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Dish AutoHop vs Networks Commercial Skipping Discussion

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by phrelin, May 15, 2012.

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  1. Jun 3, 2012 #461 of 695
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    But it doesn't have to be something that's always there; you can bet some networks have already figured out how to defeat those. Exception would be if there's a contractual agreement or FCC rule mandating tags or flags for commercials. I don't think it's anything like ReplayTV in the mechanics, or if it is, it'll soon be defeated.
     
  2. Jun 3, 2012 #462 of 695
    Laxguy

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    Winters,...
    Well, thank you, but cannot the CC info be manipulated to a large extent? Could you describe more how it does work?
     
  3. Jun 3, 2012 #463 of 695
    tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

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    http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20120057847
    That's clearly how Dish is doing it.

    I don't claim to be an expert, but my understanding is no it can't really be manipulated because receivers are looking for specific info for CC to work. Even at that, if it is changed/manipulated how long would it take to adapt to the change? That's the beauty of technology too, it can adapt so long as someone is willing to make it do so.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2012 #464 of 695
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    But what we're talking about is taking away whatever DISH is using and replacing it with some other system that DISH can't utilize to enable commercial skipping.
     
  5. Jun 3, 2012 #465 of 695
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Having worked with systems that DO the type of cues I am speaking about it could be described as trivial. Technology is at the state where networks CAN send cues to affiliates along with their network content without putting the cues in the signal that is passed on to the OTA viewer. It is done every day.

    Cooperation is easy ... we're talking about how networks get their signal to a couple of hundred of affiliates each. The network either supplies or specifies the receivers and switch equipment that will work with their feeds and the desired results are delivered. And you can see the results by simply tuning to a broadcast affiliate. Brought to you by professional broadcast engineers.

    The signals that networks use to cue breaks and other information do not have to be in the feed passed OTA.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2012 #466 of 695
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Not if they relied on the national feed. They might be able to delay the show a few seconds (causing the Hopper to cut out early at the beginning of a break, if time is the cue) but an affiliate cannot air the program before they receive it. In order for a station to be early, they would have to be a mountain or pacific station and record the eastern/central feed hours before.

    A few years ago stations in Indiana (Fort Wayne and Indianapolis markets) would record networks during the summer months and delay broadcast for an hour due to the former Indiana time zone. When HD came they had to make the expensive decision to either stop doing this or buy HD delay equipment (at a time where local HD production was just starting in smaller markets). They bought the delay equipment ... and then the time zone changed to EST/EDT. I don't see a lot of west coast/mountain stations making that level of equipment investment just to mess with AutoHOP (and that is assuming they could get the east coast feed to delay).
     
  7. Jun 3, 2012 #467 of 695
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    The first part is what I've been talking about all along, but DISH will be able to impose their own system that will enable Hopper to work just fine.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2012 #468 of 695
    James Long

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    An interesting find ... although I find it hard to believe all of the work is done at the receiver level. I expect that some information from DISH (sent around 1am) would identify what indexed CC information should be used for the frame jump and how long that jump should last.

    It is also interesting to note a referenced patent application: "[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/942,111, entitled "METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR FILTERING CONTENT IN A VIDEO STREAM USING TEXT DATA", filed on Nov. 19, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety." If the patent you linked is key to AutoHOP it seems that DISH has been working on this for a long time.

    As to the idea of using CC as the only queue:
    All local affiliates would need to transmit CC, in sync with the programming. Errors in CC (which are common) would lead to errors in AutoHOP (which are less common).
    The beginning of a network break would not be unique. What in CC is different between a show and a network commercial?
    The end of the break consists of whatever local content is on before the show returns. It is by nature inconsistent, so separate information would need to be provided to the receiver by DISH to queue off of the beginning of the break plus the length of the break for the "hop".
    The use of CC has changed from NTSC to ATSC. It isn't all in line 21 any more.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2012 #469 of 695
    olguy

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    If it is CC how do they adjust for those times when the CC is actually lagging behind the dialog? Sometimes several seconds.
     
  10. Jun 3, 2012 #470 of 695
    phrelin

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    Thanks for that info. It's interesting reading.

