Why do people love things like TiVO, MythTV, Freevo and the myriad of other PVR suites that are out there? Probably many reasons, but one of the most important and most enjoyable features is the ability to skip over or even prevent recording of commercials. What if that was taken away? It seems some companies want just that. This time around, Philips is pitching an idea for changing the way commercials are encoded and handled on a television that some, including myself, see as more than just intrusive, and rather as downright unethical and wrong.
Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognized by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.
So it's not as bad as having your eyes held open and being forced to watch propaganda, but ultimately, people pay to be able to have the choice to see what they want. Some may argue that you can't skip past the previews and ads at a movie theater, but the numbers show that even movie theaters are becoming more and more unpopular. It gets even better, with the mention of more money being paid to "get back" the ability to skip advertisements. Is this a joke? Sadly, it's not. Hopefully it will be one of those patents that is never used, and an idea that slowly dies and fades into history. What is your opinion? Is this crossing the line? Is this acceptable?