Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

TiVo Starts Testing "Pop-up" Ads 603

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-could-get-tricky dept.
mkraft writes "ZDNet is reporting that TiVo has started a testing a new pop-up style ad on a random and limited number of subscriber's TiVo as of this weekend. The ads are designed to be displayed on screen when the user fast forwards through specially tagged commercials. Clicking the thumbsup or select button on the TiVo remote will take the user to a menu containing more information about the advertisement (text and/or video). Unfortunately according to reports on the TiVo Community forums the ads are also showing up during actual programs as well."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TiVo Starts Testing "Pop-up" Ads

Comments Filter:
  • So much for TiVo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maotx (765127) <maotx@EINSTEINyahoo.com minus physicist> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:10PM (#12076497)
    Nothing like watching a great show and having to minimize the link for the latest viagra pill with your kids.
    And to think, TiVo use to be a quality DVR...

    I guess the pressure about the ability to skip ads and their lack of revenue convinced them to take this approach.
    One would think that with the recent signing with Comcast [slashdot.org] that TiVo wouldn't have the need to pull something like this.
    Given my choice in the future I do believe I shall stick with something more like MythTV [mythtv.org]
    • Re:So much for TiVo (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NinjaFarmer (833539)
      I personally don't think that showing a single image of an add for the product that you are fast forwarding over is a problem. The advertisers payed of the spot, so they should get something. The problem is if these pop-ups are interfering with normal viewing of the show.

      I think it would be interesting if they did something like this for free downloads of shows. 5-10 seconds for an image of the ads that would normally be where a commercial break is. You can pay to not have the ads.
      • Re:So much for TiVo (Score:5, Informative)

        by mmusson (753678) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:38PM (#12076849)
        One problem people are reporting is that the overlaid ad makes it very difficult to see where to stop fast forwarding.

        Also this happen on a rewind too if you read the Tivo forums. And due to a bug its displaying during the programs and not during the adds if you pause live.
      • Don't be so quick to dismiss these pop-up ads. Be afraid. Be very afraid! [uncoveror.com]
      • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:57PM (#12077071)
        The advertisers paid for the spot?

        I also seem to have paid for the cable subscription.
        But maybe you get your cable for free, so the only way for the cable company to make money is from the advertising.

        My 50 bucks a month must be buying toilet paper, or 1 dollar bills for lighting cigars.

        I swear to god, if all this no-ff-through-commercials and advertising bullshit keeps growing, I'm gonna buy me a VHS and learn how to program the recording timers.

      • They were given their time slot when the show was aired and transmitted over the air or over cable.

        That doesn't give them the right to take up that space on my recording of the event.

        This episode makes me happy that I have a ReplayTV and not a Tivo. :-)
      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:25PM (#12077436)
        The advertisers payed of the spot, so they should get something.

        I don't give a rat's ass what the advertisers paid for, or what their business model is. They paid the TV networks to broadcast their ad, and that's what happened.

        If I own a TiVo, then I have paid TiVo for a digital recording device which I can use to time-shift programs and skip ads. I have not signed any sort of contract with the TV broadcasting networks, and to my knowledge, TiVo has no contract with them obligating them to prevent users from skipping their ads. If they do have any such contract, then I want no part of TiVo's service, and will look for an alternative.

        It's not my problem, or that of the DVR manufacturers, that the advertisers' business model isn't working. That's their problem. All they're paying for, and getting, is the chance at getting someone to watch their ad by broadcasting it. This does not imply any guarantee that people will actually sit there and watch it, instead of fast-forwarding past it, or even going to the crapper while it plays. Why should I pay for a device which forces me to watch ads? If the advertisers don't like this, they can go find another way of advertising.

        I think it would be interesting if they did something like this for free downloads of shows. 5-10 seconds for an image of the ads that would normally be where a commercial break is. You can pay to not have the ads.

        This would only be acceptable if they gave away the (ad-enabled) TiVos for free.
    • by sgant (178166) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:24PM (#12076669) Homepage Journal
      They say they're barely keeping afloat, yet how can they have screwed up so badly like this? I mean, they have a monthly fee you have to pay for the service right? That's income generated on a monthly basis...and new subscribers etc etc. And let's face it, the equipment can't be all that expensive (for them).

      What I want is to walk into a store and pick up a digital recorder that records on a HD that I don't have the idiotic monthly fee. Just give me a recording device that..you know...comes on at 8pm, records an hour, then goes off at 9pm. It can still have the pause-while-recording feature and the skipping of the commercials and everything...but WHY be tied to a monthly fee bullshit?

      Is there such a thing out there without me having to build a MythTV box?
      • by jargoone (166102) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:33PM (#12076794)
        And let's face it, the equipment can't be all that expensive (for them).

        You can get an 80 hour TiVo for $99 after rebate. Do you think it costs them less than that to produce the hardware?

        Is there such a thing out there without me having to build a MythTV box?

        Yes, there are lots of them. Find anything that comes with the "TiVo Basic" service, and it's a device exactly like you describe. They're expensive, sometimes costing more than a TiVo with lifetime service.
      • > That's income generated on a monthly basis...and new
        > subscribers etc etc. And let's face it, the equipment can't be all
        > that expensive (for them).

        We studied TiVo's business model in one of my MBA classes. Basically, they lose money on each box they sell and they make ridiculous amounts of money for the service -- more than 70% direct margins, if I recall correctly.

        So the obvious idea is why the hell is TiVo selling hardware at all? Just sell a service that different devices can subscribe to.
    • by zotz (3951) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:28PM (#12076711) Homepage Journal
      Sign up now for "How to kill your product 101"

      the latest course on college campuses worldwide...

      all the best,

      drew
      • by TexTex (323298) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:55PM (#12077043)
        Trends like these are all over the place in advertising. There's an initial horrid reaction of the disgust and intolerance. And then, people just move on and get used to it. You become numb to the advertising...

        Remember when previews were the first thing on a movie screen? Now...I watch advertising for local companies the entire time before the projector even starts. And then, I get about 5 minutes of movie-sized commercials before the previews. This is for a movie I've already paid $10 to go see.

        Video games have become saturated with product placement and music singles. Games used to use generic descriptions and canned music.

        Entire television shows are dedicated to selling products. The real-life business opportunities for The Apprentice candidates are paid advertising bought buy those companies. A few million bucks and your product gets a 30-minute show based around having people promote and sell your brand. It's reality TV mixed with an infomercial, but people flock to season after season of it.

        Does anyone even notice the corner ads in the entire Comcast menu guide anymore? Any time you change the channel or browse the listings, you're hit with an ad.

        It's all stuff we've learned to ignore. Tivo seems to be no exception to the trends and over time, we'll block that out as well. A vicious cycle...but one which will continue unless companies aren't interested in making more money than they did last year.

      • By using MY hardware to download ads and MY hardware to spy on my tv watching activities. This has been going for years, yet everyone sat back and didn't care. I guess the pop up ads are what the broke the camels back. I'm glad I left tivo a while years ago after i found out that Tivo was using my own PURCHASED hardware to spy on me.
    • Re:So much for TiVo (Score:5, Interesting)

      by spoonyfork (23307) <spoonyfork@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:29PM (#12076739) Journal

      Nothing like watching a great show and having to minimize the link for the latest viagra pill with your kids.

      Outstanding point. My brother is equally if not more concerned about what ads his children are exposed to while watching TV. One solution was to filter all ads with the notion of there never having been a worthwhile ad to watch. The assumption is that all ads are harmful to children. TiVo was a device that could help parents accomplish such as task.

    • TiVo Officially Evil (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:30PM (#12076752) Homepage Journal
      Nothing like watching a great show and having to minimize the link for the latest viagra pill with your kids. And to think, TiVo use to be a quality DVR...

      Might as well just cross them off the list of "Good Guys" as if the deal with ComCast shouldn't have already strongly suggested that, but consider TiVo have had this ability in there all along and, like summoning a sleeper agent to commit some dastardly act (like replace all your Guinness with Budweiser.)

      Adios TiVo. Rot in hell.

    • Re:So much for TiVo (Score:3, Informative)

      by LoadStar (532607)

      Nothing like watching a great show and having to minimize the link for the latest viagra pill with your kids. And to think, TiVo use to be a quality DVR...

      This is INSIGHTFUL?!?

      First of all, the ad is for the product you're fast forwarding through - that is, if you fast forward throughb a movie ad, you'll see a "billboard" or a banner ad for THAT MOVIE.

      Second, you don't have to minimize anything. The ad appears for the exact length of the ad as it's being fast forwarded - that is, about a second or two.

      • Re:So much for TiVo (Score:5, Informative)

        by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:33PM (#12077521)
        First of all, the ad is for the product you're fast forwarding through - that is, if you fast forward throughb a movie ad, you'll see a "billboard" or a banner ad for THAT MOVIE.

        And this got modded as INFORMATIVE??

        You obviously have not seen one of these ads. I got an ad for The Interpreter last night (apparently the only ad TiVo's got right now) during "24" - there were no ads for this movie during the ads I was ff'ing through (that I could see, anyway).

        The ad appears for the exact length of the ad as it's being fast forwarded - that is, about a second or two.

        Uh, no. The ad appears for the entire duration you are fast-forwarding. In my case, this meant that yes, I missed the point at which the show came back several times, because the ad takes up more than 50% of the screen area, and it's right in the middle of the screen.

        Apparently this is not supposed to happen (the ads are supposed to disappear when the show comes back), but a) to have it work properly TiVo would need some sort of commercial detect technology, and as far as I know it has none (it does know when special "flagged" commercials from co-sponsors run, but not all ads are flagged), b) that commercial detect technology would have to work 100% of the time, and no commercial detection does that, and c) even if TiVo did have such a thing, and it worked all the time, the TiVo boxes are so slow right now with the 7.1a software that they'd probably lag by 3 or 4 seconds anyway, which when ff'ing on 3X (which is really faster than 3X speed) could be two minutes into the TV show.

        In short, these ads totally destroy one of the main reasons for using TiVo, and when you see one, you'll feel the same. The idea as I first heard it actually didn't bother me so much in theory (even though I am paying for this service after all, so I don't see why I should be seeing TiVo-delivered ads), but the implementation in practice is absolutely horrendous. It will definitely, 100% cause me to cancel my subscription if it is not completely redesigned.
    • by Xibby (232218) <zibby+slashdot@ringworld.org> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @02:50PM (#12078650) Homepage Journal
      Predictions of TiVo's death are greatly exaggerated, in my opinion. In my opinion, the banner adds while fast forwarding are a great idea.

      Think about it, advertisers want a captive audience for their advertising. They pay for product placement in movies and TV shows because they know the audience is watching attentively. Not true for running commercials on radio and TV. People walk away for a bathroom break, to grab a snack, or any number of other things.

      But if someone fast forwards through a commercial, advertisers know that you will be looking at the screen, because you want to stop fast forwarding before the show starts. You are a very captive audience, and you will be looking right at the advertising.

      Users may not like the banner ads, especially as TiVo is currently testing them and working out any bugs. In the end though, the ads are an incredibly good thing for TiVo (the company.) As long as TiVo services, TiVo subscription service will continue, and new TiVo models and features will be introduced. Good for TiVo.

      There is definitely more positive than negative with the new banner ads.
  • "Our goal..." (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:10PM (#12076498) Homepage Journal
    FTA: "Our goal is in no way to interfere with the TiVo experience," TiVo spokesman David Shane said.

    TiVo has gone from a cool company with financial problems to another advertising laden CrapCo that's cutting it's own throat. Even more reason to cancel cable entirely, buy a divx/xvid ready dvd player (well under CA$100) and download what really interests you without ads. Don't worry, the big studios won't starve. They're making buckets on product placement within the shows now.
    • They will only continue to make money as long as product placement is considered effective.

      Fortunately, product placement IS effective.
    • Re:"Our goal..." (Score:5, Informative)

      by kesuki (321456) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:58PM (#12077085) Journal
      Bandwith is still too expensive, get a netflix or wal-mart DVD rental account, DVDs come by mail, DeCrypt them, DVD shrink em, Burn em on 50 cent blank DVD-r. pop em back in mailbox with flag up, wait to get more. the furthest you have to walk is to your mailbox, it costs under $20 a month, (walmart is even cheaper) and you can't beat the price of bandwith (~168 Gbit/~$1) Which is all covered under your subscription (they expect you to be able to make about 8-12 rentals a month or less, however, if you drop them off the day after they come you could average as many as 12-18 per month, depending on factors like USPS speed etc)
      And with all those TV shows coming out on DVDs, chances are you can even get popular TV shows via netflix.
      Best of all, the big studios make Some money (although not as much as if you bought the DVDs) so they'll never crack down on your supplier of almost free* movies (netflix/wal-mart etc.)

      Anything you can't get via netflix you can DL, which will drastically cut down on how much you want/need to DL greatly. Others have mentioned myth TV, which is Yet Another option, but it won't cut out the ads, however there are splitting/merging tools that can be manually used to clip out ads, without recoding.

      *= $1.50, to $3.50 depending on how often you return discs cost of media etc. If you actuall bother to DivX encode(which is a pain, and not worth my time) them, you can fit about 4-6 times the movies per disc, cutting media cost...
    • A tad extreme (Score:3, Interesting)

      TiVo has gone from a cool company with financial problems to another advertising laden CrapCo that's cutting it's own throat. Even more reason to cancel cable entirely, buy a divx/xvid ready dvd player (well under CA$100) and download what really interests you without ads. Don't worry, the big studios won't starve. They're making buckets on product placement within the shows now.

      Come on. Exactly what is the harm with this? You're not missing your show. Tivo's just trying to stay alive. Do remember they

      • Re:A tad extreme (Score:3, Interesting)

        by endoboy (560088)
        The harm with this is that it diminishes my viewing experience. Tivo is attempting to sell my attention span, and I'm not amused.

        To me, this is analagous to the ads that movie theaters have been playing in recent years--I'm suddenly the captive audience for a commercial, and I DON'T like it. Not coincidentally, I used to spend a great deal more money than I now do at the movies.

        I seek out advertising free zones in my life, and it's always sad to see another one passing away.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:11PM (#12076512) Homepage Journal
    This popped up on my TiVo while watching "Good Eats." I'm sitting there, find out how to use water to slow down and control the tempature of custard when all of a sudden I get a popup for feminine product.

    Really, what does that have anything to do with an egg based custard? I mean, you can add fruit and other neat things to the bottom of the custard for some variations, but feminine products had no business anywhere around there. Almost lost my appe[tt]ite!
  • by stecoop (759508) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:12PM (#12076520) Journal
    During Christmas I was 30 second skipping commercials and it gave a pop up and said to enter the 20 digit number on the Replay web page to be entered for a drawing of some cash (cant remember exactly). I did it - foolishly. I think it was a marketing study to evaluate the rate of capturing attention so commercials could be inserted for revenue.

    I have seen the Tivo commercial "thumbs up" but it is really non intrusive and you have only a half second to press the button the get the ad. It is just a matter of time until the commercials are back in your face though. Since I use both Tivo and Replay for comparisons. I am fortunate to pay per month instead of forking of the case for a lifetime subscription. I bet the people that have lifetime memberships will have more popups in the future. My rate of revenue/return via popup ads will approach zero if the become too intrusive.
    • The best way for Tivo to make everyone happy is to provide ads while I fast forward, rewind or do nothing at all.

      I think that they should work out ways to put ads on the device, for their sake, and for our sake. Just let them develop the best ad, the one we barely notice. Then we don't have to put up with so many other "pop-up" ads and we won't be called theives.

      Work smarter, not harder...
  • by scifience (674659) * <webmaster@scifience.net> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:12PM (#12076522) Homepage

    Let me get this straight: I pay for the TiVo device itself, then I pay a monthly service fee. Now I also have to put up with highly invasive advertising?

