NEW - Automatic Commercial Skip Server Update (September 2019)

Happy Monday folks!

Last night the team completed the first 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.

Need a recap of how the feature works and how to enable it? Head to the Tablo blog:

Here's what you can expect for airings recorded today and moving forward:
  • Improved Detection of ‘Start of Program’ Content
    You should now see successfully completed recordings begin playback at the ‘true’ beginning of the program content, whereas previously you could have still been shown the ending of the previous program.

  • Improved Detection of ‘End of Program’ Ad Content
    Cold closes and ‘next week on’ previews won’t be skipped nor anything else after these short ‘end’ segments as this should be the true ending of the program.

  • Improved Ad Detection Performance for Recordings with Moderate Signal Quality Problems
    Previously, recordings with moderate signal quality problems could have resulted in inaccurate skips despite successful processing. Overall playback experience for recordings with slight signal blips should now be improved.

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

We hope you enjoy these improvements to the Automatic Commercial Skip feature more than this family enjoying their ‘snuggies’:

If you have any questions or feedback about this update, please let us know below.


I thought I would test CS again.

Improved Detection of ‘Start of Program’ Content

First 30 minute program I tested Gimme a Break s02e14 missed removing the 2 minute commercial at the beginning. Maybe because the previous show, which was also Givme a break slopped into the start time of s02e14.

I,Detective - Deadly Pledge totally missed a 3 minute commercial at the 6 minute mark. But at least I now know what I need to do if I want John Hancock Insurance.

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I put 21 30 minute recordings through the updated commercial skip software.

11 had all the commercials properly removed
5 had at least 1 2-3 minute commercial undetected.
4 had Commercial skip detection failed
1 was ineligible for commercial skip

Oh well. Try again in a month or two.

Some of those subchannels run obscenely long commercials… Any segment longer than 120 seconds will be ignored because of too many false positives which is why you saw that long break.

Twenty of the recordings came from subchannels. Out of the 11 that were totally correctly processed any number of them had commercials longer then 120 seconds.

Hopefully my wife doesn’t read that post since I’m trying to get her to stop using Plex.

They had actual single commercials longer than 2 minutes?

Subchannels have a lot of ‘infomercial’ style ads which tend to be much longer than ad content on prime time programs.

Some retro shows may have a commercial time space that have two commercials wrapped into one time space in such a way as it might appear as one continuous commercial.

But if Commercial Skip ever goes non-Beta all of these internally known limitations and restrictions will have to be documented. And the list of known programs ineligible will have to be correct.

Someone who buys the product or keeps the product on the assumption that CS will work when there is already a known list of limitations would probably have a pretty good case.

And one of these shows that had successful CS processing actually had just one 5+ minute commercial right in the middle of it.

Commercial Skip has mostly been working ok for me, except it seems to have a lot of trouble with Big Bang Theory- both reruns on CBS and on a local station (Dallas 27-1). It’s fairly common for it to start a commercial skip 30 seconds early, it often misses the ad break that’s just before the closing tag scene, or it skips right through that closing tag scene (which Big Bang always has, but admittedly is short enough that the algorithm might be mistaking it for another ad). I watch these reruns a lot (background while I’m cooking, etc) so it’s annoying. It works pretty well on other shows, though, so I’ve not disabled the feature altogether. Anybody else having experiences like this on Big Bang Theory?

Like StuTomato, I also live in the DFW area and am recording the Big Bang reruns on Dallas channel 27.1.
Many times commercial skip starts too early cutting into program content and then there are times commercials are not detected at all.
I’m hoping with the release of the new CS algorithms, this problem will resolve itself.

Indeed - hopefully the new ‘start’ & ‘end’ tweaks will help with this. Let us know how it goes!

Well I love it. I never watch live TV because of the commercials. I can easily live with the few hiccups it has. It’s a work in progress and I thank you.

Step 2 suggests or implies I may also have an internal internet connection —

If it uses my external internet connection inversely there must be a possible internal internet connection - what’s up with that? Not just my internet connection?

Technically, an internet is any two networks that are connected, e.g. via a router. Many large companies have an internal internet. “The Internet” is the huge, multi-national, publicly accessible example there of.

Internal company “Internets” are usually referred to as “Intranets”. Just thought I’d beat @djk44883 to pointing that out :smirk:


…and tablo is a consumer device. “Users” call internal either LAN or “the network”. Yeah, intra inter but again, consumers/end users here, referring to an RJ45 as being hardwired (for example)

The new commercial skip algorithms haven’t fixed this problem.
I’m recording the Big Bang reruns on Dallas channel 27.1.
Repeatedly, at the mid-program commercial series, commercial skip starts about 30 seconds too soon cutting into the program content.

Thanks for the heads-up! I’ve passed these details along to see if we can figure out why this is happening.

Agreed. I’m still getting that behavior on Big Bang Theory, and the problem with sometimes either missing the last commercial break or skipping right through the final 60 second scene continues, too.

Worth noting when those shows were recorded… If they were recorded after the update, let us know.