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DVR Viewers Push Ad Ratings Higher 177

Posted by Zonk
from the future-is-now dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like DVRs and timeshifting has finally done what many people said it would do: increased overall viewership! USA Today reports: 'Among the things the report revealed is that many DVR viewers do not fast-forward through ads. The viewer total for broadcast network ads goes up 32% when DVR watchers within three days are included, according to Nielsen. For some prime-time shows, it means that DVR viewing, long seen as a threat to advertising, could even bring higher ad prices. NBC's The Office, for example, had a live-plus-three Nielsen commercial rating of 3.36 — higher than the 3.11 it got for the week of May 6 under the traditional Nielsen program rating system.' Makes me wonder where this will lead for my favorite genre shows which by their very nature have a higher DVR component and have seen declining viewership using the older methodology (BSG, SG-1, etc)."
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DVR Viewers Push Ad Ratings Higher

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  • by Le'BottomEh (750785) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:10PM (#19353893)
    and skipping them when they view it at a later date. That's what my friends do with their TiVo.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by QBasicer (781745)
      I don't own a DVR, but I never bothered to fastforward during ads when watching VHS. Sometimes you saw the old commercials you remember from a long time ago, which is kinda fun...I guess.

      Actually, ads don't really bother me, unless they're too redundant (same 2 ads every break, repeated once or twice during each break).
      • by Ucklak (755284)
        (same 2 ads every break, repeated once or twice during each break).

        Then you don't remember what part of the show you're FF or RW in. "Is it the beginning, middle, or ending of the show?"

        In the early-mid nineties, I used to tape Eek the Cat and The Tick whilst I was at the local DZ [wikipedia.org] for a morning and afternoon of jumping. I remember the ads were the same every break but the station bumpers were on a rotation. I could know where I was on the tape by the bumper placement.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        I heard an NPR story on this issue. A study found not only that most DVR users do play the commercials, but even users who self-reported skipping ads always or almost always, actually watched far more ads than they thought.
        • I heard an NPR story on this issue. A study found not only that most DVR users do play the commercials, but even users who self-reported skipping ads always or almost always, actually watched far more ads than they thought.
          I've find that I sometimes start doing something else when the commercial starts... thus forgetting to skip the commercials (about half of the commercials for any given recorded show). On the other hand, I think it's safe to say that any 'high suspense' shows will have a much higher rate of skipped commercials.
        • by walt-sjc (145127) on Friday June 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#19356173)
          I normally skip ads, but occasionally I just forget, and if the ad isn't totally annoying I find myself watching it until my wife reminds me to "bloop bloop bloop" (tivo 30 sec skip hack...)

          What will instantly prompt me to pick up the remote and "bloop" is obnoxious ads, such as Vonage woo hoo (fuck you too) and car dealership ads. Why is it that all car dealerships have horrible obnoxious ads? Hell, they are even worse that inane ads for "hot pockets" [danwho.net] or tampons...

          If we could thumb up or down ads as we watch, maybe we would get better quality ads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602)
      the article clearly indicated that they were NOT skipping the ads.

      I have a DVR, I skip a lot of the ads, but not all of them. Sometimes I *want* a break. Sometimes the commercials are entertaining.

      I'm sure some people almost always skip the commercials.
      I'm sure some people almost never skip the commercials.

      But the bottom line is if you start looking at people with viewers, at least SOME of them will be watching the commercials. That's much 'better' than just assuming none of them ever do.
      • Define "better" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Friday June 01, 2007 @01:24PM (#19355103) Homepage

        "if you start looking at people with viewers, at least SOME of them will be watching the commercials. That's much 'better' than just assuming none of them ever do."

        If you mean "better" in terms of scientific accuracy, you are right. But I'd like to suggest that "assuming none of them ever do" has a useful purpose too:

        If you assume none of them ever do, you can convince Congress that the sky is falling and get technological control measures such as the DMCA or worse [wikipedia.org] in place.

      • by Bobartig (61456) on Friday June 01, 2007 @02:39PM (#19356377) Homepage
        Me and my girlfriend are aggressive "Always skip the Ads" people. Mainly because we are impatient and want to watch more TV in less time. When we go other places that have TV's (and at some point play ads), we're constantly like "What the hell is that?" because we watch so few ads now, and some of them are freakishly weird the first few times you see them.

        And then people we know will say 'you know that ad where [insert ad description here]?' and we always say 'we don't watch ads...' they always stare at us like we have a second head or something (as if ad skipping DVR's weren't 5+ years old).
    • by jellomizer (103300) * on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:24PM (#19354143)
      Using a Series 1 TiVo. I do that some times but not all the time. Most of the time I just let it play threw and just Use to TiVo to record the Show for me. Skipping Commericals reqires active television watching. Most of the time I am more passive TV watching while the show I playing I do something else. I normally get a Jist of what is going on and Ill stop every once in a while to see what is happening but I am not intently watching the show. Also it depends on how much free time. If I have like 20 mintues free I can watch a quick 30 minute show in that time if I skip commericals then I do so. But if I have a lot of free time and not much else to watch after that then I let it play threw. Advertisements are not Evil, but sometimes they are annoying. I use the TiVo as a tool to make my life better. Not so I can be an Anial Hyper Liberal and put work and effort to Fast Forward threw comericals just because they are there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Le'BottomEh (750785)
        I don't own a TiVo but I have friends who do. I'm glad that people find it useful. I, myself, don't really have much time to watch TV and won't go shit crazy if I miss an episode of Battlestar Galactica. When I'm actively watching a show at my friend's place, we always skip the commercials. However, you are right, if you want some background noise while you work, you probably won't care if it's commercials or not.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          However, you are right, if you want some background noise while you work, you probably won't care if it's commercials or not.

          Until the Vonage commercials come on...

      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday June 01, 2007 @01:01PM (#19354745)
        Not so I can be an Anial Hyper Liberal and put work and effort to Fast Forward threw comericals just because they are there.

        And people used to say TV rots the mind. Well, you showed them.

        • by martyb (196687)

          Not so I can be an Anial Hyper Liberal and put work and effort to Fast Forward threw comericals just because they are there.

          And people used to say TV rots the mind. Well, you showed them.

          Heh. I was thinking the same thing! Now, if he had had something like this, it would have been an all-together different think: Ant pee pull yews twos hay tea vee wroughts dumb hind. Wail, ewe sloughed 'hem. :)

      • by misleb (129952) on Friday June 01, 2007 @04:44PM (#19358185)

        I use the TiVo as a tool to make my life better.


        My life is much better since I started indiscrimnately blocking/skipping advertisements. Same thing with SPAM and email. Once I took the time to implement a really good spamassassin filter, my life got better.

        . I use the TiVo as a tool to make my life better. Not so I can be an Anial Hyper Liberal and put work and effort to Fast Forward threw comericals just because they are there.


        Work and effort? I just download the shows from bittorrent where someone else has already cut out the commercials. And when I was using MythTV to record them myself, Myth automatically skipped the commercials for me. But then, I'm an anal liberal who just wants to block/skip commercials "just because they are there." Though I'm not sure what it is has to do with being "liberal." Do conservatives somehow enjoy selling bits and pieces of their mind/soul to advertisers? Is watching advertisements a "family value?"

        Frankly, I'm baffled by anyone who willingly sits through advertisements when skipping them is so easy these days. Is the programming that ya'll watch just so empty and shallow that advertising is just as entertaining? WTF?

        It isn't just about idealism, either. You can save a very significant amount of time by skipping ads. 1 hour shows become 40 minute shows. 30 minute shows become 20 minute shows. Not to mention the beneficial effect it has on attention span.

        -matthew
        • This is a joke right?

          You seem to have spend days of work and completely realtered your life, just to avoid seeing adds, you are spending your relaxation time to avoid watching adds. You are on a major quest to save the world from something that is not a real threat.

