Dish doing auto commercial skip

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by XIBM, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. XIBM

    XIBM Member

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    I saw an advertisement where Dish said they were doing automatic commercial skip on certain recorded programs. I am surprised their content providers allow this. I wonder if Tivo is providing the skip coding file or if they are pooling resources to code the auto skip file...
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    Dish does auto skip on some broadcast channels, but when it will do it varies by channel. IOW it doesn’t do it the next day on all channels and the timing varies according to carriage contracts.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    compnurd likes this.
  3. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Dish has had AutoHop for years but when they first introduced it they got sued big time and the settlement included not making it available until the next day or in some cases several days
     
  4. compnurd

    compnurd Well-Known Member

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    It is a week in some cases
     
  5. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

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    Autohop is only done on the broadcast channels. It depends if your local affiliate is network owned or not. Some local networks get autohop the next day and others like CBS is a 7 day wait. These are all negotiated as part of the retransmission consent for each station group.
     
    unclehonkey likes this.
  6. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    In practical terms, we really only get to use it the next day on one channel where we live. Most broadcast network shows we watch do not benefit from it. SkipMode worked better when we had Tivo, although the button press was annoying.
     
  7. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there were no "settlements" from those lawsuits as a result of any of the legal actions taken against Dish by the big 4 broadcasters: all 4 of the brodcasters dropped their lawsuits after scheduled retransmission negotiations requiring no court review or approval and cases dismissed, I believe, without prejudice, meaning the broadcasters could sue again, which is an option not possible as the result of a court settlement. What the broadcasters got was a completely seperate, temporary (the limited duration of a retransmission agreement), not-permanent, non-settlement retransmission agreement, but as you'll read below, the broadcasters are never gonna bother suing again and are unlikely ever gonna sue anyone else offering commercial skip for DVR's (commercial skip for VCR's was never challenged, to the best of my memory). The broadcasters sued Dish for an attempt at gaining leverage over Dish and hope to get a preliminary injunction to disable Autohop almost immediately, but the broadcasters could not get leverage nor a preliminary injunction from their doomed lawsuits. The leverage the broadcasters had was at the end of retransmission rights, not with a lawsuit in court.

    Ossu1991 has it all correct. Restrictions negotiated are O&O's only. When time came to renogotiate retransmission agreements, one by one, each of the big 4 brodcasters, relating to their O&O's (similar agreements may have reached with non-O&O's separately subsequent to the big 4 and its O&O's), got Dish to agree to the C3, C5, or C7 delay (the period when advertisers consider an ad as viewed and relevant to ad rates--after those number of days, the view of the ad counts for NOTHING) before agreeing to a retransmission agrerment. In return, Dish got Digital Rights (and more content pay TV channels for its SlingTV service that were part of the same coporate family as the big 4) that the broadcasters had previously refused to grant, with the exception of CBS who were planning or had launched (I forget which) CBS All Acess and viewed granting Digital Rights for CBS broadcast network content as diminishing CBS All Access (some of the other CBS owned non-broadcast, pay channels did provide Digital Rights to Dish, but not the CBS Television Network content), but NBC, ABC, and Fox agreed to Digital Rights.

    Those of us on the Dish Forums had a pretty good feeling from the start that Auto-hop was not only about a compelling feature to crow about, but also about gaining leverage with the big 4 broadcasters, and it worked because the brodcasters knew from day one they were going to lose in court. Better to sit down and hammer out a deal (good for both sides) at end of retransmission agreement time than suffer 7 years of Auto-hop skipping commercials that "could" diminish their advertising rates before a resolution in court.

    The broadcasters knew that Auto-hop was legal (their own lawyers surely told them so), but whatever small hope they had of prevailing ended when the 9th Cuircut issued their ruling upholding the lower Court's refusal to grant a preliminary injunction. In the ruling is detailed info on what Dish does (and likely TiVo because, according to Steve Zats, humans are used to determine the points for auto skipping) to make Auto-hop technically possible. Also in the ruling, the 9th lays out its reasoning/logic in upholding the lower Court's decision to deny preliminary injunction by addressesing the big 4's contentions point by point as essentially extremely not likely going to prevail except with only ONE contention offering any hope for the big 4 (the 9th itself characterising it as the long shot only chance), but then the 9th pointing out that even that contention would not meet the standard.