    This might be acceptable if there was no monthly fee for using the device, but this is akin to adding commercials to HBO. Either choose to be subscription-supported or advertising-supported, but not both.

    • by mattmentecky (799199) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:17PM (#12076583)
      Good point, I mean, this is unique to Tivo, the whole mixing of subscription/advertising just doesnt happen...

      ...in magazines...
      ...on Slashdot...
      ...with DVDs...
    • Either choose to be subscription-supported or advertising-supported, but not both.

      Yeah, like newspapers and magazines.
      • The difference being that the advertisements in newspapers and magazines are off to one side, and don't generally interfere substantially with the content. They're much easier to ignore.

        No, this is not a suggestion to use the edges of the television screen for advertisements, either. This is video, not print. =b

      • Either choose to be subscription-supported or advertising-supported, but not both. Yeah, like newspapers and magazines.

        Years ago, before I was a techie/developer I did the math and figured out that the price I was paying to subscribe to a magazine was less than it probably cost to actually print the thing, much less cover the salaries of the people making the things.

        So it became obvious that it's the advertisers that cover the cost of the magazine. This was made further apparent when I had the "opportu

      • Exactly. That's why I don't subscribe to newspapers and magazines anymore.

        If TiVo continues in this direction I will toss them too.
    • Err well.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by delmoi (26744)
      Actualy it's like putting ads on basic cable. You pay for it, but...

      Also, how are TV networks going to take this? Not only are their ads getting skipped, but now other ones are being shown in their place! Crazyness.

      But yeah. Lame. Down with TiVo!
    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:26PM (#12076693)
      I pay for the TiVo device itself, then I pay a monthly service fee. Now I also have to put up with highly invasive advertising?

      Let me see:

      1: I drive to the movie house (have you seen the price of gasoline?)
      2: Pay an insane amount for a theater ticket (not to mention popcorn)
      3: Get 5 minutes of commercials for other products (that's before the 10 minutes of trailer commercials for other movies)
      4: PROFIT! (for someone else).

      Yeah, its happening everywhere because we aren't pushing back hard enough. So far, legislators in one state are pushing the idea that theaters will be requried to post the actual starting time of the movie.

      Just how much more of this do you plan to take?

      • by garett_spencley (193892) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:48PM (#12076937) Journal
        Yup, I'm currently boycotting movie theaters because of this.

        I remember in the late 80's or early 90's it was either the first or second 'new' Batman movie with Michael Keaton. They had an advertisement for Coke at the beginning. It was even themed for the movie and people were OUTRAGED. For the next 10 years or so there were no more attempts that I remember to do non-movie commercials before movies.

        Man how times have changed.. and fast.

        But, unfortunately, I don't think our wallets are very loud in these cases. Movie theaters, television, music etc. is all teenager domain.. and I don't see teenagers boycotting any form of entertainment any time soon. Even advertisements are 'cool' for teenagers these days. As long as teenagers are buying up movie tickets and chugging down ad after ad without complaining then it's here to stay :(
        • by LordEd (840443) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:28PM (#12077480)
          Boycotting the theatre is the wrong idea. You boycott the products being advertised. Anytime I see a product in theatre, I write an e-mail to that company (c.c.ed to the theatre's company) and state that I will no longer (or will decide against) purchasing their product because I find it offensive to pay $____ for a movie and have to watch their ads.

          Occasionally, I wouldn't see the ad at the next show (but it was probably coincidence).

          There haven't been that many good movies out lately anyway.
  • Saw one last night (Score:4, Informative)

    by SuperBigGulp (177180) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:15PM (#12076546)
    I actually saw one of these last night...a semi-transparent graphic that was displayed when I fast-forwarded through the commercials on "24". It wasn't as annoying as I thought it would be, but at the same time I don't remember what movie they were promoting.
  • Although I don't have cable because I don't watch much television to begin with, given this new load of crapvertisements shoved down viewers' throats, I will never buy or use a Tivo. Okay, I'm only one person, but I'm sure there are many more people who think this.
  • To make sure this "story" wasn't really a joke! My god is sure in heck sounds like one.
  • Tivo Users (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smartin (942) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:16PM (#12076557)
    Complain loudly and complain often. Tivo is not on the most stable ground that they can afford to piss off their user base. As soon as this starts happening on my machines i will be calling them threatening to cancel my subscription.
    • Re:Tivo Users (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slashkitty (21637) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:25PM (#12076679) Homepage
      calling them threatening to cancel my subscription.

      Unfortunately, I think it'll take a lot of people /actually/ cancelling their subscriptions before they get the hint. Otherwise, they just see a lot of publicity, but think that users will stay w/ tivo no matter what.

      • Re:Tivo Users (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "...but think that users will stay w/ tivo no matter what. "

        And they'll be right. My wife and I quit watching TV a few years ago. Whenever people complain about what's on TV or the adverts or whatever, we tell them what we did. They look at us like we're aliens. They then justify their TV addiction by claiming to watch only PBS or Discovery or the History Channel.

        Tivo's safe. The addicts will complain, but they'll continue to watch.
      • >>I think it'll take a lot of people actually cancelling their subscriptions...

        Count me in.

        I've been preparing for this moment for the past several months. My MythTV box is waiting, ready-to-go, so the instant I see my first fast-forward advertisement I'm calling Tivo and telling them to cancel my subscription, effective immediately.