          Conservatives normally realize that TV Adds do help pay for the cost of the Show we watch. They are normally annoyed that they are paying money for say Cable TV and still having adds but in general they see adds as a way to keep costs down for
          • Spam is not a form of viral marketing [wikipedia.org].
          • by jotok (728554)
            I spent days of work--not sure what "completely altered your life" means, I mean, I'm not a woman all of a sudden--because I found building a DVR to be interesting and challenging. It also carried many benefits, such as the fact that I don't have to sit through advertisements. Since I am already paying for cable, there is absolutely no reason that I should have to watch advertisements as well, except that the cable companies decided they wanted yet more money. So, fuck them. Myth zips through ads automa
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by misleb (129952)

            You seem to have spend days of work and completely realtered your life, just to avoid seeing adds, you are spending your relaxation time to avoid watching adds. You are on a major quest to save the world from something that is not a real threat.

            No, I installed MythTV to get DVR capabilities which also happens to have commercial auto-skip as a feature. The time I have saved by skipping ads easily makes up for the time spent setting up the DVR. 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there really adds up quickly.

            As for

          • by NoMaster (142776)
            Days of work/effort, and completely altering his life, just to skip ads? Did you read the same post I did?

            Here's a story: a few years ago I bought a PVR. Apart from the effort needed to get an EPG running (which is a result of the fscked-up legal system and hidebound TV networks here - not even MS could beat them!), it takes no effort at all - the machine records what I want to watch, and when I get a chance I sit down and watch it. About 5 times in an hour long program, I press a button a few times to skip
    • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:47PM (#19354533)
      Your Tivo knows which parts you've fast forwarded through, and which parts you have repeated. All this info is sent back to the mother ship.
      • by Manchot (847225)
        That data is not tied to an individual's account: it is simply aggregated. This is stated in captial letters very clearly in their Privacy Policy (tivo.com/privacy), which they make you read before you sign up. Even if you only glance through the policy, there's little chance that you'll miss it. Moreover, they allow you to opt out by calling a phone number. Of course, this information isn't just used for their financial benefit, since Tivo's "Suggestions" feature (one of the things that gives Tivo the edge
  • by rsvedersky (132592) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:10PM (#19353897)
    Most of the DVR users I know seem to "forget" that they can fast forward and its not an issue. What I can't wait for is when viewership is actually tracked instead of by some representative selection of people who never seem to like the shows I like.
    • Most of the DVR users I know seem to "forget" that they can fast forward and its not an issue. What I can't wait for is when viewership is actually tracked instead of by some representative selection of people who never seem to like the shows I like.

      I watch shows on DVD, and sometimes I wish that there was a commercial in there, so I can sit and digest the big shocking reveal that just occurred without being distracted with technicalities like finding the remote and the pause button.

      Then again, I also watch regular broadcast TV, I wish I never had to switch channel to avoid an annoying ad for something I'll never ever even consider buying.

      The lesson is: Choice is good, anti-skip is evil.

    • by wikdwarlock (570969) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:58PM (#19354705) Homepage
      My experience w/ a DVR is just the opposite, and is telling of how much I, and our culture, equate the real world to TV. I've found that since getting a DVR, I am inclined to rewind to make sure I heard something correctly, to laugh at someone picking their nose in an audience, to give myself extra time to solve the final Wheel of Fortune puzzle, etc. I skip as many ads as I can when we've partially recorded a show, and get miffed when I see the dreaded "Live Tv" message on screen. Ads in fully recorded shows are almost universally skipped unless they happen to contain something interesting to catch my eye in the half second of them I see as they're skipped. Furthermore, when I now listen to the radio, I find myself wanting to rewind it to hear the part of the traffic report I missed while not paying full attention. I also want to rewind conversations I've just had with people to recall what was said. The DVR experience of being able to pause, rewind, etc, has become so integral to my TV watching that it has bled over into other parts of my life where content is perhaps not fully registered on first "viewing". In my personal experience, the DVR fundamentally changes TV into an active process and affects how I look at other things as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bobartig (61456)
        When the 'dreaded' live tv appears (ok, we have IPTV, but it has a live tv buffer all the same), we just pause the tv for about 10 minutes and read/browse until we've cached up enough to skip the rest of the ads. If its a movie (= more ads), we might fix a meal, do some chores, or play video games for half an hour so we can skip them later.
    • by w3woody (44457) on Friday June 01, 2007 @01:27PM (#19355151) Homepage
      I fast forward--but for some ads I'll skip back and play the ad. The only reason why I don't like most advertising is because of ad saturation: after the first five hundred times I've seen an ad, the product is permanently burned into my brain--(*twitch* Ditech Mortgages *twitch*), and I don't need to see the ad anymore. Cute ads (the latest Apple Ads), ads for new movies, or for products I've never seen--I'll actually rewind the DVR and watch them.