    One by one, when retrans agreements with Dish were nearing an end, the big 4 renegotiated a new deal and dropped their lawsuits. The last broadcaster to hold out was Fox, but only because their agreement with Dish was the last to expire. By this time, the trial judge had thrown out all the big 4's contentions except for one: the famous "no recordings of the broadcast without permission of the broadcaster" argument (this was the very same point the 9th cited as the only hope for the big 4, and in the next sentence the 9th shot it down). Even the trial judge remarked to Fox lawyers that they were likely to lose on that point, but if they wanted to pursue this, she would grant a trial on this one point only. Fox wanted to pursue, and the judge was prepared to grant a trial, but at the same moment, Fox's retrans agreement with Dish was about to expire, but successfully renegotiated a new agreement with Dish, Fox dropped its lawsuit.

    TiVo does not provide any cable or OTA content (agreements) to its users, so those copyright holders have no leverage with TiVo. TiVo can implement commercial skip with no fear of losing the content that makes its way to a TiVo DVR, and TiVo can implement commercial skip with no fear of lawsuits because Dish cleared the legal path for TiVo and anyone else who wants to offer commercial skip. Others could have implemented commercial skip before Dish, but everyone else was scared of the lawsuits, and some, TiVo included, did not have deep enough pockets to endure the legal costs for such an action. Commercial Skip for DVR's was always legal, but the Dish action resulted in the unquestioned legality of commercial skip for DVR's and allowed for TiVo, Tablo, Channels and any others to offer commercial skip to consumers. Thank you Dish for being disruptive!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
    osu1991, tim1724 and ncted like this.
  8. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    I'll add that some Dish users are a bit miffed about the delay of Auto-hop being turned on, while most do not mind the delay. ABC has only a C3 or 3 days after first broadcast before Auto-hop is offered. Personally I don't mind the delay even for 7 Days in some cases because I rarely watch my DVR recordings soon after the show has originally aired. Also I don't find it a big deal to push the 30-second skip button, which is something that many TiVo users have mentioned is not a big deal to them either if commercial skip is not offered on some TiVo recordings. I enjoy the TiVo manual commercial skip, but I don't feel like I have to have the TiVo auto commercial skip, and the TiVo Auto skip is not sufficiently compelling to me to upgrade to the TE4 and have TE4 break transfers from to and from my series 3 tivo's and my S4/S5 TiVo's. I greatly use and depend upon those transfers far far more than what I would get out of the TiVo Auto commercial skip.

    I also find it interesting that both the Dish autohop and the TiVo Auto commercial skip both show a moment of the ad then skip, showing a moment of the last ad, and then the programming resumes, and this is likely by design because one has to be very careful not to clip off any of the copyright programming but only skip the commercials--of which the broadcaster's do not own the copyright, therefore broadcasters or pay TV channels cannot prevent commercial Skip by any claims of copyright. I also noticed that both dish and TiVo make you go through the process of the user explicitly choosing to use the auto commercial skip feature. This process makes the legality of the auto commercial skip stronger because it relies on user initiation and user execution of the feature making the feature closer to personal and private protections/argument. They can argue that it's a customer choice being made in the privacy of their domicile to enable a commercial skip feature and not the DVR makers default operation coming from outside the personal and private space of the user. it's just an additional layer of legal security.

