Charging for commercial skip?


Tivo remotes support voice commands, which get translated on their servers. Tivo also has a spotty track record of delivering on time. The Verge information has too many vague words; ‘should’ launch and ‘later’ this year. The logic, which is not hard to comprehend, about ReplayTV is commercial skipping is not new technology and since you (zippy) do not know how ReplayTV implemented it, it defies logic that you’d declare it unimportant.


Replay did it during recording. No extra electricity, and hardware resources developed from 2000 or earlier.

I’m still confused as to why no one else is doing that now. It’s clearly established and not rocket science.


you mean, acknowledging technology that’s worked in the past, and that it’s been completely ignored, “defies logic”?

What defies logic is sticking your head in the sand about such technologies. It has nothing to do with the business; it has to do with the technology that the industry insists on ignoring, technology that worked superb and that didn’t require taking over a tuner just to generate thumbnails which then get uploaded to the cloud, taking up user’s bandwidth.


A company paid money for Sonicblue’s intellectual properties. This included paying for ReplayTV’s commercial skip software. What kind of company would pay money, review what they bought, realize the superior value, and then let it die? At the minimum the would sell it off - if the could.



1 Like

Commercial skip (actually commercial cut to reduce file size) is included with $120 lifetime Plex pass at no extra charge.

Something for Nuvyyo to consider.

1 Like

are you kidding? Pay attention–LOTS of companies have done that in the past.

Nobody said venture capitalists are infallible, or particularly smart about technology.

So you ass-u-me that because the technology is not being used, it must not have been worth anything??? Accurate marking of commercials during recording/transcoding, on relatively inexpensive year 2000 hardware must not be worth anything?

The fanboi in you is strong.

And yes, Replay was recording analog signals and transcoding them to store on disc–all while monitoring the program content for commercials, and all on low end hardware.

Yeah, knowing how to do that–not worth a thing.


well, to be fair, it’s a DESTRUCTIVE commercial remove.

Never good. Trust me. You want the detected transitions recorded to a playlist, and you want the software to be able to use that playlist on playback–but when (not if!) a show fails miserably (usually lots of very dark scenes, or maybe quite a lot of minute-plus long pharma commercials) and the playlist is whacked out, you want to be able to tell the DVR “ignore the commercial markers while I’m watching this show” and simply manage playback the old-fashioned way.


ReplayTV power supply 96 watts (can’t measure)
Tablo power supply 36 watts (actual power 4 tuner recording 15watts)
4TB hard drive power supply 18 Watt (12 watts heavy io load)
Tablo + 4TB harddrive 54 watts power supply capacity.
ReplayTV 42 extra watts available to remove commercials!

I’m not saying that commercial skip can’t be accomplished locally on a device. The Tablo sips energy compared to a full blown computer or a ReplayTV. I suggest the Tablo device might not have enough local processing power. Go ahead and test the theory that ReplayTV doesn’t use more power to remove commercials. Use a watt meter, a thermal camera, or maybe even your hand. I bet you could tell the difference in power used. More power is used to do certain tasks and doing multiple tasks doesn’t negate additional power needs.

However you made your point. TabloSupport why can’t you do this thing for free? The division of ReplayTV that did this after the buyout is doing just fine… Oh wait a minute… they went bankrupt.

@adam1991 Let’s give Tablo a little while to figure this out before we go to battle over it. This is a beta service very few have and we don’t know how well it’s going to work. We don’t know what it may cost.

1 Like

I would hope so. I would hope that if ReplayTV were invented today, it would use a LOT less power than it did back then–just like everything does. An Intel NUC uses very very little, and can do quite a bit. Shoot, a Raspberry Pi could easily run Replay software today.

Same with hard drives. They take less power today than they did before. But don’t discount that hard drive power requirement in your efforts to make Tablo look good–remember, the Tablo requires a hard drive, too.

I bet ReplayTV-level commercial skip could be achieved on modern hardware with very little power overhead–especially compared to Tablo, which will fire up a tuner (???) and “watch” the show, spinning the hard drive, and generate thumbnails which then have to be sent out to the cloud.

Did their business fail because of the commercial skip?

Tablo has figured it out. They’ve re-invented the wheel. They have a mechanism in place, and they are refining it. They have offoaded the analysis of the thumbnails to (a) the customer’s broadband service (cost involved in bandwidth) and (b) a third party cloud service (cost involved in hard cash)–and that after stealing a tuner away from the user in order to generate the thumbnails (dual tuner users beware).