      Hell, with some of the tripe on TV nowadays sometimes the ads are the best part!
      • by Kjella (173770)
        I fast forward--but for some ads I'll skip back and play the ad. The only reason why I don't like most advertising is because of ad saturation: after the first five hundred times I've seen an ad, the product is permanently burned into my brain--(*twitch* Ditech Mortgages *twitch*), and I don't need to see the ad anymore.

        Halfway there. They want you to the point where if you think "mortgage", you also in the same thought think "Ditech Mortgages". It turns out being "memorable" is pretty hard, and repetition
    • by DrEldarion (114072) on Friday June 01, 2007 @02:02PM (#19355747)
      I do fast forward most of the time, but sometimes during that fast forwarding I will actually stop and rewind an ad that grabs my eye.

      To me, this shows that people will watch well-made commercials. (Witness: Superbowl commercials. People love them.)
    • I'm one of those people who actually does skip the ads--most of the time. The reason I do this is to watch a 21 or 42 minute program versus a half-hour or hour program.

      My DVR does not have a "jump" button, though. It has a Fast-Forward. In fact, it has three fast-forward speeds which appear, from the time-stamps, to be 2x, 10x, and 30x. 30x is a little fast--I need to be on my toes. 2x is a little slow. 10x is just about right and I tend to use that one.

      What's interesting is that occasionally an ad wi
    • I mean nowadays, with everyone getting digital cable systems, why aren't these companies already tracking this stuff?

      Seriously - they could be providing ACTUAL USAGE NUMBERS FOR FREE, compared to Neilsen who pays families, and reaches a much smaller segment of the population.

      Any digital cable company should be able to know at any given time exactly how many people are tuned into a given show. Hell they could even correlate it with account data to give stats by region - and could even take statistical corre
  • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:11PM (#19353917) Journal
    And just how do they know that DVRs are not skipping commercials? I do not see a reference in the article to specific DVRs that would report such a thing back to Nielson.

    The commercials can usually be ignored when the show is finally watched or burned to DVD, right? The DVRs I see advertised all seem to offer this feature. I am looking to buy a combo DVD/VHS/DVR this year, so this feature sounds remotely useful to save DVD space. More shows per DVD!
    • by Lockejaw (955650)

      And just how do they know that DVRs are not skipping commercials? I do not see a reference in the article to specific DVRs that would report such a thing back to Nielson.
      Nielson's typical measurement processes are 1) having subjects keep detailed logs of their watching and 2) installing their own monitoring systems on subjects' TV sets.
    • Meh, I skip roughly 80% of all commercials. It's the benefit to owning a Replay. The earlier units have a fairly nice auto commercial skip. Gets annoying with shows like Lost where I have to turn it off since it'll skip during the actual show due to the wild changes in video lighting cuts, and volume.
  • Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vexor (947598) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:11PM (#19353925)
    Ads are used for a lot of stuff. They give you a chance to grab another beverage, run to the bathroom, and so on. These people are probably not viewing them (exception being a particularly funny ad). The better answer might even be they can't find the fast foward button or the pause(for when they do need to get up) on their jumbo multiuse remotes.
    • I've been watching TV shows on DVD recently, and I keep waiting for a commercial so I can feed the dogs, go to the bathroom, etc. Sometimes if the dogs are really insistent on going out I even get up and still forget to pause it, and get annoyed that I have to miss some key part...
  • Personal Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neersign (956437) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:12PM (#19353943)
    I know that I personally do fast forward thru most ads when wawtching a program on my DVR, but I do often stop and rewind to watch a particular advert. Sometimes its just because something looked funny other times it is genuine interest in the subject. I'd definitely say that it does make my overall experience more pleasurable as I never have to watch one of those "make me want to slit my wrists" Head-On commercials ever again.
    • by Shabbs (11692)
      Same here. But even when we're FF'ing through the commercials, we're still getting a gist of what is being advertised, since we've all seen the commercials before and recognize them. I know when we FF, sometimes I'll comment to my wife "Oh man that commercial is funny." And sometimes I'll even rewind just to see it again for laughs.

