revenue with locals. Local channels would instantly lose their entitlement status and would have to offer desirable content to survive.


Okay, so ABC Family could run all the new ABC programs. USA could run all the new NBC programs. FX could run all the new Fox programs. I'm don't know what network would run all the CBS programs, but they could create one if they wanted. They don't. And their first-run series are usually pretty awful compared to broadcast television. They don't have to share their ad time with local channels. So why don't they run the good stuff and fill their broadcast networks with the crap? Why are most major sporting events still on broadcast television? What you seem to be saying is that the only reason these shows don't get the ratings is because they aren't timed for the different time zones (which means those Mountain Time Zone viewers are skewing the results, since they all re-air their programs 3 hours later, which means the same time zone coverage for ET, CT and PT.)

And while cable has had a few notable exceptions when it comes to a highly-rated show now and then, no station comes close to delivering the numbers 7 nights a week for three hours a night (two for Fox.) And it isn't because the networks couldn't run those programs on their pay channels - it is because they choose not to. And the reason is a simple and obvious one: money. Broadcast television is the king for money. It has the most potential viewers of any distribution system. By a lot.

If AMC was offering original programming 7 nights a week for 2-3 hours a night, I don't think there'd be any question about their being worth $0.70/subscriber. But they don't deliver that kind of value. How much satellite space do DirecTV and Dish devote to local channels? They don't have to carry them. They choose to because they know that most customers would choose cable over satellite because they have those precious few local channels. The rest of the lineup doesn't compare to those 5-6 channels.

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#205 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

You're saying 2.8 million subscribers know how to enable 30 second skip?
Show me.


Prove they don't.

You won't be able so I'd just move on as it's not relevant to this thread.


I can understand why people would want to do this. However just because you want it doesn't make it legal, or the best thing for you. If you really think as a consumer you will benefit from this lawsuit then you're drinking the koolaid. If I did business with a company and they started litigation of this type with the companies that they need but are not legally required to provide their service I would get concerned fast.

Then there's the whole economy issue but unless someone is directly impacted I doubt they'll care.

#206 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:53 PM

You're saying 2.8 million subscribers know how to enable 30 second skip?
Show me.

Does it really make a difference in this thread?

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#207 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:07 PM

Many cable companies removed the skip function a few years ago. They even removed the skip button entirely from their remotes. Did they do this because of potential legal issues, fear, pressure from the networks, or because some of them own a lot of the content? Does DirecTV essentially hide skip for similar reasons? Is slip viewed any differently by the networks because you can still see the commercial?

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#208 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:09 PM

I can understand why people would want to do this. However just because you want it doesn't make it legal, or the best thing for you. If you really think as a consumer you will benefit from this lawsuit then you're drinking the koolaid. If I did business with a company and they started litigation of this type with the companies that they need but are not legally required to provide their service I would get concerned fast.


Which lawsuit are you talking about? The one where the networks are suing Dish, or the one where Dish sued for a declaratory ruling that their technology is legal in the face of impending lawsuits from the networks? The only ones I see complaining that this isn't legal are the networks. I think they're wrong.

Skipping commercials may not be in our best interest as viewers. But I'm working hard to come up with a reason why. The best one I can come up with is that if everybody, everywhere uses this type of technology, a lot of unnecessary channels will go away and the cost for the remaining ones will go up. OTOH, if commercials go away, I think we'll see the price of the average car drop, not to mention dishwasher detergent and beverages. Would it be a wash? I don't know, but running to the government for help because new technology is changing the game seems so... old fashioned. That would make the networks the new railroad barons, no?

If the commercials are part of the artistic work, why aren't they included in the Amazon.com and iTunes versions?

#209 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:18 PM

Many cable companies removed the skip function a few years ago. They even removed the skip button entirely from their remotes. Did they do this because of potential legal issues, fear, pressure from the networks, or because some of them own a lot of the content? Does DirecTV essentially hide skip for similar reasons? Is slip viewed any differently by the networks because you can still see the commercial?
...


I think that's the key...with FFW & "slip" you're still somewhat seeing commercials. TWC has removed 30 skip from Navigator completely & UVerse slips like DirecTV's default.
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#210 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

I think that's the key...with FFW & "slip" you're still somewhat seeing commercials. TWC has removed 30 skip from Navigator completely & UVerse slips like DirecTV's default.


