How does the smart skip work?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by nrnoble, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

    450
    34
    Aug 25, 2004

    Advertisements

    I am curious as to how the smart skip works? ie on the Bolt it is able to skip past all commercials. So far it works extremely well, I have yet to see it make a mistake.

    My first assumption is that there are codes in digital signal that have have start\end of commercial breaks. If that is the case, wouldn't networks want to use that same technology to disable skip\ff functionality in DVRs. It is my understanding that TiVo would be required to implement a disable skip if there is a digital code detected in by the cablecard.

    Just wondering. Thx
     
  2. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    2,612
    60
    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    SkipMode feature is only available after a show has aired and is not available for all recorded shows or for local news and sports.
    Popup - SkipMode channels

    My understanding is that TiVo uses has software at the home office that scans CC on national programming on these major networks attempting to find commercial breaks and they have employees to validate/fine tune the markers which are download after the program is completed.

    A couple interesting articles
    TiVo Patents Closed Captions & Meta Data Analysis
    TiVo’s legal defense already planned out for SkipMode - Rethink
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  3. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    2,612
    60
    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    Unless you are on Christmas Island, it is still Wednesday....
     
    MikeBear and ggieseke like this.
  4. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    12,652
    1,941
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Unless something has changed, skip uses the closed caption data to sync the skip points and tags are done manually by people watching the shows.
     
  5. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

    95
    23
    Nov 14, 2013
    Chicago

    Advertisements

    There are people who manually mark them.
     
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,593
    1,114
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Right and they have a patent on this. :)

    Scott
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  7. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    2,329
    349
    May 8, 2006
    Not too much traffic on Christmas Island I guess. Merry Christmas in advance.
     
  8. Sptrader

    Sptrader Member

    32
    19
    Oct 7, 2017
    If you look at the TV video signal with an oscilloscope, you'll see a video pulse(spike) just before and after a commercial, not sure if Tivo's are sophisticated enough to read them or not. Hard to believe that they pay people to watch the shows to manually mark the commercials, when it could be done electronically. However they do it, it's a great feature of Tivo. * I need to qualify this statement as I viewed this with an OTA signal (analog), about 15+ years ago). Not sure if it applies today but I'm sure it's something similar with today's digital signals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  9. philco782

    philco782 Active Member

    204
    99
    Sep 27, 2014
    Florida
    I used to have a ReplayTV back in the day, which had an automatic commercial skip feature. It operated by monitoring the cadences in video and sound levels, and it was pretty accurate, but back in those days of SD video, it was pretty easy to determine commercials via cadence, whereas I've noticed lately in modern times, the commercials seem to slam right into eachother, so I can't imagine a similar algorithm could work like that today. Dunno...
     
  10. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    2,329
    349
    May 8, 2006
    Interesting measurement!
     
  11. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    2,329
    349
    May 8, 2006
    Used to use "black spots" between videos to distinguish but advertisers have become more cunning.
     
  12. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    19,564
    1,753
    Oct 23, 2001
    Northern...
    Which reportedly is why getting a recording with garbled CC data will prevent skip mode from being enabled on the program. If your TiVo can't align the program timing from the CC data it seems it just never activates skip; even when skip data is already downloaded.

    My understanding is that TiVo is using people because the legal basis for being allowed to do this relies on them never accidentally skipping part of the actual show. A device / service enabling semi-automated skipping over parts of the show was apparently stated by a judge to be the same as creating a derivative work (like a condensed reader version of a book, or an edited for time and content copy of a movie) and that's something that a company can't do with a license from the copyright holder(s) of the original work. But commercials are viewed as a separate thing, not part of the show's creative work, so as long as you only skip over those you're not creating an derivative work and your not infringing on the show's copyright.

    So TiVo's patented approach includes humans in the loop to be very sure that a automated system doesn't inadvertently set a skip point somewhere within the show content and get them in legal trouble.
     
  13. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    12,652
    1,941
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Yup, and my local CW affiliate has been having issues with a line across the screen, frequent black screen blackouts and a lot of missing CC data. Hence, I am not getting SKIP consistently on CW programming.
     
  14. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    2,612
    60
    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    As I recall....

    ReplayTV licensed the Commercial Advance method that was available on some VCRs back in the 90's which also worked well.
    (Commercial Advance could identify and FF past commercials, Commercial Skip was a different VCR feature which was a 30s timed FF executed from the remote)

    The story is that it was the legal costs defending Commercial Advance, along with Send Show that allowed you to share a recording with another ReplayTV "friend" that drove ReplayTV out of business.

    There is some interesting info here about how to identify commercial breaks.
    Patent EP0838075A1 - Video replay automation

    The legal problems with skipping commercials on a DVR always confused me since the VCR version never seemed to be contested.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements