NEW - Automatic Commercial Skip Server Update (May 2020)

Happy Monday folks!

Hope you’re all keeping well.

Last night the team completed the second major update of the Automatic Commercial Skip server.

Because the algorithms and machine learning live in the cloud, no firmware or app updates are required on your end.

Overall detection has improved for airings recorded today and moving forward, but you can also expect improvements around:

  • Detection of ‘end of program’ content – Previously, the final segment in a program or previews for upcoming episodes were sometimes misidentified as commercials due to similarities with ad breaks. Now ‘end of program’ content will receive a secondary review to help ensure ads are properly flagged. ( NOTE - Once the final video segment is over, all remaining video within the recording will not be skipped. )

  • Detection on recordings with mild broadcast errors – Previously, some recordings with mild broadcast errors due to OTA TV reception problems could cause Commercial Skip detection to fail. Handling of these errors has improved so more recordings can be processed successfully despite these blips.

  • Detection of ‘sandwiched’ content – Broadcasters sometimes place short bits of content between two ads to keep consumers from fast-forwarding. Additional work has been done to preserve program content while eliminating the ad segments on both ends.

  • Customized detection for popular programs We have created program-specific algorithms for many popular shows including Jeopardy, Big Bang Theory, and daytime soap operas to ensure even more accurate ad detection.

  • Unique program/commercial formats – Previously, some programs were ineligible for Automatic Commercial Skip processing as the format of the show or the commercial slots were particularly unusual. Thanks to additional tuning of the algorithms, we have now reduced the number of filtered programs by 80%.

A significant part of the work in this update also focused on tuning the Automatic Commercial Skip algorithms to successfully process local and national news, as well as newsmagazines!

You can read more about this update on the Tablo blog:

Additional tweaks and improvements are still planned for the coming months.

If you have any questions about this update or this feature, leave a comment below or drop a note to directly to Tablo Support.

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This should be interesting. CS was already choking on the new self isolation versions of Fallon, Kimmel, and Corden

If you check the blog post in the link they also mention:

“Even more improvements can be expected once late night and daytime talk shows as well as local news return to their traditional studio formats once the current pandemic has passed.”

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My statement is a question of whether the “new” CS update will get better or worse under current conditions. And since Gavin Newsom likes to have his daily covid-19 news briefing start at the start of a very popular soap opera that should also be interesting.

So far, I’m not impressed with your improvements. This evening only 3 out of 6 recordings on one of my units processed commercial skip correctly. The other 3 recordings generated thumbnails, but stated “Commercial Skip detection failed”.

My second unit only had one recording scheduled and it worked properly. All factors considered, I don’t consider 4 out of 7 acceptable.

I haven’t watched any of the recordings yet, I usually watch recordings a day or two after they have been recorded. Regarding the recent changes, I’ll post another comment if I notice any improvement on the recordings that did process correctly.

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Improved? Nine out of eighteen failed for me.

Could it be that the CS ML model has become so robust that it can no longer learn no matter what updated training data it is fed. With customized detection for popular programs could CS have now jumped the shark.

Is the possibility of scheduling uploads overnight (or at a time when there’s little to no internet use) on the “coming months” list… or the “maybe, someday” still?

[from that blog post]

That’s over 300 hours of annoying commercials you didn’t have to sit through!

For those with out Tablo’s Premium Service - why do you think we actually watched the commercials?:roll_eyes: Really, do thumbnail creation fail more for non-premium customers?:smirk: With or with out commercial skip it’s unlikely any DVR user would watch a fraction of those. This seems a bit hyped up.:neutral_face:

Cut ins like this can definitely cause problems with the system as well as weird ‘from home’ formats.

For example, last night’s ABC News with David Muir failed because there were no commercial breaks as a good portion of the show cut to the President’s address.

It is something that we know is important for some folks but it’s not something that we’re working on right now. There are a few other priorities that we want to cross off the list.

That being said, we’re almost due for another survey so make sure you put that on the feature request section. The more people who ask for something, the more attention it gets.

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Nesom;s briefings don’t cut in. When the CBS schedule says The Bold and the Beautiful starts at 12:30PM at exactly 12:30PM Newsom appears and starts talking.

While there may not be any real commercials, one might suspect that Newsom’s whole talk is one long never ending commercial.

While I don’t actually watch the soaps I was going to record it just for my own covid-19 self isolation fun. But my local CBS station wised up and moved Newsom to a sub-channel.

I have had 100% since the upgraded server side enhancements.
I have no idea how the algorithm works but one network, NBC, in my market is HI-VHF and experiences some minor pixelation during a show. In the past this would result in CS fail. No more.

For $20 the service is worth it.

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That is one of the tweaks that was made. Glad it’s working out for you!

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One new tweak as of this week…

We noticed that the popular late-night shows just weren’t being processed well due to their ‘from home’ COVID formats… For now the following shows have been added to the FILTERED list and will be ineligible for Commercial Skip:

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Late Night With Seth Meyers
  • The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Once these shows return to their in-studio format (hopefully soon), we’ll remove them from the filter.

If this drags out for longer than expected, we’ll take another look at making custom configurations for these as well.


Otherwise, we’re always hard at work tuning this feature to be as awesome as possible and we hope you’re enjoying it.

If you see issues with a particular show or with a particular ad break on a regular basis, please feel free to send over the details so we can take a closer look!

So not sure if you touched on this but I have a couple of questions about commericial skip that i have … your guide data that is feeding the commerc skip processs is not clearifying NEW or previously aired for SNL and others so when i Record I only record New Airings and New programming and it is recording alot of the old contenet because the guide is not clarifying the old from new …??
Ok so that is my first question guess that is a guide and tablo app issue not commercial skip…
how long does the process take after show has aired for skipping?? and can I start watching program when it is still recording and skip the commercials??

One last thing I have the tablo app on my windows 10 PC and I have a sony bravia 4k smart android tv that has the preview app and the tablo app however the tablo app seems to have changed to be very similar to the preview app … Should I have all of these tablo apps …(i also have the app on my ios iphone xr and i notice sometimes i get duplicate recordings ???

thanks for your prompt reply


Somewhere I thinks there’s info regarding preview is similar to what most vendors call beta or release candidate app, but not sure

If you search, it’s likely you find others with duplicate issues on IOS devices, maybe this ends it.

Two separate “things” commercial skip works indepant of guide data new or not

The data comes from Gracenote [tablotv search] and they get it from networks and/or station affiliates. The new/not new is a PITA, I usually only find it annoying, others, outright irritating. For SNL, sometimes they won’t even provide accurate show info… you can try to pass along the info the tablo via support ticket

https://www.tablotv.com/automatic-commercial-skip/
https://www.tablotv.com/tablo-premium-service/