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June 28, 2005


It's been a few months and Tivo has lost their contract with DTV, moved to a contract based service like cell phones, and finished a pilot test for the popup ads. I totally agree with you Simon - they *should not* even consider being the first on the block to do it given their waning market share, but they are. Hopefully the comcast boxes won't go to it, or cable cards will become more readily available (and two way) so that the homegrown pc DVR market can improve!

The high tech crowd is already moving beyond the offered solutions in favour of homebuilt machines that can not only skip commercials (in some cases measuring the black fade) but also burn directly to dvd or transfer to the ipod video and the like.

It's an alkward back and forth - people skip commercials on dvr so they ad (ok bad pun) in commercial skip popups. People burn tv shows and movies to dvd so they add encryption. People record HD and now they add the broadcast flag expire tag to the content.

If they just make me want to watch the commercials like the BMW films campaign and I won't skip them :)

It's a shame really, as i still find the Tivo UI the most feature rich and easiest to navigate, that they are ultimately going to lose the war and fade away.

Edward, i have heard a great deal of chatter on the web about the impending horror of "pop up" ads on Tivos. Here is why it won't stick: Tivo is not the only show in town. If they persist in this then people will switch to other VODs that don't force pop-ups in the place of old fashioned 30-second spots. I ain't fast forwarding that ad to have it replaced with a different ad. Healthy VOD competition will ensure i don't have to (my comcast vod box does not force popups on me!!)

I had my own TiVo moment last evening while watching a new episode of Six Feet Under live. I assumed that (as usual) I was watching the show on VOD instead of live, and I tried to fast forward over the opening credits. Awkward.

Tivo is currently readying their popup advertising mechanism. When a user fast forwards or rewinds to skip commercials - a screen approximately 2/3 of the television set comes to the foreground - semi transparent - with an image of whatever still ad is chosen. Obviously Tivo users aren't happy with this but to obtain buy in from industry executives I can't imagine it won't happen.

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