Yes. In fact, while FF or 30 slipping I've stopped once in a while to view a commercial that piques my interest. Not real often, but sometimes.
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#211 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

I've been doing that from almost the start. Live TV only though.


Only if you are using the separate Slingbox OR a very old version of the software.

The 922 built-in Sling and the Sling Adapter are incompatible with SlingPlayer software for PC and Mac. You have to use the mobile app or the Web site to access those devices.

Not to go way off-topic, but my point here was that Dish can't take the "use your content you pay for any way you want" stance when they aren't really promoting that in all areas themselves. Dish is being very selective.

Heck, even AutoHop only functions on the "big 4" OTA networks... Why didn't Dish enable this commercial skipping feature on all channels that have commercials? I mean, if they believe customers "shouldn't be forced to watch commercials"... why are they not enabling this feature across the board?

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#212 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:12 PM

Which lawsuit are you talking about? The one where the networks are suing Dish, or the one where Dish sued for a declaratory ruling that their technology is legal in the face of impending lawsuits from the networks? The only ones I see complaining that this isn't legal are the networks. I think they're wrong.

Skipping commercials may not be in our best interest as viewers. But I'm working hard to come up with a reason why. The best one I can come up with is that if everybody, everywhere uses this type of technology, a lot of unnecessary channels will go away and the cost for the remaining ones will go up. OTOH, if commercials go away, I think we'll see the price of the average car drop, not to mention dishwasher detergent and beverages. Would it be a wash? I don't know, but running to the government for help because new technology is changing the game seems so... old fashioned. That would make the networks the new railroad barons, no?

If the commercials are part of the artistic work, why aren't they included in the Amazon.com and iTunes versions?


Amazon and iTunes by a different version of it. If they received a copy with commercials and then offered a service to remove them I bet there would be issues.

It's been said a few times why this is going to be bad for consumers. Whether you want to believe they will happen or not is your choice. Most products we buy today are cheaper to manufacture then when they acme out and yet cost more. Not paying for commercials will not result in less overall costs for products.

#213 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:15 PM

You are trying to say that time shifting and using the skip button is somehow different but fundamentally it is not. In the end you are still skipping the ad. I am sure advertisers do think in terms of how effective their ad is based on a consumer viewing 1 or 2 seconds of it:rolleyes:

The argument that ad revenues will be lost forever was already put forth and proven wrong when the DVR first hit the streets and became wildly popular. The truth is it (VCR,DVR,TIVO etc) has had ZERO effect on ad revenues.


It's completely different if dish is erasing the ads from the program. That's why replaytv figured they'd loose their copyright fight and removed the feature. Dish altering what you see versus the customer altering it is fundamentally different and the reason I think dish will lose.

#214 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:38 PM

It's completely different if dish is erasing the ads from the program. That's why replaytv figured they'd loose their copyright fight and removed the feature. Dish altering what you see versus the customer altering it is fundamentally different and the reason I think dish will lose.


How many times must it be said?!? Dish does not erase the commercials. In effect, Dish presses the 30-second skip button at the right moment the proper number of times to skip over ads instantly, nothing more. And the viewer must choose to skip them each time they watch a program, so the feature is not automatic. Granted, it is one button press rather than many, but nothing is being altered outside of the user's control.

#215 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:44 PM

How many times must it be said?!? Dish does not erase the commercials. In effect, Dish presses the 30-second skip button at the right moment the proper number of times to skip over ads instantly, nothing more. And the viewer must choose to skip them each time they watch a program, so the feature is not automatic. Granted, it is one button press rather than many, but nothing is being altered outside of the user's control.


Is any commercial visible or is it like an instant transport?
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#216 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:00 PM

Is any commercial visible or is it like an instant transport?


No commercials visible. Just a brief pause and maybe 1-2 seconds of audio before the program returns.

#217 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:05 PM

No commercials visible. Just a brief pause and maybe 1-2 seconds of audio before the program returns.


IMO, that's what might make the biggest difference:

Many cable companies removed the skip function a few years ago. They even removed the skip button entirely from their remotes. Did they do this because of potential legal issues, fear, pressure from the networks, or because some of them own a lot of the content? Does DirecTV essentially hide skip for similar reasons? Is slip viewed any differently by the networks because you can still see the commercial?
...