        I guess I'll be checking my tivo recordings tonight, phone in hand.
  • Interesting how now, despite the fact that you pay like 10 bucks a month for the service, TiVo feels they can serve up the most horrible type of media ad, the wretched pop-up.

    At least they could've just raised the rates a little, I don't know how much people would've complained.

    Alright Slashdotters, somebody throw up a link to a build-it-yourself Linux PVR unit.
  • Replay (Score:3, Informative)

    by nearlygod (641860) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:16PM (#12076560) Homepage
    Once again, ReplayTV! Some will see the fact that it is pretty much a dead platform as a negative but really, it is a positive. DNNA is not going to waste their time with this type of stuff. As long as they continue to deliver program schedules (and they will), the things will just work. See, the lack of programming staff is a positive!
  • My opinion... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kebes (861706) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:16PM (#12076563) Journal
    We the users are willing to put up with ads to a certain extent, but beyond that, we will use whatever technology it takes to remove them because they are too annoying.

    Advertisers simply have to learn to place ads below this annoyance threshold, and they will reap the rewards. One example of a company that 'gets it': Google. Their ads are sufficiently innocuous that it's not worth the trouble to block them or get rid of them. The result? They make lots of money off of ads.

    The big networks should realize this. They want to keep their current paradigm, where a person watches 15 minutes of commercials for every hour of TV. That won't work in the future, since the users will use something like TiVo or a download that has no ads in order to get around the annoyance. If, on the other hand, the network offered us a free download of our favourite show, and during each ad segment, there was a single 10-second ad (and it was relatively funny or cool), then we wouldn't skip past it, and they would make lots of ad money.

    I think these companies need to wake up to what consumers are really willing to put up with. We are willing to watch ads and buy products we like, but we are not willing to have our time wasted.
  • 30 second skip (Score:5, Informative)

    by Grand (152636) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:16PM (#12076564)
    If people dont like this, just program your remote to do a 30 second skip instead of the 30 minute skip or whatever it is defaulted to. A couple of clicks and your past all the commercials. The other skip button will let you skip back 10 seconds if you happen to go too far into the show. It is instant and no chance of ads coming up (i guess until tivo disables it in newer versions).

    If memory serves me right, Select -> Play -> Select -> 30 -> Select
  • TiVo has started a testing a new pop-up style ad on a random and limited number of subscriber's TiVo as of this weekend.

    Sure don't want to be one of those people. This is not what I bought a TiVo for.

    Pop-up blocker plug-ins anyone?

  • In soccer ads in Mexico, the ads are b/w and transparent (they show at the bottom of the screen). They're brief, and get to the point. I just hope TiVo ads are of this kind, and NOT of the intrusive flashing stroboscopic kind. (Of course I didn't RTFA but hey, i'm at the job ^^;)
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:18PM (#12076591) Journal
    Rather than pop-up ads, I'm fully in support of pop-under ads, the kind that only show when you turn the TV off.
  • If I was paying for a subscription service to a company that is supposed to let me have tv listings and then the hardware sits there recording, I would be infuriated if they wanted to slap pop ups on it too.

    I have 2 cable company(TW) [timewarnercable.com] dvr [timewarnercable.com]'s and even they aren't that evil. I love my DVR, but I guarantee that if they start putting ads in the UI, I will switch to MythTV instantly.
  • No, Tivo. No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by katsushiro (513378) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:19PM (#12076602) Homepage
    I'm sorry, if I allready paid for the machine, and on top of that, I'm paying a monthly fee for the service, I do *not* find it acceptable to have the service push ads at me. If you're going to be pushing ads at me, then start refunding my monthly fee. That's the way things work for me. I'm willing to pay you for your service, no problem. But I'm going to pay you in *either* cash or ads, not both. And seeing as part of the reason I got a Tivo was to skip ads, then replacing those ads with other ads is *not* acceptable to me.

    Looks like it's time to finally sit down and build that MythTV box I've been thinking about.
    • Re:No, Tivo. No. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Guppy06 (410832) *
      "I'm sorry, if I allready paid for the machine, and on top of that, I'm paying a monthly fee for the service, I do *not* find it acceptable to have the service push ads at me."

      You're paying for the cable/satellite service to begin with, aren't you? It's the latest business model: work both ends. The channels get paid both by the advertisers and the cable providers, just as the phone companies get paid by both the telemarketers and the folks who get caller ID. This isn't exactly new to TiVo, nor is it
    • Re:No, Tivo. No. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Schnapple (262314)
      Simple answer:

      IGNORE THE ADS

      This isn't like pop up/under advertising where it's actually interfering with your ability to use Tivo. This isn't like unskippable ads at the beginning of a DVD. This is something in the upper-right corner saying "click thumbs-up for more...". This is the very definition of non-intrusive - they're putting a small ad on top of a commercial. A commercial you're skipping anyway. Here's the thing - the ad also displays if you're just watching commercials (like if the show is "ca

  • Well, that seals it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ummagumma (137757) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:20PM (#12076619) Journal
    My gf has been egging me to get rid of the TIVO and go with the cable company offering for a while now. She wants the ability to watch one show while recording another, and the ability to use the DVR with Hi-Def programming. This just seals the deal. I'll be cancelling tonight.

    Goodbye Tivo, you'll be out of business soon.

    • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:48PM (#12076939)
      Yeah, because your cable company is a pillar of virtuous marketing techniques and would NEVER try something like this.

      I know this is the straw on the camel for you and you have other reasons for switching, but trust me, you'll be seeing these again inside of 6 months.
      • I agree with you on the 'pillar of virtous marketing' :) However, switching will cost me 50% of what Tivo charges me, and make my GF happy. Both of which make me happy :)

        I will miss the Tivo, though, as the cable co's software isn't nearly as good.
    • My gf has been egging me to get rid of the TIVO and go with the cable company offering for a while now. She wants the ability to watch one show while recording another, and the ability to use the DVR with Hi-Def programming.

      TiVo invested a huge amount in usability design and testing. Cable boxes are rushed to market so the cable companies can say they have them too, but when you figure out how slow and unintuitive the interface is you'll be sorry.

      Just thinking about the stupid Cox Cable DVR makes my skin
  • by dragon_imp (685750) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:21PM (#12076626) Homepage

    I don't have to deal with popups, a small hard drive, a single hard drive and lack of upgradability. Plus, I have 3 tv tuner/encoders so I can record three shows simultaneously while watching a fourth recorded show.

    I build my own HTPC using an Abit AN-7, AMD Athlon XP 2500+, Hauppauge PVR-250 tv tuner/encoder cards. It is driven by WinXP Pro SP2 and SageTV.

    You can see my HTPC at http://wwww.terrystockdale.com/htpc/htpc_1.shtml [terrystockdale.com] .

    Terry

  • by EvilStein (414640) <spam AT pbp DOT net> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:23PM (#12076649) Homepage
    I was going to buy a Tivo so I can watch TV without advertisements. If they're just going to shove more ads at me, I guess I'm just going to skip watching TV altogether. *shrug*

    Oh well. Nice knowing you, Tivo.
  • ReplayTV (Score:4, Insightful)

    by waynegoode (758645) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:26PM (#12076690) Homepage
    I have never understood why TiVO is the PVR that gets all the press. I have two PVRs from ReplayTV [digitalnetworksna.com] that I really like. I don't have ads popping up and I can jump (not just fast-forward) past commercials. ReplayTV did try a pause ad for a while a couple of years back, but cancelled it after users complained. The only ads they have now are an occasional (about 2/yr) ad for a ReplayTV sale or contest.
  • This isn't new (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShawnDoc (572959) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:27PM (#12076698) Homepage
    First off, this isn't new. Tivo has been doing this for months. I first started getting these in January. And to make clear, the "pop-ups" only appear when fast forwarding through commercials, not during shows. Basically a banner pops up and asks you to hit thumbs up if you want more information. I've never hit the thumbs up, so I don't know what happens at that point, but I'd guess it takes you to a prerecorded commercial of some sort or gets recorded at Tivo HQ and a printed packet gets sent out.
  • by Trak (670) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:28PM (#12076723) Homepage Journal
    I'm one of the (un)lucky saps to have this new feature. It makes rewinding and searching for a particular place in a show extremely difficult since the screen is superimposed with an advertisement for Nicole Kidman's latest movie :-(
  • No big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by mmascari (562269) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:29PM (#12076732)
    Currently while watching a commercial supported TV broadcast, an advertiser has a commercial break in the program where they show 30 seconds of video. While using a TiVo and fast forwarding, this 30 seconds of video is blurry and takes less than 30 seconds to play.

    Based on how it's supposed to work, with the new tags. While watching a commercial supported TV broadcast, an advertiser has a commercial break in the program where they show 30 seconds of video. While using a TiVo and fast forwarding, this 30 seconds of video is overlayed with a different image optimized for shorter visible duration and takes the same amount of time as before that's less than 30 seconds to play.

    There is no impact to the way the TiVo functions.
    There is no forced watching of ads.
    There is no new add popping up.
    It's simply a format shift from blurry video to a static image.
    It's a way to redefine the 30 second spot. It becomes a less than 30 second spot of variable duration depending on the fast forward speed.

    The easiest way to opt out of ads on TV:
    Buy premium commercial free programming, like HBO, Showtime, Cinimax, Starz, ...

    Since this is a pilot of the new tags, that obviously isn't working the way it's supposed to, things do need to change. Since it displayed over regular content where it's not supposed to.

    Things we don't know:
    Is the problem with the TiVo software?
    Is the problem with the broadcasters national feed?
    Is the problem with a specific cable companies regional feed?
    Were the tags added at the start of a commercial and still present throughout the rest of the broadcast?

    All of those need to be addressed before any solution is possible.
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:30PM (#12076754)
    In france they have (or at least had) one hour of commercials on their channel (Saturday at supper).
    It was the most viewed time slot for the whole week!

    Tivo, however, could create an "Ads Channel" where if you watch it, you pay less on your monthly.
    To keep viewers honest AND interested make it interactive like having a short survey at the end of the commercial.
    They could even make it a game or a game-show (name the advertized product!)

    What they have done instead is given their user-base a reason to hack their TIVO box or bail right out of their revenue stream!

  • Three Seconds.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by djrogers (153854) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:31PM (#12076758)
    Once TiVo gets the bugs worked out of their system (and yes, TiVo has admitted that it's not working perfectly yet), these banners will appear for a grand total of three seconds and only over a specific ad (TiVos FF at 60x). There won't be a problem with seeing 'when to stop' and such, as the banner will disappear when the ad is over.

