Originally Posted by mattack
90% of the time is an awfully BAD percentage.
I'd expect it to work very very close to 100% of the time. (or at least be 'optional' like the Replay commercial skip, which I never used, was)
Though, with enough work, you can get "commercial skip" with Tivo too -- download shows to a computer, run various open source tools to do commercial skipping, and then copy them back to the Tivo. If one has a machine already running all the time (server for other uses), it seems to me like it would be fun to play with (but not rely on).
No commercial skip app works 100% of the time, which is why I configure mine to work manually. All I need to do is press the right arrow and it skips past the commercial to the beginning of the next program segment. If the commercial break isn't detected properly I just press the left arrow to get back to where I was and then FF to the next segment.
Commercial breaks are usually detected by the presence of blank frames between the commercial and the program segment. If there's no blank frame the app can't detect the break. You can easily see this using a frame-accurate editing program like VideoReDo. It's amazing how many programs are aired with no blank frames between the commercials and program material.
I may have to FF past a commercial only once or twice over a span of several recordings, so it's not that big of a deal. With the 30-second skip feature, if I don't have the remote in hand waiting to press the button at the exact moment the commercial begins I invariably end up skipping past the end of the commercial break and have to backtrack to the start of the program segment. With the commercial skip feature I can take my time picking up the remote because it skips to a specific bookmark and not a time interval.
The bottom line is that neither solution is perfect and both have their pros and cons. I prefer the commercial skip app because it's generally quite accurate and usually works with a single button press.