[PLUG-TALK] internet app - commercial times

Richard C. Steffens rsteff at comcast.net
Sat Mar 26 10:09:06 PDT 2011

On 03/25/2011 11:36 PM, Keith Lofstrom wrote:

> 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.

They already do something like that. Not packets, but part of the video 

Something over a year ago, we bought a used ReplayTV, model 4 
(something). It has commercial skip built in, which allows me to choose 
to skip commercials, or not, when I play back something I've recorded. 
It works by detecting a fade to black signal (or something like that), 
that broadcasters insert just before commercials are to run so that the 
local station's equipment can run the local commercial set. (Again, 
something like that. I may have some details wrong.) It works most of 
the time. Once in awhile, the commercial is from the broadcaster, so 
there is no fade to black. I suspect MythTV has something that works in 
a similar way.

BTW, later versions of the ReplayTV stopped providing the feature. They 
caved in to the pressure from broadcasters and advertisers.


Dick Steffens

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