Charging for commercial skip?


Product placement has been around for 25-30 years.


As a prior Replay user and a current Dish Hopper3 user I have 3 observations.

  1. Litigation and network retransmission agreements caused problems for Replay with their commercial skip. Dish has had to modify their Autohop for several networks. Initially Autohop worked the next day for ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Now CBS and Fox will not Autohop until 7 days later.
  2. The networks have changed the technology of how they flag commercials to make it harder to skip commercials.
  3. I really enjoyed my Replay TV. I had a lifetime subscription. But my Replay TV became useless when they went bankrupt. Let’s hope that Tablo does not suffer the same fate.


This was the main issue I worried about because the Tablo is so dependent on the internet and Tablo servers. I think that if Tablo did cease operation I could probably still make it function at a very basic level by making it use my time server to keep it’s clock in sync. Then I should at least be able to schedule recordings and watch existing recordings. We could also extract all of our recordings so at least we don’t have to lose anything.

However upon making the decision of whether or not to buy the lifetime subscription I assigned Nuvyyo a 24 month lifespan in my cost calculation. I don’t base that on anything specific to them but that’s my standard number upon which I determine payoff of a device or subscription. The lifetime subscription was just a little more then the monthly subscription when I make the 24 month assumption.

Monthly @ 24 months $120
Lifetime one time fee $150
Estimated risk $30

I expect the actual lifetime to exceed that because Nuvyyo has a decent history and they seem to be innovating. Taking that into account I figured the lifetime subscription was the better deal. I probably should have been an actuary.


On a hooker.


Pee-er / pee-ee juxtaposition is alleged to have been the other way around; the shower thing.



Ah yes. So while I’m really enjoying commercial skip in the few days I’ve had it, I can’t see myself paying for it as a separate feature when FF by video thumbnail works so precisely on the Roku and Firestick apps. I really hope it can make financial sense to include it as part of the subscription package.


If it worked 100% of the time I would be happy but for me it is hit or miss. ANd by that, I mean it is normally miss, maybe 25% accuracy.


If your recordings are only having 25% accuracy why not turn the feature off for 30 days and see if it gets better by then?


Wonder if the success rate is related not only to algorithm but time allowed to process a file? Handbrake for example allows you to control how much time and how many passes a user desires in order to transform a file (not doing comm skip).

By queuing up many users and multiple files, how much time does Tablo give to process a file? Is it so deterministic that multiple passes are not required?

Handbrake also allows a user to select a specific algorithm to be used to transform a file. Is Tablo’s algo the one and only available?

It would be hard for me to pay for a one shot attempt at a file since I use MCEBuddy, Commskip (paid editions) and Avidemux passing a file through as many attempts as needed to clean up a video to place in my library.


All of that scrubbing is great if the user plans on keeping the recording for eternity. You pay more money and processing power for perfection.

But maybe tablo’s target market are the others who just want a simple commercial skip because they will delete the recording once watched.


lol, my recordings are fantastic, all green bars on all channels.

The problem is the commercial skip is wrong most of the time, starts too early or ends way too late.

I brought this up over and over during the beta and was never asked for files or anything. This is a real problem for me.

I have been a big supporter of Tablo even getting many friends to join. However, in this process I cannot support or give kudos to a product that is NOT ready for primetime :wink:


“The problem is the commercial skip is wrong most of the time, starts too early or ends way too late.”

On the 20+ recordings I’ve watched it may start 1-2 second into the commercial and ends 1-2 second before the end of the commercial.

I just wish it would remove the Marlo Thomas St. Jude’s commercial


Mine have been more like minutes on both sides. Sometimes just nothing at all. If they want to charge this should be as good as Tivo skipping :wink:


I don’t think tablo is looking for 100% of the customer base to need or want this feature. The cost and schedule of making everyone happy in the first release is too high.

But it would be nice for tablo to give a little feedback on when the server algorithms have had adjustments. It’s hard to take the feature seriously and pay attention to any observable changes in behavior if you are kept totally in the dark


My understanding is they are using machine learning. There isn’t really any black and white lines as to when an algorithm changes. This is more like teaching a child. The behavior evolves. Not always in a predictable way either. Occasionally you might hard code some new rules but it’s more about flagging good and bad behavior.


Because part of the data uploaded with your recordings to the commercial skip server includes your Tablo’s MAC address, we didn’t need to contact you to review issues you reported.

When we looked at the data it showed errors in the broadcast stream. While you may not be able to see them (or may have missed them if they were in a commercial break) they’re there.

Errors can cause the process to fail entirely, or cause skips to be erratic.

We can always take another look at recordings from the last day or two if you touch base with support with specific details:

Definitely this ^

And we did make major changes during the alpha and provided folks in the alpha with updates when tweaks were made.

As we move forward if we make any significant changes, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.


Since it’s learning and is now super smart, I expect it has become smart enough to report a real failure reason instead of "Commercial Skip detection failed. ".


That’s the ‘unknown error’.

Most recordings should have a legit success/failure message but if you’re seeing this a lot, let us know.


So if the recording on my DVR had errors, are you saying that’s the best you can do for me? Shouldn’t you be using data from another user’s recording of the same program if you have it?

It seems like you need to process exactly one good copy of a recording to give everyone the benefit, and you could provide the commercial markers to everyone (which coincidentally solves the problem for users with low upload bandwidth - as long as another user recorded it, they could still get commercial skip data).

I get the impression that you process each user’s recording separately instead of approaching the problem from unique programs. Why would you not queue based on program and deduplicate your work load?