      I'm curious as to how they find out this info. Do they just call people up and ask if they saw the commercial during such and such episode and if they were using a PVR or watchin
    • by SQLGuru (980662)
      I agree.....watch the show but skip most ads, watch the ones that are different or interesting. The only problem I have is that by watching some of the same shows (especially those that are new and syndicated at the same time), they don't hit the right demographic. I watch a lot of Law & Order....and there's a marathon on USA like every two or three days it seems. There is almost never an ad that appeals to me....and usually it's the same ones for each episode. Those, I skip. The new ads during fir
  • Bias.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by packetmon (977047) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:13PM (#19353947) Homepage
    Nielsen's new commercial data include an average viewer total for all of a show's commercials when it airs, as well as averages for those who watch commercials on a DVR up to seven days later. Did it occur to Nielen that it probably takes users a little longer to get use to the new functions on a DVR so they likely haven't even understood the concept "Oh man you mean I don't have to watch commercials!". I'd like to see them re-take these numbers in 3 month intervals and watch those numbers drop like the stock market during the dotcom depression
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcmonkey (96054)

      Did it occur to Nielen that it probably takes users a little longer to get use to the new functions on a DVR so they likely haven't even understood the concept "Oh man you mean I don't have to watch commercials!".

      I think they're talking about 7 days after the program is recorded, not 7 days after getting a DVR. I also think most DVR users have seen (and maybe even own) a VCR, so they're probably familiar with the 'fast forward' concept.

      I'd say marketing folks might be interested in DVR-use trends and h

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Irish_Samurai (224931)
      Did it occur to you that DVR technology is not anywhere close to new and that people already get the idea. Hell, the concept of fast forwarding was pretty much introduced with the VCR.
    • I've had my DVR for over 2 years now.

      And I still watch commercials.

      There are a few reasons for this. One, commercials are actually informative. There are really new products and new TV shows and new other things out there that you get informed about watching commercials.

      Some commercials are also entertaining.

      And, I find that when I need to go to the kitchen or the bathroom or whatever, instead of just getting up and leaving during the commercials like I used to, I just pause the TV, and end up watching th
  • by icebones (707368) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:25PM (#19354159) Homepage
    I had no idea that some DVRs wouldn't FF thorough adds. I hope my cable company never "upgrades" to one. It's reached the point that when i actually do watch a show when it airs, I get annoyed that I can't FF through the commercials. The only time i let the comercials run on something I've recorded is when i need to get up for a minute.
    • There's a trick to this: don't ever start watching shows when they start. Most shows have about 46 minutes of actual show to the hour, so if you start watching 15 minutes in, you'll finish at roughly the same time.
    • I had no idea that some DVRs wouldn't FF thorough adds. I hope my cable company never "upgrades" to one.

