I wonder if we'll ever see Autohop on cable networks

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,318
1,172
It was really a marketing and leverage feature. However, it is a really great feature even if the C3-C7 must be observed. I often take over a week to get to watching my recorded shows. But for all the other MVPD's, it would be more trouble than it is worth. However, for DVR maker TiVo, it did recently implement its own version of Auto hop known as Commercial Skip. Commercial Skip is applied to the top 20 rated channels, so it includes a number of cable/sat channels, as well. Of course, TiVo was desperate to do something big to attract more subscribers. You can go to the TiVo website and read about both the Commercial Skip and the new QuickMode that plays video faster without changing the pitch of the voices. TiVo QuickMode is a really great feature for debates, newscasts or other non-dramatic types of programming. While Dish does not need a QuickMode feature, I would appreciate one. I used to and still have occasion to use my JVC VCR at 1.5X speed playback to get through a game show of the local news more quickly, and that was nearly a decade ago since I got those machines.
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
Tivo does it on 20 networks
Has there been any indication of how TiVo does it ? Although Dish has a patent on identifying when a show stops and changes to a commercial, it's either believed or it's been confirmed, that Dish literally has human beings who watch the shows and manually add 'markers' of when to start "hopping" and when to return to the show. Does TiVo do the same or do they have an automated process ?

and for a larger time frame than just prime time.
I haven't read any specifics other than knowing TiVo offers this, but I see from their website that they do channels like TNT, Comedy Central, and so on. If Hunt for Red October is on tonight at 8pm until 11pm, will it have the commercial skipping option ? Or is it only on 'series' type shows ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
9,905
2,341
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Has there been any indication of how TiVo does it ? Although Dish has a patent on identifying when a show stops and changes to a commercial, it's either believed or it's been confirmed, that Dish literally has human beings who watch the shows and manually add 'markers' of when to start "hopping" and when to return to the show. Does TiVo do the same or do they have an automated process ?

I haven't read any specifics other than knowing TiVo offers this, but I see from their website that they do channels like TNT, Comedy Central, and so on. If Hunt for Red October is on tonight at 8pm until 11pm, will it have the commercial skipping option ? Or is it only on 'series' type shows ?


It been confirmed Tivo does the same. Yes several movies have shown up with skip on them. Even a few live events like Oscars have had skip on them
 

king3pj

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jun 7, 2009
9,469
1,730
Michigan
Has there been any indication of how TiVo does it ? Although Dish has a patent on identifying when a show stops and changes to a commercial, it's either believed or it's been confirmed, that Dish literally has human beings who watch the shows and manually add 'markers' of when to start "hopping" and when to return to the show. Does TiVo do the same or do they have an automated process ?

I don't know if this is confirmed but I remember reading on the Tivo Community forums that Tivo uses the closed caption data somehow to know when commercials start and end. I don't think it's a person actually watching the shows unless they are doing as the show airs live because the skip feature is usually available for me just a couple minutes after the live broadcast ends.

I'm not positive how it works exactly but I know it happens very quickly and is also very accurate. I have never had it skip past anything it shouldn't on my Tivo Roamio.

I haven't read any specifics other than knowing TiVo offers this, but I see from their website that they do channels like TNT, Comedy Central, and so on. If Hunt for Red October is on tonight at 8pm until 11pm, will it have the commercial skipping option ? Or is it only on 'series' type shows ?

The general rule is that it will be available as long as your recording isn't of a live event. It won't be available for news, sports, debates, and that kind of thing. As OSU pointed out there are some exceptions like the Oscars.

I have gotten very used to this commercial skip feature being there for basically everything I record. It works on the major broadcast networks including CW as well all the major cable channels, and like I said it is available just a couple minutes after the broadcast ends. There is no waiting 3-7 days or even until 1:00am. The only show I'm recording right now that doesn't have it is Orphan Black because BBC America isn't one of the supported channels yet. It actually throws me off for a second when I watch that show and the auto-skip button doesn't work.
 

king3pj

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jun 7, 2009
9,469
1,730
Michigan
I don't know if this is confirmed but I remember reading on the Tivo Community forums that Tivo uses the closed caption data somehow to know when commercials start and end. I don't think it's a person actually watching the shows unless they are doing as the show airs live because the skip feature is usually available for me just a couple minutes after the live broadcast ends.

I stand corrected. osu1991 was right. This is from the Tivo support website. I'm impressed with how quickly they are pushing out the skip markers if they really are relying on people to watch the shows live.

https://support.tivo.com/articles/Features_Use/SkipMode

How it works
A dedicated team of TV-enthusiasts watches popular shows as they air and note where programming resumes after commercial breaks. This information is applied over the programs by the TiVo service as soon as it is available.
The actual program itself is never altered and the commercials remain in the recorded programming, where you can rewind and watch them at your convenience.
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
Tivo uses the closed caption data somehow to know when commercials start and end.
Interesting. Dish has a patent on doing it that way too ! Of course, part of the "Dish vs TiVo" lawsuit, patent sharing was part of the settlement.

I don't think it's a person actually watching the shows unless they are doing as the show airs live because the skip feature is usually available for me just a couple minutes after the live broadcast ends.
I guess it could go either way - either they're using an automated process or a person watches each episode LIVE and adds the markers. Dish got sued by Fox, I believe, for making "copies" of the shows that they were using to add the AutoHop markers so they're either ignoring that or they're watching the shows live and marking them on-the-go. Then again, AutoHop isn't available until 1am Mountain time, which is a 2-hour gap (?) from 11pm MST before it becomes available.
 
Top