I think that's the key...with FFW & "slip" you're still somewhat seeing commercials. TWC has removed 30 skip from Navigator completely & UVerse slips like DirecTV's default.


If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#218 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:07 PM

How many times must it be said?!? Dish does not erase the commercials. In effect, Dish presses the 30-second skip button at the right moment the proper number of times to skip over ads instantly, nothing more. And the viewer must choose to skip them each time they watch a program, so the feature is not automatic. Granted, it is one button press rather than many, but nothing is being altered outside of the user's control.



So you've seen the code and you're stating that it reaches a time in the file and then presses the skip button a pre determined amount, because all commercial length breaks are the same (they're not), and then it just resumes like normal?

The argument is going to be about HOW the end result happens not what is the end result.

#219 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

Not to go way off-topic, but my point here was that Dish can't take the "use your content you pay for any way you want" stance when they aren't really promoting that in all areas themselves. Dish is being very selective.

Many of the restrictions on DISH equipment are there because of the content providers. Perhaps they are simply choosing their battles.

The same "use your content you pay for any way you want" stance could be applied to HBO, PPV, VOD and other channels with DRM enabled. Why doesn't DISH allow people to save any recording or snip of recording to a shareable or burnable file like Tivo users can do? Losing the premium channels, PPV and VOD is not a battle that DISH can afford to lose. (And now DirecTV is adding DRM on certain channels ... because they can't afford to lose those channels either.)


Heck, even AutoHop only functions on the "big 4" OTA networks... Why didn't Dish enable this commercial skipping feature on all channels that have commercials? I mean, if they believe customers "shouldn't be forced to watch commercials"... why are they not enabling this feature across the board?

That one I'll give them. The ability to find the commercials in the content is key to the ability to skip them. With PTA the exact time of every recording is controlled by the DVR. PTA records a system controlled window ... and the placement of commercials within that window can be observed or determined by monitoring the feeds.

With individual timers the user sets the start and end time padding ... so the calculation as to where the commercials are would vary based on the start time. Also monitoring more than four networks in three time zones and providing accurate break times would be more cumbersome. Perhaps a few top channels could be monitored but skipping ALL commercials is cumbersome.

AutoHOP fits within the realm of something that CAN be done. The technology exists and making it work accurately for a few hours per evening is possible. Every channel isn't within that realm.

#220 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:54 PM

So you've seen the code and you're stating that it reaches a time in the file and then presses the skip button a pre determined amount, because all commercial length breaks are the same (they're not), and then it just resumes like normal?

Playback or skip that passes the beginning of a commercial break makes a giant hop to the end of the break. There is no stutter or slip ... just a jump.

I keep finding myself reaching for the remote to skip the commercials myself and thinking "OH, this thing skips for me". I still skip the bad parts of the programming (I don't care about "auditions that popped" - especially ones I have not seen yet).

The argument is going to be about HOW the end result happens not what is the end result.

I disagree. The complaint is focused on the end result ... no commercials on network TV during prime time if you wait until the next day. And DISH is advertising commercial free primetime as part of their Hopper ad series (on stations airing the spots).

Perhaps if there was a HOP button that users had to press during each break to "skip all" the industry would like it better. But the industry has been pushing for DISH and others to make commercials unskipable on their DVRs. DISH decided to go the other way.

#221 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:19 PM

Playback or skip that passes the beginning of a commercial break makes a giant hop to the end of the break. There is no stutter or slip ... just a jump.

I keep finding myself reaching for the remote to skip the commercials myself and thinking "OH, this thing skips for me". I still skip the bad parts of the programming (I don't care about "auditions that popped" - especially ones I have not seen yet).

I disagree. The complaint is focused on the end result ... no commercials on network TV during prime time if you wait until the next day. And DISH is advertising commercial free primetime as part of their Hopper ad series (on stations airing the spots).

Perhaps if there was a HOP button that users had to press during each break to "skip all" the industry would like it better. But the industry has been pushing for DISH and others to make commercials unskipable on their DVRs. DISH decided to go the other way.


I understand the end result is what they're caring about but the how is giving them the legal basis for the case.

#222 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:08 PM

So you've seen the code and you're stating that it reaches a time in the file and then presses the skip button a pre determined amount, because all commercial length breaks are the same (they're not), and then it just resumes like normal?

