How do television broadcasters fight commercial skipping

Commercial Skip Issues

douglaskeene#1

We have been using commercial skip, and when it works it is a terrific feature. However, we are now finding more and more shows are showing the yellow note that the skip was successful on a show, but when viewing the recording it did not skip. Some recent examples are pretty much all “Tonight Show (Stephen Colbert)” recordings, and just yesterday a recording of the “Good Fight”. While we originally had the skip working on just about every show, now we have this situation. The fact that it is showing that it tried to do the skip, and was successful, and then finding the skips actually did not work, is a change and disappointing. I have plenty of storage space, strong signals, and connections to the Roku are wired network. Tonight we noticed that one episode of the Tonight Show showed the yellow completion note, and a second episode showed a skip failure, which is the first time we have seen that note.
Looks like there is still work to do on commercial skip, but it would be nice to know if this is inherent in the software of something we are not doing right on our end.
Thanks for your assistance.

westworld#2

When Skip was new it successfully processed about 3 out of 4 recordings. Recently it seems to fail 3 out of 4 recordings. Has something changed?
J C

TabloTV#3

douglaskeene:

However, we are now finding more and more shows are showing the yellow note that the skip was successful on a show, but when viewing the recording it did not skip.

When you’re viewing these recordings on your Roku, do you see the yellow lines in the scrubber bar? Or are those lines grey?

TabloTV#4

westworld:

Recently it seems to fail 3 out of 4 recordings. Has something changed?

Nothing has changed on our end. What failure reason does the app report?

Tablo

Automatic Commercial Skip Error Messages

Starting with firmware 2.2.26, Tablo DVRs with active TV Guide Data Subscriptions have access to a new Automatic Commercial Skip feature which is currently in open beta. For an overview of this fea...

bigh73521#5

I’m also seeing this issue. I’m new and thinking it’s due to the skip being new. Few bugs need to be fixed. Sometimes a commercial will skip through the yellow mark, but still two or three after the mark end. If more information is needed please contact me.

douglaskeene#6

What is a “scrubber bar”?

TabloTV#7

douglaskeene:

What is a “scrubber bar”?

The ‘scrubber bar’ is the ‘timeline’ at the bottom of the playback screen.

The yellow sections denote where the commercials are marked. If the sections are GREY instead of yellow, automatic skip has been turned off in the player which means they won’t be skipped.

But if you’re seeing this:

bigh73521:

Sometimes a commercial will skip through the yellow mark, but still two or three after the mark end.

That’s something we’re currently investigating. If you have a specific recording saved on your drive that does this repeatedly in the same section (i.e. you go back to the start and it will skip/not skip the same bits) then send a note to support with as many details as you can: www.tablotv.com/ask-tablo

douglaskeene#8

Last night the Tonight Show was recorded, and today there is a yellow check mark on the show selection, and the “watch” page shows a yellow check mark and “Commercial Skip is ready”. When viewing the show, no ads were skipped at any commercial break in the show. America’s Got Talent was recorded also, and today it is showing a red “X” and the statement “Commercial Skip detection failed”. That is 100% of the day’s recordings failing the commercial skip function. Both shows have previously always had good commercial skip processing.

Message for Tablo folks: I am aware that Tablo uses an algorithm that looks for the timing and perhaps other features of ads that trigger the skip, but this problem just might be because the ad agencies or broadcasters have figured out the algorithm and are adjusting the ads to fail the skip detection. If I were them I would do that. It is worth a lot of money to them. At any rate, many folks are seeing the problem, it is obviously getting worse by the day, so it may be time to look at your algorithms and look beyond the folks doing the reporting. Our Tablo boxes do what Tablo’s do. There are no adjustments or ways we can futz up our installations. This is happening in the Tablo box, not Roku or any other box that Tablo is sending the signal to. Time for another firmware update that corrects this problem.

douglaskeene#9

The Tonight Show, last night, shows the yellow tag “Commercial Skip is ready”, but the “scrubber bar” shows grey bars at the ad breaks, not yellow. In the Setup screen, Commercial Skip is ON. So, if grey means that commercial skip is not on, its being turned off somewhere else, not in the setup.

TabloTV#10

douglaskeene:

So, if grey means that commercial skip is not on, its being turned off somewhere else, not in the setup.

Yup. The option in Settings is what tells your Tablo to upload recordings to the server for processing and to display the new playlist.

There is also a player-level switch that can be turned off/on should the commercial skip become problematic on a particular recording, or if (like during the Superbowl) you actually care to watch commercials.

You’ll just need to re-enable it in the playback window:

tablotv.com

New Tablo OTA DVR Feature: Automatic Commercial Skip

The open beta for Tablo's Automatic Commercial Skip feature begins today with our latest firmware update (2.2.26).

zippy#11

The commercial skip server can also get confused.

The Saint episode 9 The King of the Beggers. Recorded June 19th 10AM - 11AM on the This network.

Failed: Program ineligible for Commercial Skip.

douglaskeene#12

Wow! So that is a “feature” I don’t remember anyone mentioning before. So, you first check to see if the “scrubber bar” in the recording is grey, not yellow, and if grey, you start the recording, you hit the down arrow on the controller, and click the OK button (on the Roku) and change the function to On from Off. How does this playback function get turned off? Thank you for that one.

That solves the problem with files reporting all is OK but the playback not skipping.

The second issue of the failed skip process is still a mystery. Is there a way to recycle the skip setting process again on a recording to see if it works better the second time? My problem was with America’s Got Talent, which is a 2 hr. 5 minute show. I checked and the playback option for skipping is ON. The setting process itself apparently failed (Red Ball with an X). Is it my understanding that this process is an up-line process at Tablo?

Nilex#13

I believe for Roku, Amazon Fire & Android TV when you initially turn on the overall commercial skip setting in Settings that those players default to the player level skip toggle being on in the playback screen and you would need to turn it off in order for it to be off.

theuser86#14

douglaskeene:

How does this playback function get turned off?

I think the user has to actively turn it off.

Dagg#15

I have found nearly all my recordings will play the 1st commercial of each break and then the skip happens. Card Sharks, Goldbergs, The Good Fight, Life in Pieces. All the shows doing the same thing.

Koss67#16

Same thing with me, most of the first commercial would play, than it would skip the end of the last commercial ! AGT, life in pieces.

bigh73521#17

Wednesday June 19 wheel of fortune show ended at 1900. I started watching at 1940 and skip wasn’t available. Watched and used manual skip. After watching started to delete and mark showed skip was available. No yellow marks present while viewing. Don’t know if this will help.

westworld#18

When I choose play it has a red check stating “Upload Failed” or something like that.
J C

zippy#19

While tablo never indicates when or if they are making changes to the commercial skip algorithms they must have made some recently.

The second recording within a week failed due to “Program ineligible for Commercial Skip”.

From network METV
Have Gun - Will Travel episode #18 Justice in Hell.

Now if they can just reduce the number of: Commercial Skip detection failed".

MrEasy#20

Maybe it’s poor signal or something else. But with Commercial Skip enabled, I seem to get a bunch of short recordings for the same show. I’ve disabled the feature for now. I think it still needs work.

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