[PLUG-TALK] internet app - commercial times

Dwight Hubbard dwight.hubbard at gmail.com
Sat Mar 26 00:16:55 PDT 2011

Or you could just use MythTV and have it remove the commercials.

I imagine since IPTV is starting to take off, that pretty soon you'll see
the content providers varying the length of commercials for each viewer so
the commercials are no longer synchronized.

It would still work for stuff like live sports but other stuff not so much.

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 11:36 PM, Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> wrote:

> Half baked idea, free for the taking if someone can figure
> out how to make a buck with it:
> I don't like television.  I especially don't like commercials.
> I don't like the unhealthy overconsumption those commercials
> encourage.  Others may like broadcast television, but not
> commercials.  I know those commercials are paying for the
> broadcasts, but they are also paying for crap like the DMCA.
> Hollywood still has too much money.  Imagine an internet-
> connected and video-connected switch box which can replace
> commercials with queued-up short youtubes, or home
> security cameras, or brief exercise videos, or whatever.
> Imagine a server that broadcast packets over the internet to
> all these boxes, signalling the start and end of commercials
> for all the channels.  The box in each house could match
> channel and packet, and decide when to switch over to
> alternate content based on individual user preferences.
> Of course, the broadcasters won't provide the signalling
> packets.  The commercial detector server will depend on some
> combination of computerized pattern matching, and live humans
> watching the various channels and punching keyboard keys at
> appropriate times.  To keep the latency down, those humans
> may need to be local both geographically and ISP-wise.
> Since there are plenty of people watching TV for free, there
> are probably many individuals who will do this for cheap.
> Some fraction of them will be fast and accurate.  Some may
> even be able to accurately anticipate the commercials before
> the content actually ends, or guess how long they will last.
> The accuracy can measured in software; the service can give
> prizes to the best human detectors, and weight their
> responses higher than the other humans feeding the same
> channel information.
> Heck, there may be users happy to receive commercials if
> they are relevant - the local box may overlay the broadcast
> commercials with individually targeted ones.  An alternate
> version of me would watch ads for books, organic groceries,
> and tools.
> The broadcasters and content providers will have hissy fits,
> of course.  Perhaps they will bribe legislators to make the
> video switch boxes illegal.  Fine, use IR remote signals to
> switch the TV to a blank channel.  Then turn on something
> else, maybe music or meditation sounds while the viewer rests
> their eyes.  Or connect viewers to other viewers with audio
> chat.  A commercial break can be used for many things.
> Before the demand is high enough to build video switch
> boxes, the server and net app can facilitate the alternate
> activity uses, and be a pure software play.  Perhaps there
> are some unemployed programmers reading this with enough
> time to hack something up.  The television's remote control
> IR port can be driven by a laptop IR port, or some Arduino
> kludge.  I know Mitch Altman, who sells the TV-B-Gone,
> and I bet he would love to sell an IR dongle for this.
> We all know people who watch too much TV.  We can put them
> to productive use.  My relative watches too much Fox News.
> She and ten others could provide data for the other hundred
> Fox viewers in this not-right-wing region.  If she is
> observing carefully enough to accurately detect the
> commercials, her brain might be more active and able
> to resist them, perhaps the content as well.
> Not being a television watcher, I am probably missing a
> lot here.  Content encryption schemes may make this hard
> to do.  But it might be simpler than I expect.  It would
> be nice to recover a little bit of the two trillion hours
> wasted on television each year, and save a few of my
> neighbors from consuming the crap that TV advertises.
> Keith
> --
> Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
> KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
> Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs
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