      Don't just hope, do something. The cable company wants you to watch as many ads as possible because it makes them money. Relying on them to provide you with a box to let you skip ads is a pretty poor strategy. Their plan is to make you watch absolutely as many ads as possible through disabling features that will let you skip them, without motivating you to move to another vendor for your DVR. Worse, the price they charge you for your DVR is usually subsidized by overcharging you for cable service, thus al

  • DVR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:34PM (#19354289)
    Being an avid DVR-er, my habits are as follows:

    1) Start of commercial - hit fast forward 2) Skip back if/when I see something I'm looking for, or a funny looking add 3) Miss the start of the show, curse comcast for not having "skip ahead 30seconds" (I miss my Dish DVR :( ) 4) rewind 5) start watching show (with 5 seconds of last add)

    In many ways, DVRs are doing to TV what the internet has done to "print" adds. In most papers there are sidebar adds that you can click on if interested, but ignorable otherwise.

    I think that advertisers are going to have to go back to "selling" more and relying on obnoxious/flashy adds less. In the end, people want to know about truly good deals or truly interesting products and will listen to a sales pitch on something they care about, and ignore the stuff they aren't interested in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by k3v0 (592611)
      you can program this into the remote and then select which button you want to be the skip. http://dcortesi.com/2005/05/04/motorola-dct6412-co mcast-dvr-30-second-skip/ [dcortesi.com]
    • by jbarr (2233) on Friday June 01, 2007 @01:30PM (#19355215) Homepage
      Our habits were similar until we built a SageTV [sagetv.com] system. Now, it goes something like this:

      1. After a show completes recording, ShowAnalyzer auto-scans the recording for commercial breaks and flags them. This process completes within about 2-3 minutes of the completion of the recording.

      2. We watch the show with SageTV's ComSkip plugin enabled, and when a commercial break begins, playback just jumps forward to the marked end of the commercial break, resuming the show content. It's slicker than snot.

      3. Should we want to watch commercials, we either temporarily disable the ComSkip plugin, or we just FF or REW into the marked commercial section.

      And the auto-marking is 's amazingly accurate--probably 98% accurate. The combination of SageTV + ShowStopper + ComSkip plugin gives us very successful commercial marking. No, it's not perfect, and sometimes shows get mis-marked, but it's very rare.

      Other home-brew DVR's like MythTV and BeyondTV have similar capabilities.

      And when we want to do something else (food, bathroom, phone, etc.) it's just a simple press of the Pause or Stop buttons

      Commercials are not evil. Forcing us to watch them is.

      SageTVTips.com [sagetvtips.com]
    • I miss my Dish DVR :(

      Did you really like your Dish DVR that much? I have Comcast basic cable right now and I'll be getting Dish in a couple weeks. It'll be really nice to know that, while I'm getting more channels for less money, I'm also getting a better DVR experience. Especially since I've never owned a DVR.

      • The 522 (dual tuner standard) was awesome. My only reason for leaving Dish was that they wanted an 18 month commitment to upgrade me to their HD dual-tuner DVR, and with comcast only costing 10$ more (after promotion) for the channel package we get with NO commitment.... well I made a deal with the devil. In anycase, I was -very- happy with the Dish DVR, and Dish as a whole... my biggest piece of advice is get your dish mounted where you can reach it to brush off snow (don't let the installers put it on
  • Because people have trained themselves for years to go get a drink during commercial breaks.
    • That explains my alcoholism. Every year when they make more and longer breaks I make more and stronger drinks.
      • by VWJedi (972839)

        Unfortunately, I have the opposite problem. I need caffeine to stay awake when watching TV at night, so by the time the show is over, I'm so wired I can't sleep.

        Then I watch the first 10 minutes of another show, get hooked... and the cycle repeats until it's time to get ready for work.

        And then there's the weekends...

        • I am tired all day but come evening I'm wide awake. It's frustrating. At least my spontaneous TV-watching can only go so far since I have broadcast-only reception. At 1 AM I'm not going to download a show just because I'm having trouble falling asleep and the only thing on TV is infomercials. I just need to keep avoiding the on-demand web TV shows. That could get out of hand easily.
  • For Shame! (Score:5, Funny)

    by CheeseburgerBrown (553703) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:37PM (#19354351) Homepage Journal
    Those of you who skip commercials are aware, I hope, that you're stealing television?

    Being entertained is a privilege, not a right.