    Personally, I don't care what's on my screen for those 3 whole seconds, it could be black for all I care.

    Frankly, if it's something cool, such as a full length movie trailer or a product I like, then I'll pay attention. If not, I'll still ignore it for 3 seconds like I do now...
  • by dafz1 (604262) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:31PM (#12076764)
    There is nothing new here. My DirectTv TiVO has done this for the last two years. Basically, these "Learn More" info-mercials pop-up during regular commercials, with the thumbs-up icon. I just ignore them and they go away.
  • Yuck (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swb (14022) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:31PM (#12076766)
    I'm annoyed that the Tivo-to-my-PC (the proper name escapes me) is intentionally crippled (yes, I know about the hacks) to only burn DVDs with their lame software, but I'm almost MORE annoyed that the the software revision to support this feature reduces my standalone S2's GUI performance SIGNIFICANTLY. Screen redraws, hitting the Tivo button, etc all take eons now. There's also an annoying font bug where if you go into a show's description in Now Playing and then channel up/down to other shows, the font changes to a kind of blurry, bolder typeface.

    I can only imagine that Tivo will eventually bog my S2 down to the point with crap that it's nearly unusable. And this I could probably live with even this and the ads IF Tivo had the brains to come out with an updated standalone box that was worth buying other than for a slightly faster CPU or slightly bigger disk.

    But no, Tivo's been staking their future on getting knocked up by a cable company, not on innovating their hardware, so there's no new standalone I can buy that would have WORTHWHILE features like cablecard support (planned for fscking '06???), digital audio recording and playback, a real fast ethernet interface, etc.

    Even though I love my Tivo, given what the thing costs relative to my financial commitment with a cable company box, I may have to get used to liking their box, which at least records HiDef.
  • by raitchison (734047) <robert@aitchison.org> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:32PM (#12076772) Homepage Journal

    What a bunch of whiners, most of which don't even own a TiVo nor have used it for any significant length of time.

    I'm a mostly happy TiVo Subscriber, while it's a far from perfect product from a far from perfect company it is IMO the best product out there overall. Of all the commercially available DVRs out there the only one that comes close is ReplayTV. Sure a MythTV or other DIY PVR offers better control (that I would like) but is not viable for 95% of American consumers (probably a conservative estimate).

    TiVo has , and will continue to make compromises in the services they provide that while detrimental to the users have kept TiVo operational (if not profitable). ReplayTV tried to give the consumer everything and it put them into bankruptcy TWICE.

    Admittedly I've yet to see these new ads on my TiVo but as long as they don't interfere with my ability to fast forward (which it doesn't sound like they do) than my core functionality is not impacted and I'm still a happy customer. I think the number of people who find the idea of commercials patently offensive (as is the general theme from non TiVo owning people rushing to decry this) is small compared to the number who won't care what's on the screen while they FF as long as they can get back to the O.C. in 10 seconds.

    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:34PM (#12077532)
      I'm a mostly happy TiVo Subscriber

      I am a happy user of my cable company's HD DVR (motorola 6xxx model), and I'm a picky SOB. There are a few small annoyances that I can't think of offhand, but its a pretty slick box (and it does not use my phone line).

      Being that my cable box is a monthly add on service to my existing cable bill, it would seem illogical for the cable company to add a "feature" like popup ads. Regardless if I view ads or not, the cable company gets the channels at a fixed rate and I pay a fixed rate according to what channels I want. The tv channels get their advertising revenue at a rate based on their audience, not by the view (like web advertising) or according to me viewing the ads or not.

      Also, its worth mentioning that I still see a good amount of ads. It seems like I still see the same ad multiple times. In fact, I just went out and bought 8 brand new cars on those low lease deals because the ads were so good to distort my logic. (Just kidding)

      Now, TiVo too gets paid the same if you watch the ads or not. So why are they doing this? I guess the base rate of revenue is not paying off their debt fast enough.
  • by Synn (6288) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:34PM (#12076803)
    I've had my Tivo for 3 or 4 years and each year it seems like I end up with more junk advertising all over the box.
  • by Mindwarp (15738) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:36PM (#12076834) Homepage Journal
    There's a quote in the article that a lot of people seem to be missing:

    Interactive advertising was part of TiVo's distribution deal with Comcast announced earlier this month.

    This functionality was a requirement of TiVo's distribution agreement with Comcast. Rather than 'good company gone evil' I think this is a case of 'desperate company gets in bed with the Devil.'

    Now I'm not going to defend this business practice in any way. I've been using the DirecTiVo since day one and have evangelised the product on many occasions in the past, but the second I start getting invasive pop-up advertising during FF I'll shed a tear and move on to something else. TiVo MUST know that this is the sentiment of a significant and vocal number of the install base, which makes me think that they saw no other way forward for themselves.

    A sad day indeed for TiVo enthusiasts, and definitely I feel a sign of the 'End of Days' for TiVo.
  • Class Action...? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:37PM (#12076841)
    And what are the chances for a Class Action suit by TiVo owners who did not have it disclosed when they purchased their box that ads were coming? Love to see that happen.

    I have a Dish Network DVR box that still has instant 30 second and back 10 second skip. Hit the skip button 5 or 6 times and I'm completely through most commercial breaks in a second or less. The "fast forward" stuff is crap on a DVR!

