TV Technology to Prevent Skipping Commercials? Yes.


I was checking some tech/entertainment news this morning and this article caused me to do a spit take all over myself and my computer. After wiping up Full Throttle energy drink from my pants and in my cubicle, and then apologizing to the people around me, I got back to reading the article.  Apparently, Royal Phillips Company, also known as Phillips and one of the world’s leading electronics companies, has developed, and is trying to patent, a technology that would freeze the TV channel when commercials are airing.  This technology would reside either on the TV itself or in a set-top cable box and would force TV viewers to watch commercials.

Being a TiVo owner, I have come to loathe commercials like poison.  It’s so nice to be able to flip the fast forward button twice and get right back to the show.  After having done this for so long, the idea of being forced to watch commercials causes my banana and breakfast bar to make a return visit to my esophagus.  Every once in a while, my wife and I will watch a show live and have to sit through commercials.  It’s like water torture.  Not only are most commercials extremely irritating with fast-cut MTV editing, they are broadcast at least one and a half times louder than the show you are watching.  I do admit that there are some commercials I enjoy watching.  The Geico commercials are funny with the gecko and his limey accent.  I also enjoy the Burger King big-buckin’ chicken commercial.  Bud Light will always come up with some genius spots also (to check out the latest funny Bud Light commercials go here).

This technology, however maddening or close to patent it is, could never survive real life testing.  Consumer corporations like Sony and JVC may buy it and put it in their TVs, Motorola and Texas Instruments may buy it and put it in their cable boxes.  This is a technology you know the networks and ad executives can get behind.  And all of this can be implemented inside your hardware and not turned on.  As a matter of fact, this technology could be bundled with a larger service pack and the cable companies told they need it on their boxes to be able to capture the satellite signals.  It will then sit there until one of the companies gets the testicular fortitude to turn it on for a test audience.  The minute Joe Six-Pack can’t change the channel during commercials, he’ll flood the cable company with calls thinking his box is broken or malfunctioning.  The cable company may or may not know what is going on.  The technology will then be turned off and labeled a glitch in the system.  That’s how, in all likely-hood it should play out.

At least I hope so, because if I’m forced to watch commercials, the next logical step is staking out a small place of business and taking a hostage.  You can see me on the news, while being forced to watch the commercials.

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