    These two paragraphs are going to be difficult for the broadcasters to create arguments to overcome simply because they are a statement of fact:
    I guess Dish could design an offensive word algorithm that a user could turn on which would make their technology appeal to a broader political and legal base.:sure:

    CC is not foolproof. But in addition to avoiding the 'Live+same day" ratings issue, I guess they could have some kind of algorithm at the uplink center to monitor for more obvious problems developing and have some time to straighten it out.
     
  11. Jun 3, 2012 #471 of 695
    James Long

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    That has already been done ... TVGuardian (Warning!!! Talking website).

    After taking more time to read the patent application it seems the task may be harder than I thought. The patent gives examples of different commercial break patterns in Denver than NYC. The examples give the same number of minutes for commercials but in Denver the breaks are in different locations. I don't see how the networks and affiliates could do that for programs in the same timezone ... perhaps this patent is more for the feared "next step" of adding AutoHOP to syndicated programming?

    (Yes, I know Denver and NYC are not in the same timezone. But all markets in the same respective time zone should be airing the same feed with the same break times - which makes it easier to operate AutoHOP by a non per receiver CC based process.)
     
  12. Jun 3, 2012 #472 of 695
    Stewart Vernon

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    I hadn't thought about it until some of the recent posts... but it probably wouldn't be difficult for the broadcast networks to separate the commercial cues from the standard transmission now.

    The satellite-delivered feeds, though, would be more problematic... so depending on how Dish is doing this... the OTA channels have a way around it that the satellite channels don't have as easily.
     
  13. Jun 5, 2012 #473 of 695
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Was your experience with a real-time system or something where timing is an issue? Real-time is easy. Where there are digital delays present everywhere in the system it is not trivial at all.

    Everyone seems to be assuming that everything is carefully time coded as it comes down and I'm doubtful that's the case. If it is, then it might be straightforward to implement but certainly not trivial to implement. If the stream isn't time coded, it would need to be so the system knows where in the stream to apply the commercials.
     
  14. Jun 5, 2012 #474 of 695
    Mike Bertelson

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    I have a family member who is in the TV biz and I got to see how some of this works.

    It was a long time ago and honestly most of what was happening was beyond me. I do remember there are timing mark ins and mark outs for transitions like commercials.

    IIRC, prime time programming is very carefully timed. Local commercials are, for the most part, inserted seamlessly so it shouldn’t be any more difficult to get AutoHop to work.

    Of course I’m not at all familiar with how the systems work but the engineer in me thinks that proper timing of starts, stops, transitions, etc would be critical to ensure you get all your ads in the right place, at the right times. After all these years, and in the digital age, I would think that would be something broadcasters would do very well...I’ve been wrong before. :grin:

    Mike
     
  15. Jun 5, 2012 #475 of 695
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Where did you find an or?

    The system I worked with was real-time and timing was certainly an issue - that was solved. It is something that is done every day by the television broadcast networks. All sorts of synchronized signals in the digital pipe. Getting the cues for break start/stop and local logo on/off in sync with the video is just as easy as getting the audio in sync with the video. And it can be done on the feed to the affiliate in a way that is not passed on to the transmitter and viewer.

    Or, for the sake of this thread, the hidden cues from the network that let the station know where the breaks are are not something DISH or any other viewer sees. That is why I call them hidden cues. :)
     
  16. Jun 5, 2012 #476 of 695
    SayWhat?

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    Check Rizzoli & Isles on TBS right now........

    What can Dish (or anyone else) to get rid of the nonsense at the bottom of the screen?
     
  17. Jun 5, 2012 #477 of 695
    Nick

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    Change the channel.
     
  18. Jun 5, 2012 #478 of 695
    Stewart Vernon

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    Funny... I was about to post about this :)

    This is one of the ways channels can defeat the commercial skipping... devote 15% of the screen to commercials during the show!
     
  19. Jun 6, 2012 #479 of 695
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    A screen shot, please!
     
  20. Jun 6, 2012 #480 of 695
    Stewart Vernon

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    Of what? Of the advertising banners that TNT runs during almost every show they air? At least almost every TNT-original production.
     
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