The argument is going to be about HOW the end result happens not what is the end result.


I said, "in effect." That is, the argument that what Dish is doing is somehow something the end user could not do is silly. All that Dish's technology does is automate the process and make it more accurate - no skipping back necessary. And no, I never said that it is doing something predetermined - this is based on timestamps that Dish sends to the Hopper to allow it to hop.

I don't think any network cares how it happens. I think it is the end result (nobody seeing commercials) that they care about.

#223 OFFLINE   356B

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

I don't think the media is going to be sympathetic to Dish, and why should they? Auto Hop is a threat, all media is keenly aware of the shrinking revenue stream. Auto hop is fouling another piece of the revenue that is already threatened by many but profoundly by streaming and ultimately the internet.
Even though the percentages Auto Hop affects seem small now, in reality the Networks know that if this is not stopped right here right now all TV programing could be at the whim of a PTAT, a Auto Hop or the next best manipulation to come along. Advertising is the fuel that runs the machine, if that dries up, even in a small area a new source must be found to maintain the status quo.
I suspect the Networks knew this was coming, but the Advertisers probably didn't. The advertisers have been putting the screws to the networks since this hit the street. If I was running the ad department at Apple, my line would be, get this fixed now or adjust my advertising rate considerably.
This could be a game changer, Dish has the populous now and knows it, but if subscription fees rise and or the fear of legal entanglement escalates, who knows.
This is akin to the insert ads in Newspapers, most people throw them away with out looking, but the advertiser knows they are there and readers at the very least handles them....the beauty of Auto Hop is, the ads go away with a click.
Thank you and
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#224 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

I said, "in effect." That is, the argument that what Dish is doing is somehow something the end user could not do is silly. All that Dish's technology does is automate the process and make it more accurate - no skipping back necessary. And no, I never said that it is doing something predetermined - this is based on timestamps that Dish sends to the Hopper to allow it to hop.

I don't think any network cares how it happens. I think it is the end result (nobody seeing commercials) that they care about.


Agree.

Will this require that staff at Dish will have to hand code flags for commercials in some (or all) programs, or do such flags already exist by custom or fiat?
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#225 OFFLINE   Darcaine

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

Okay, so ABC Family could run all the new ABC programs. USA could run all the new NBC programs. FX could run all the new Fox programs. I'm don't know what network would run all the CBS programs, but they could create one if they wanted. They don't. And their first-run series are usually pretty awful compared to broadcast television. They don't have to share their ad time with local channels. So why don't they run the good stuff and fill their broadcast networks with the crap? Why are most major sporting events still on broadcast television? What you seem to be saying is that the only reason these shows don't get the ratings is because they aren't timed for the different time zones (which means those Mountain Time Zone viewers are skewing the results, since they all re-air their programs 3 hours later, which means the same time zone coverage for ET, CT and PT.)

And while cable has had a few notable exceptions when it comes to a highly-rated show now and then, no station comes close to delivering the numbers 7 nights a week for three hours a night (two for Fox.) And it isn't because the networks couldn't run those programs on their pay channels - it is because they choose not to. And the reason is a simple and obvious one: money. Broadcast television is the king for money. It has the most potential viewers of any distribution system. By a lot.

If AMC was offering original programming 7 nights a week for 2-3 hours a night, I don't think there'd be any question about their being worth $0.70/subscriber. But they don't deliver that kind of value. How much satellite space do DirecTV and Dish devote to local channels? They don't have to carry them. They choose to because they know that most customers would choose cable over satellite because they have those precious few local channels. The rest of the lineup doesn't compare to those 5-6 channels.

Broadcast television is king.


True, but it's been leveling out for years. Cable is rising and Broadcast TV audiences are dropping.

Nowadays a show that gets 5 - 7 million viewers most nights of the week on broadcast TV, still has a shot of staying on the air. No way would a show like Fringe live for 5 seasons, with an average viewer rating of 3 - 4 million viewers on a major broadcast channel, 10 years ago.

Cable, and IPTV have also forced the Broadcast Networks to be more patient with shows, no more dropping a show after 3 episodes because it doesn't premiere to huge ratings.

So yeah, Broadcast is still king for now, but the days of it having a captive audience are over.




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