    I mean, sure, you paid to buy the TV. And you pay your cable or satellite bill. And you bought the PVR along with the embedded fees for the various artists' unions. But, other than that, it's like you commercial skippers are trying to get something for nothing.

    It's time to ask yourself what Jesus would do.

    It's time to take some responsibility: if you enjoy quality programming, the onus is on you to not only watch the adverts but also to act on them. That's right: those commercials are worthless unless you exercise your obligation as a consumer to actually buy something.

    So, what's our tally? Buy your TV, buy your PVR, line the pockets of the artist unions, pay for content delivery, watch the ads, act on the suggestions made in the ads -- now you're entitled to some entertainment.

    Sadly, there's nothing much good on.

    • It's time to ask yourself what Jesus would do.
      1. Wave his hands and the annoying ads would miraculously disappear?
      2. Transmute water into wine, so that no one would care about the ads?
      3. Stop watching television and go out and change the world for the better?
    • It's time to ask yourself what Jesus would do.

      That's simple. Set the controls to block all violence, cursing, adult situations, etc and foreget it as there is nothing on except "BLOCKED CONTENT".

      Really, you have to ask "What would Jesus do?". I think he would be too busy to waste time not talking to people in person. Somehow I just can't picture him kicking back in a recliner and flipping on The Simpsons.

      I also strongly doubt he would have cable, satelite, a PVR, or even a TV.

      You did bring up a beef I ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      It's time to ask yourself what Jesus would do.

      Scream "That magical box has tiny people inside!" in aramaic and run away?

    • It's time to ask yourself what Jesus would do.

      Jesus's remote has a SMITE button. When a particularly annoying ad appears on His TV (which is much bigger than yours, btw) He presses SMITE, and the ad is destroyed. If He is truly angered He holds the SMITE button down for three seconds, and the ad agency that created the ad is also destroyed, along with all memory of the ad in the minds of anyone who was watching. This is why you don't remember any of the truly annoying ads. Why He has chosen to not smite

  • I have on 2 occations while fast forwarding through the adds, seen something interesting (a concert/performance I didn't know about) and rewinded it to watch get the web site.

    Granted it hasn't happened often, but if the ads are something your actually interested it the DVR allows you to go back and check out.
  • Geeks love tech. Geeks love sci-fi. But a lot of geeks also break the mold of the shutin nerd with no social life. Friday nights have traditionally been "family nights" (TGIF comes to mind) when the programming generally skews younger because the family with kids is actually home watching TV. If you gear a show in the 18-35 range, generally we're not at home Friday - you're competing against movie openings, bar nights, shows, poker games, etc. So is it really a surprise that all us tech loving geeks ar
    • I've been thinking the exact same thing for years. I loved the SciFi friday night line up of SG1, Atlantis, and BSG, but damnit, Fridays from 7-9pm? Are they trying to get me to never watch it? The first thing I did when starting me new job and moving out on my own after college was get a dvr so I could actually watch these shows without having to download them all the time.

      I don't know much about nielson and tv ratiings but they simply must somehow take into account dvr viewing when making their ratings
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:51PM (#19354591) Homepage
    Ads serve the same purpose when live or recorded. It's time to get up and get something or do something. Yeah... it means people are recording the ads and yeah, it does mean the ads should bring more revenue. Now STOP trying to mess with our home recorders!!!
  • Voting System (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:53PM (#19354623) Homepage Journal
    This is all nice and good, but what I'd like to see is a voting system for TV ads. Digital cable, satellite, PVRs... they all allow some type of feedback, why not implement a voting system so you can vote ads up or down.

    That way, annoying ads would be voted down (companies would stop paying to show it) and fun/good ads would be voted up (companies would know what style works).

    Maybe add a third option to let them know they're showing it too often. Sometimes I like some ads but they appear so often as to become annoying.

  • How sustainable (Score:4, Informative)

    by btempleton (149110) on Friday June 01, 2007 @12:56PM (#19354677) Homepage
    Yes, I have noticed that many DVR users, perhaps call them "less sophisticated" ones do not always FF over the ads.

