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Television commercials are for poor people!

21 Jun

It struck me the other day that I never see television commercials any longer.  I was sitting in the kitchen having a meal and I saw a funny commercial.  I called to my wife to have a look.  Her response was “yeah I’ve seen it.”  My wife, God bless her, won’t run the kids out of the living room from watching TV or playing xbox.  She’ll just watch TV in the kitchen or bedroom.  Since we have a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) in the living room and regular TV on all the other TV’s.  Actually that is partly true.  I have set it so that we can watch the DVR (live or recorded shows) on any TV in the house.  No remote control at the other TVs but you can still watch it.

I’m not above telling the kids I’m going to watch TV, so get off the xbox. 😉  I’ll start scanning the 500 channels for something to watch, then always remember I should check the “recorded list”.  You know things that you have set the DVR to record for you.  Sometimes a show will be on that I am recording.  It seems I’m usually 5 to 15 minutes late for it, but no problem I can just go to the recording and start watching it before the show is over.  The plus side is I can SKIP the commercials!

I’ve learned that on those RARE shows that I make a point to be in front of the TV when it starts, to wait 15 minutes before watching the program, simply so I can skip all the commercials.  15 to 20 minutes is usually enough to fast forward through all the commercials in a one hour episode.

Recently a program update was downloaded to our DVR.  It seems the fast forward (one button push) is now going MUCH slower than it was before.  The commercials were taking what seemed to be twice as long to be over.   At 1/2 fast forward speed I was 1) Getting bored 2) Able to see what product was being pushed.   I cannot say for sure but I wondered if this was something that was forced on the content and PVR provider by the companies that are purchasing time for commercials on the various businesses that collectively provide the content.

Now I press the fast forward button twice!  Problem solved.  I thought, who in their right mind would be watching a television commercial.  Sure there are those that are funny, or have people in it that you like to see, but the majority of the commercials you either already know about the product, or you could give a rat’s ass about.  There are those that think that just seeing the product image for a fraction of a second may be enough to help you choose their product when you are at the store, etc…

All in all there is NO value to watching a television commercial.  It takes your attention away from the show that you are watching.  Hell sometimes I forget what I was watching until it comes back on.  And who in the hell thought it was okay to place a mini-infomercial in there?!?!?!!?  Don’t get me started.  So who is watching television commercials?  The poor!  The people least likely to buy a product are having it pushed in their faces.  The poor are the only people that wouldn’t have a DVR, or some means to skip the commercials.  Of course there is always a possibility that the poor have a VCR and can still find a VHS tape, and even they can skip commercials.

Software has been available for a number of years that will automatically detect and skip television commercials.  I have video card and associated software in my PC that make it a PVR.   With that video card and software I can schedule and record shows, and the commercials are automatically detected, time stamped and during playback they are skipped.  You’ll see the scene coming to an end, fading  and then WE’RE BACK!  When I first say this I would sit there and giggle like an idiot.  I was so impressed that I could watch a television show and not have to endure the commercials.

I guess it’s pretty plain to understand why the companies that provide the DVRs to it’s customers don’t include the software to automatically skip commercials.  I wonder if it’s ever been discussed in some high level meeting charging people to unlock the fast forward function in a DVR.

I’ve been listening to podcasting for the last several months, and prior to that I would watch a weekly ustream.tv broadcast.  They are all free.  They do have commercials, but they are done in the more 50’s style where the host tells you about the product.  Most don’t have commercials, just entertainment.

I believe that as bandwidth on the Internet increases to each household you will see more content provided by individuals, then by groups of individuals and eventually be production companies.  The 500 channels that you have available now will be infinitesimally small in comparison to the selection that you’ll have.

So television commercials are for poor people, as the rest of us (who are not currently poor) skip past or use technology to ignore them.

UPDATE!

I was flipping around on our AT&T UVerse DVR “live” feeds and I saw “Ferris Buller’s Day Off” playing on VH1, so I stopped to watch it.  After a little bit the commercials started.  This was a live feed so I wasn’t able to fast forward.  I was eating a late diner so I was paying more attention to my food than the commercials.  It seemed like a rather long time before the show came back on but, well who knows.  After eating I joined my wife in the living room (I was in the kitchen).  Another sliver of the show came and went then the commercial BLOCK.  She started counting commercials.  When the count hit TEN she announced it!  We kept counting, normally at this point I would just have found something else to watch.  Oh my God, 15 my wife announced, then 16, 17 and 18.  As the 18th commercial came to an end neither of us knew what to expect next.  Personally I was hoping for 20 because I already knew I was changing channels.  Nope 18, E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N commercials!

Since the show was back on we watched a bit more.  Then my wife said “Don’t we have this on DVD?”  She was right, I went to the shelf, put it in the DVD player and in less tine than you could watch 18 commercials I found the exact spot we had been watching.  We finished the move commercial free.

You people running these stations are idiots!  For $50 you can buy a DVD player and movie.  Who are you pushing these commercials to?  How are you able to convince companies to purchase commercial time?  Do you tell them you’ll be the 11th commercial in a block of 18?!?!?!





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4 Comments

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  1. Anonymous

    June 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I often bust out laughing at commercials at other peoples homes and they are like “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that, it’s on all the time!”. Makes me want to watch some commercials just to be back in the loop. Almost.

     
  2. Tony Muckleroy

    June 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Some of the commercials are quite good, funny and/or interesting.  I like it best when they are so enjoyable you have no idea what they are selling!  lol

     
  3. Tony Muckleroy

    August 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Last night I was watching a show as it was being broadcast.  I just couldn’t STAND to sit through the commercials!  So instead of flipping back and forth I just hit the record button on the DVR and then found something else to watch for 15 or 20 minutes.  You know flipping around.  Then I went back to the show I was watching and skipped all the DAMN! commercials.  Double fast forward then hit the 7 second rewind when I see the show is back on!  This can’t be good news for the companies selling the content, the companies showing the content.  Sooner or later everything will have to be pay per view, or purchase like we do with DVD/HD discs.

     
  4. Tony Muckleroy

    November 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Watching TV last night I see (in my peripheral vision) that crap ad that takes up 1/3 of the screen (you know bottom part of the screen) and I ignore it.  Then I hear this beeping noise.  Sounds like an alarm going off upstairs.  I think it is strange (since it was 2am).  Then I hear it again.  After about the 3rd time I realize it is coming from the TV and it is being played each time the bull sh*t ad is popping up at the bottom of the screen.  HA!  I still didn’t look at the ad!