Me, I’d rather have beefier hardware in the first place, able to do the job entirely on-board and preferably live if I had my say. But then, I’m no fan of skinnying the hardware down. I don’t buy and use streaming sticks, and I’m not one to use an inadequate NAS to serve movies and then complain that it can’t transcode. This stuff requires some horsepower, and I’m happy to provide it.


So why are you even interested in Tablo’s commerical skip solution then?

1 Like

Interesting, exactly Tablo’s approach.

Sure I can figure out a multi-step solution to do this without Tablo’s commercial skip if I really want to, in fact, I was doing something like that, I just decided I wanted to simplify things for a number of reasons.

I tend to agree with @jimtablotv. Rather than continuing to make assumptions, why not just wait for some more information before you declare yourself a genius since no one else thought Tablo might end up charging for this.


I’ll give you that but the Tablo can record 4 shows and stream 6. I believe the ReplayTV only recorded 1 show at a time.

My PI3 chokes on real time video transcoding so don’t be so sure.

I deducted the harddrive power in my original math. I literally gave you the power requirements of my 4TB spinning disk harddrive and a 4 tuner Tablo. I didn’t cherry pick and I didn’t manipulate those numbers. If I wanted to cherry pick the numbers I have run a 240gb SSD without an external power supply and record 4 shows at once. Now the Tablo would consume 60 watts less then your ReplayTV.

Sounds like the Tablo isn’t for you. I would be happy to talk to you about building a system that meets your needs. Lot’s of other guys on here will too.

1 Like

Interesting - when you set a thread to “Muted” it actually removes it for your list of active threads on the forum homepage and it’s nowhere to be found.

1 Like

I have no experience with how this works but I have 35 years in the film/TV business on the creation side and I know for a fact that the industry is already looking at a production model that puts the commercials inside the show. You all know what product placement is well now this will be on steroids in the very near future. In addition I suspect we will start to see legal action to try and stop the ability of any company to skip commercials. Way too much money at risk. So for now I will just enjoy what we have for as long as we have it.


I think the real breakthrough for them will be “targeted product placement”. For instance when you are watching a TV show and someone drinks something out of a can. If your household fits one demographic it will be a Coke can. If you fit another demographic it will be Pepsi. ATSC 3.0 as I understand it will help companies better Target individual households and in some cases individuals.

I agree but there have already been legal actions so it won’t be the first. To the best of my knowledge the first one about automatic commercial skip was against ReplayTV in 2001. There was no decision because unfortunately ReplayTV went bankrupt.

I’m pretty sure that lawsuits is why TiVo never did commercial skip automatically until recently. Hollywood will have some worthy opponents this time.


We are in an age where our government is the biggest threat to consumers. Litigation may start the ball rolling but some bought and paid for congressman will push to stop commercial skip to keep his/her election funds flowing in. Large corporations that pay millions of dollars to advertise will certainly have their say. Personally I think that what Tablo offers, with or without commercial skip, is great. If we go after Tablo for trying to fund even better services we cut our own throat. Film and TV products are moving to streaming and local TV is falling apart. Young people are not really interested in TV programming and movie theaters are scared to death about streaming products. “A” list actors are demanding that their movies show in theater or they will not sign a contract. The industry is changing extremely fast and tomorrow will simply not be the same. Direct marketing of films will be the new reality where small producers bypass the industry machine and take their product direct to the market. Products like Roku, Youtube, etc. will control the industry not Hollywood. It’s happening right now.


How can government be the biggest threat to consumers?

They are spending 100% of their time trying to find a video of Trump in a Moscow hotel taking a pee.


CBS, NBC, FOX, the Golf Channel, NASCAR, etc., are currently doing this with their ‘Play through’ “feature” keeping the program going while the commercials with audio play to the side. It’s really annoying and a continuing reason I record just about everything I watch. Play through is still a commercial and I FF through those as if they were a regular comm break. FWIW, Tablo’s commercial skip doesn’t catch these so I end up having to do it manually anyway.


For now they use the side commercials and the crawl but they are also adding commercials into the very script. It used to be that an actor would pick up a can of Coke but no dialogue about the product was said. Now the actors are being used to push the product by commenting on it as they use it in the film. It will eventually get to the point where it will be so noticeable that it will damage the film or TV show. I recently reviewed a TV script that had a car chase in it. The advertiser purchased a change in the script so that three actors would actually argue over the specific make of a car that they would drive. All were made by the same car company but the point was to put a commercial in the film expressing the power, color, speed, etc. In addition there is so much ideology and politics in TV and film already that finding something I want to watch for the sake of entertainment is almost impossible.