    However, we MythTV users don't FF over ads, the skip is instantaneous. The system makes judements, about 95% accurate
    over where the ad bounds are. When an ad is coming up, it says "3 minute commercial break" in a pop up and you push
    a key to skip it. If it has guessed wrong on the length that's usually obvious, and of course it's obvious on the
    start. With technologies like this, which the studios have sued to keep out of PVRs, there will be few who don't
    skip the breaks, or who even notice interesting ads and rewind to watch them.
    • by Lurker187 (127055)
      FINALLY! People are talking about "FF" and "skip" like they're interchangeable, but they're not. I've used both, including the ReplayTV auto-skip feature mentioned above, and I could not STAND using a Comco$t/Motorola DVR without the 30-second skip. I did quickly find a way to program the 30-second skip into my Harmony programmable remote, which I can't recommend highly enough, but even then, it only made it barely tolerable. Compared to the ReplayTV's auto-skip being right a large majority of the time, and
    • by ehovland (2915) *
      Just a me too. I use MythTV and I only watch the commercials when I mean to. Like during a Super Bowl or the Oscars. Otherwise, I just go to the next break marker and watch my show. It works so well, it is amazing. Dang you MythTV! Now I am stealing TV by not watching the commercials. It has gotten so bad that when people talk about shows, I can join in. But when they talk about funny commercials, I am totally clueless.
  • Be sure to note that DVR users not only watch the ads, but /.ers that use DVRs have been known to upload your ads to the web and share them with friends. So be sure to buy lots of ad time on the shows /.ers like to watch. Thank You.
  • I have Sky Plus (not HD, though; my eyesight is so poor I can barely see 625 lines, and that's already a bit Monet-esque; so what am I going to do with another 465?). I do generally skip the adverts. However, maybe about one advert per hour of programming will catch my eye and I will rewind it to watch in normal speed. Not that I'll actually go out and buy the product being advertised, though.

    Other times, I'll simply let the advert break run through but without actually watching, because I'm taking a
  • I typically see 5 seconds of the first commercial, 1-2 seconds of each commercial in between and the last 20 seconds of the last commercial 2 or 3 times unless the skip lands perfectly. Sometimes- very rarely, that 1-2 seconds will pull me in. Recently these were for: New Movie Ads, Geico Commercials with the gecko and with the cavemen (tho I'm a solid Allstate customer since they give me great service and rates- of course I've never filed a claim yet in 27 years).

    If I "watch" the commercials then that me
  • ...and say that DVRs actually help the advertisers.

    Before them, my mind was trained to tune out commercials because I was so sick of them. If I couldn't tune it out, I developed a very negative opinion of the companies advertised. Remember those Taco-Bell "drop the chulupa" commercials that aired twice every commercial break for every show for over a year? I haven't been to a Taco-Bell since. I'm actively not trying to boycott them, that was simply the result.

    However, whenever I now see a commercial, it's n
  • by PoderOmega (677170) on Friday June 01, 2007 @02:31PM (#19356267)
    I forget to fast forward sometimes, but unfortunately for the advertisers I do not have any volume normalization on my TV. So when I reach for the remote to turn down the BLARING commercials it reminds me that I can just fast forward through them.
  • I use Showanalyzer to detect commercials on my PVR. I would estimate the latest version is well over 99% accurate if the network displays their logo during the show and not during commercials. So my advice to the networks, stop displaying your annoying channel logo, or display it during the commercials. My other advice, show commercials in HD. Hell, I actually look FOR HD movie trailers on occasion.
  • As a MythTV user, I don't see many commercials -- it eats about 80% of them for me. So, I get to enjoy the shows I want, with far fewer commercials. I wonder how/why Nielsen ratings are even an issue these days.
  • by slapout (93640) on Friday June 01, 2007 @04:46PM (#19358209)
    ...if the show comes on while I'm at work, I _can't_ watch it. Unless I can record it and play it back later. Then there's a chance I'll watch the commercials. If I can't time shift, I don't even have a chance at watching the commercials!

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee. -- Kim Hubbard

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