  • by TexTex (323298) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:44PM (#12076897)
    If you're one of the users who has pop-ups coming during regular programming, call up Tivo. Complain. Play the dumb card and talk to as many people as possible. Start asking for stuff like a new Tivo because yours is obviously broken (since...the pop-ups aren't supposed to be doing this, right?) or credit for your monthly service. It's an 800 charge to Tivo and their customer support time wasted.

    Now, who knows what's going to happen...but if enough people complain, they might think again about how and when they place these pop-ups. If you're a user paying a monthly fee for their service and don't like something, it's worth your time to let Tivo actually know about it rather than just the slashdot crowd.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I did call to complain about this, and the 1st woman I spoke to, denied that TiVo was doing this. The second person I spoke to actually admitted they were doing this, but denied that it was happening during actual show content, which it most certainly were.

      Oh, and I did post a message on their official forum. Twice. They deleted it. Twice. It didn't conform to their warm-and-fuzzy "TiVo is the best!" requirement.
  • Two Lessons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:51PM (#12076968)

    There are two important lessons to be learned from the rise and fall of Tivo. First, don't lock yourself into any pay subscriptions. There is no guarantee they won't turn into ad machines. By subscribing for short periods of time or by using a free or ad supported scheduling service you can demand quality service or walk.

    Lesson two, any company can be bought or can partner with one that does not have your best interests at heart. I would not buy a encryption service from the government. I won't buy a garage door opener from a car thief. I won't buy a device to remove ads from TV from someone partnered with those ad providers. It is important to buy products and services from someone motivated to make you happy as their business model. That is no longer Tivo's business model. They make money by making Comcast happy first, and users second. It makes me glad I bought a device without a subscription from someone who does not work with the cable companies. It is also why I don't have to view ads and why I can record what I want, burn DVDs of what I want, and skip 30 seconds without a hack.

    Tivo has made a huge mistake, and a very big potential competitor here is MS. I don't trust them at all, but right now they are motivated to making their customers happy with a media center. RIP Tivo.

  • Way to go TiVo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cloud K (125581) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:53PM (#12076994)
    What a delightfully effective way of sending a sorta "mexican wave" of shudders down the spine of every person who's ever touched Internet Explorer in the last 5 years or so and instantly put them off your product for life.

    I've never seen a company go so quickly from "cool" to "near sco-level"

    If this is true, they can go feck off and die, and rot alongside the rest of the popup mongering scum.

    If it's an early April Fools... well... that's another story!
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:36PM (#12077564) Journal
    There just are to many of them. Now this is not a problem except when there are to many for to long. Compare it with drinking. If you binge drink once every decenium then it will be bad for your system but nothing terrible will happen. Neither will anything happen if you take a glass of table wine every day. But 10 glasses each day will kill you.

    Same with ads. I come from the netherlands and am so old that I remember when tv only had ads between programs and not even that on sundays and other christian holidays. Of course we only had 1 dutch channel, yes I am really really old, but german tv had only the occasional ad block in the afternoon (although it was bloody long) and belgian tv has maybe 1 ad per day. BBC of course has none.

    But now we got commercial tv and the ads are in the program and last for far to long. It is so bad that with my memory I forget wich program I was watching. Meaning I zap to another channel and don't return OR as is happening more and more just don't watch tv but watch bittorrent instead.

    I didn't mind the ads in the olden days. 1-2 minutes between programs. That was acceptable. But 5+ minutes every 15 minutes is to much.

    Why should the tv channels care? Well because I went from watching a couple of ads to watching 0 ads.

    Same really with the net. It took me quit a while to start with adblockers because the occasional ad I could live with. But they kept forcing more and more ads onto me until I reached breaking point and installed an adblocker. Now I don't see any ads. Including the one for this page. Though shit that slashdot loses income, my breaking point has been reached. Now even 1 ad getting to the adblocker has me instantly adding the url to the block list. To many ads means that I now don't want to see a single one.

    This move by tivo seems the ultimate arrogance and ignorance by the ad pushers. The entire idea behind tivo is to skip ads and yet you are aiming your ads at these people? THEY DON'T WANT YOUR ADS. The only thing this can possibly achieve is that either people move away from tivo OR put an embargo on your product.

    If ad pushers want to get people to watch their ads they should realize that they need to reduce the amount of ads we see. Companies wanting to advertise. 1 ad in a movie is watched. your 1 ad between 5 minutes of other ads is not watched. TV companies. 1 ad per movie might just fetch you a far higher price AND get more viewers then the other channels.

    Then again we are talking about the tv industry. Brains are not exactly their strong point. Currently young males are no longer watching tv so much as before. Strangely this happened at the exact same time as reality tv became a staple diet of every channel. TV bosses reaction. MORE REALITY TV.

    From that same logic it is not hard to see how the reaction people zapping away from ads is to show more ads or how you buy ad time on a device designed to skip ads. Maybe Heineken should sponsor AA meetings.

  • by wealthychef (584778) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @03:28PM (#12079285)

    This is ridiculous. I don't think it's outrageous to try to create ad revenue, but TiVo has been feature-frozen for years, essentially. No new innovation, same terrible interface for typing out words painfully through the infamous "ouija board screen," same awfully slow sorting algorithms, same ancient hardware, RAM limitations, lack of customizability....

    And the "innovation" they come up with in 2005 is to find a way to spam us? Thanks, TiVo.

"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box." -- Peter da Silva

Working...