    As for Dish, clipping any part of a copyright content would be a violation of the retransmission agreement, and this may explain why with Dish autohop you see maybe two full seconds of an ad and then the last two full seconds of the last ad. It provides a comfortable cushion between the copyright entertainment content. TiVo does not have any retransmission agreements it must adhere to, but TiVo may be putting a pad of commercial between the copyright entertainment content just to be certain that none of the TV channels decide to take legal action against TiVo for somehow clipping their programming content. IMHO, if TiVo did clip the copyright entertainment content, I don't think any of the TV channels have a case that would ever prevail against TiVo in court, but by playing it safe TiVo avoids the costly PITA of having to respond to such lawsuits and have it dragged for some time before a court dismisses the lawsuit. Lawyers and law firms are very very very very expensive and anything TiVo can do to avoid such unnecessary costs are best for the company.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  9. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying this would be likely to happen.. but couldn't CableLabs require that devices using CableCards not implement commercial skip, at least for "cable" (non-rebroadcast) stations?

    Just like I thought they were the ones that required the various no-transfer settings and even (I forget the actual term) "no record" setting that in reality means 90 minute buffer (i.e. "expiring recordings")... which IIRC was accidentally used in some cases by the cable companies, causing people's recordings to go away for things OTHER than PPV (which is what they were intended for).
     
  10. exdishguy

    exdishguy Active Member

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    Awesome post! Thanks for the detailed explanation. I was a Dish customer back in '98 before they even had their own DVR with Autohop (former WebTV customer on Dish). I agree, back then crazy Charlie was really disrupting things in many ways, not just commercial skip. And then Verizon rolled fiber into my neighborhood and disrupted Dish and so began my love affair with Tivo.
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    No it was not CableLabs that required the CCI copy protection (Copy Control Information). The FCC did that originally as part of their Plug and Play agreement in 2003 for digital TV/equipment compatibility for cable systems. I've found some posts that indicate this agreement was later overruled in 2013 though.

    Scott
     
  12. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    As Scott said. However, I think it was for all manner of equipment such as DVD Recorders and included OTA and digital devices that were capable of recording OTA broadcasts. If this is the same law, then it was An Apellete court that ruled--much ealier than 2013, more like very early 2000's but a preliminary injunction prevented its scheduled implementation while the matter worked its way through the courts--that it was beyond the mandate/scope of the FCC to impose/require such restrictions. The broadcasters/copyright holders chose NOT to appeal the decision. The result has been that OTA broadcasts can not and should not place any content flags, so OTA broadcasts can be time and place shifted with no imposed restrictions. Perhaps Scott refers to a different law, and I have them confused.

    However, while I can only say for certain in a few instances, I surmise--IMHO--it is probably true for all others that when retransmission rights were due for renegotiation, each of the media companies, one by one, required all the MVPD's to implement some form of DRM for all its linier TV channel copyright material. This meant that some form of DRM was implemented in patch work fashion over time. For the MSO's, CableLabs CCI was already baked-in and ready to go, so all the copyright holders had to do was to require an MSO to activate the CCI for its content in accordance with that media company's explicit CCI limitations for its pay TV channels.

    So, for crying out loud, it always seems an over-reach when the media companies buy our Congress to pass laws (and courts strike down such laws, anyway), when copyright holders can simply require it as part of the agreement to retransmit or access its content. That's the way to do it, not shoving paid for laws down our throats.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  13. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    More amazing in that Dish is still in business....
     
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    But CCI had nothing to do with CableLabs.

    Originally developed by the DTCP group in 1998 and then initially required by the FCC to try and help promote Plug and Play digital equipment compatibility.

    Copy Control Information - Wikipedia

    Scott
     
  15. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the clarification. I go by memory in this matter. I take your word for it, as you seem to always have things right. I think I was thinking that CCI had to be approved by CableLabs for implementation to work well with MSO's, or I may have that wrong, as well. I do know an appeals court did strike down the requirement of such flags for OTA, I am uncertain if it was the same law that also addressed CCI on MSO's, but if it was, then it too would have been struck down because I do remember the appeals court ruling that it was beyond the scope of the FCC to require and, effectively, enforce such restrictions. In other words the FCC come come down on you for not have authorization to use a frequency, etc., but it is beyond any law by Congress and beyond the scope of the FCC to be the big "copyright police" on such a large scale requiring all manner of devices to have such technology and then mandate it use: the FCC does not exist to protect copyrights. While restrictions regarding DMA's is within the scope of the FCC, some degree of consequential copyright protection is an indirect influence, result, or convenient outcome (such as STELA, but the FCC attempts to maintain satellite access as a reflection of the already established DMA's defined arae and ideal of the consumer being able to access their LOCAL channels in their particular DMA with a few exceptions in some rare cases were importation of an outside DMA or DNS is allowed--although, I think, satco's still are exempt from paying additional copyrights charges for OTA's).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  16. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You are not the first to make that observation. They survive today because they were quick to offer an OTT alternative to satellite and because they have purchased huge amounts of terrestrial bandwidth, theoretically to get into the wireless business.
     
