Lots of things have been happening in the world of TV. No more tubes, everyone has a flat screen, now the over the air broadcasts are compressed digital data…
And the big thing lately, though it is pretty quiet, is DVRs, and web-enabled TV sets. Most of us would like to surf the web from the couch and watch online videos; many DVRs like TiVo and others allow us to watch online video, such as YouTube, Netflix, and other services. The very best thing about TiVo and many other DVRs is that we can watch TV and skip all the ads. This is wonderful, to me, because I want to strictly control the stuff that goes in my head, and the advertisers are so canny, so smart, that they can craft ads that will really get into our brains.
Of course, the advertisers know that we want to skip ads, and they want to stop it. So how might this occur? First, if you end up with a future DVR that you rent from the cable company, it is likely that such a device will prevent ad skipping. Paying the full price for a TiVo might be the only way to stay ad-free (or at least ad-skipped) in the future. Current shows are available on the various websites (CBS, NBC, etc.) and you cannot skip the ads. This same technology is likely to wind up in most DVRs, because the advertising dollars are there. Maybe the network websites will have a membership option so if you pay a monthly fee, you can watch the show the same night it airs, and skip the ads.
With web-enabled TVs, if you are trying to watch a video from, say, NBC from their website, you don’t get to skip the ads — and you can’t record it to your DVR for later, why would you need to? You can get it from the website anytime (with the batch of then-current ads).
So enjoy your ad skipping DVRs while you can… I do not think it is going to last.