  17. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I'm amazed that many, many companies manage to stay in business, but Dish isn't one of them TBH. They've got a pretty loyal customer base, they are run much more efficiently than a lot of competitors which allows them to still make money in a declining market, and they've been investing in future lines of business all along like Sling, wireless, home services, etc. I am not a fan of all of Charlie's business practices, but he legitimately seems to know what he is doing. Compare that to how DirecTV is has been run over the years, for instance, and the difference is stark. DirecTV Now wasn't even a fast follower -- they were one of the last to show up.
     
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  18. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    Dish’s Lost 266,000 "Loyal" Satellite Subscribers in Q1, 2019. 334,000 loyal Subscribers Q4, 2018. One was me. Great product and I did enjoy the DVR. But the cost is crazy. Hardware cost is around $50.00 a month for one DVR and 2 slaves. SLING started out strong, now its on the slide too. BUT... unlike TiVo, Dish made money last year. New tax laws and raised prices may have helped...
     
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I believe they are required to follow the VOD rules, known in the industry as C3 and C7. Basically what that means is that the recording is required to contain all the commercials in the original broadcast for either 3 or 7 days. (different channels have different requirements) After that point with VOD the cable company can strip the original commercials and insert their own, or none at all. When Dish got sued they settled on disabling AutoHop for these same time frames.

    The big difference between Dish and TiVo is that Dish had content deals with these broadcasters. So they were sued under the conditions of those deals, not because skipping commercials is generically against the law. TiVo has no such deals so it's unlikely any sort of lawsuit will be brought against them and even if there is there is a high likelihood that TiVo would win.

    Back when ReplayTV got sued for their commercial skip feature they also got sued over a feature that allowed people to share recordings over the internet. That was the one that actually had merit and let the case proceed to a point where they essentially got sued out of business. Had it just been the commercial skip part they probably would have won the case and survived.
     
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  20. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    A Hopper and two Joeys should cost $29, assuming no discounts applied ($15 + $7 + $7). Yes, Dish is losing customers, but their churn rate is lower than most competitors, who are all also losing customers.

    As it is, I cannot switch to OTT, get the channels I want to watch, and pay less than I am paying with Dish, at least not without going OTA for my locals, and then I'd save a max of $140 over 2 years. I'm considering it, but I am uncertain about which way to go. Tivo would actually cost me more. Tablo or Recast are the only options, and that is a very different setup than we are used to.

    My current take on how this is going to play out is people will continue to leave non-streaming linear content delivery platforms, which will drive up delivery (bandwidth) costs at OTT providers, which will increase the monetary losses all of those platforms are suffering, causing them to raise prices. Eventually, we will reach an equilibrium state, where there really isn't much savings in going OTT any more. As things currently stand, the costs of delivering live streamed content to tens of millions of customers compare very poorly to the costs of delivering the same content via satellite. If companies cannot make any money off OTT live streaming, eventually they are going to have to raise prices or quit the business. Bandwidth prices are decreasing, but so are satellite launch costs. Satellites are also capital assets which can be depreciated over time, which has a number of tax benefits that you don't get with OPEX business models like streaming has. I don't see Dish going anywhere any time soon. They can apparently lose half of their remaining customers and still make money, plus they have several new lines of business that will diversify things enough to protect the company should the worst happen. The big unknown in my mind is whether younger people will actually decide to pay for traditional linear TV, whether Cable, Satellite, or OTT as they age. If they don't in a big way, then all bets are off.
     

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