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TV Ad Blockers and Ad Skippers for Commercial Free TV

Updated on November 20, 2016
janderson99 profile image

Dr. John applies his scientific (PhD) research skills & 30 years experience as an inventor & futurist to review technology, apps, software.

Ad blockers have been available on your PC, via browsers for many years. More recently recently they have become available of iPhone and iPad devices, and android phones as well. The apps prevent ads from displaying on your browser. There is growing concern from various businesses on how ad blockers has and will affect their businesses in the future.

For consumers sick of ads, especially the pop-up ones, blocking ads creates a cleaner presentation of information that the users wants to see. For mobile devices, loading of ads can account for more than half of the load time for the page, severely slowing down the page delivery. Blocking ads removed the distracting clutter from pages and makes the users experience better, simpler and more useful. But what about television?

Can the ads on TV be blocked so that consumers can watch their favorite program without interruptions? This article explores how TV ads can be blocked to create ad-free TV.

TiVo Bolt
TiVo Bolt | Source

The new TiVo BOLT is one of the new and proposed video recorder devices that make it much easier to skip commercials. With these devices you can ship over entire commercial breaks by clicking a button. It is called the 'Skip Mode' feature. These devices can detect the beginning and end of a bank of commercials, and by-pass them. The next development will be to make the by-passing of ads automatic.

With this facility a users could delay their start to watching a football game by half an hour or so (the total time for commercials during the broadcast). The user could then watch the game delivered from the recorder without commercials, and become 'live' at the end of the game. The user misses nothing and can cheer with their friends at the end of the game with their friends.

Advertisers and the TV and cable networks must be concerned at these ad-blocking DVRs because these devices allow people to watch content and avoid the commercials that help pay for it.

Already there are signs that the advertisers and the sources are responding to these smart sensors with their own technological advances. Already, some streaming content has special features which make it impossible to skip over the paid insertions. If you want to watch the streamed programs, the commercials must play.

While many people have been using ad blockers on PC browsers for many years, ad blockers are new for iPads and iPhones, and for android and other mobile devices as well. Many people are wondering how ad-blockers will affect the advertising industry, and ad-blockers on TV opens up another avenue for concern. Users are faced with a philosophical dilemma about whether to support the providers of the material or not. Many adblockers on PCs and mobile devices have introduced tools to allow certain 'white-listed' ads past the blocking tool. Users can select what ads they will allow.

Blocking ads might also encourage publishers to encourage the development of better and less intrusive ads that better inform their users, rather than annoying them.

Adblockers not only eliminate clutter within the programs. Data-intensive ads can significantly slow down the delivery of web pages on mobile devices by as much as two-fold. Similarly the commercial breaks within TV programs considerable extend the time taken to deliver the program by as much as 100%.

For example, load-time tests have shown that The Los Angeles Times homepage had a size of 5.7 MB with ads, but less than 2 MB on mobiles with ad-blockers in place. The home page took 11 seconds to load with ads, but only 4 seconds without ads. So, switching off the ads on mobile devices, provides many benefits aside from the annoyance of the ads themselves.

For consumers, time is money and there are benefits for consumers viewing entire programs in much shorter times without the commercial breaks. The new TiVo Bolt also has 'Quickmode' that plays back recordings 30% faster. The audio signal is modified using special software so that the sound is not corrupted. With this tool and the commercial skipping, a one-hour program can be viewed in half an hour.

So perhaps the industry itself need to examine its products to develop less intrusive ones, that take less time, and are less annoying for consumers.

Google's new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative that produces stripped-back versions of news pages is designed to be very fast to load. This is partially driven by speed, as many mobile users simply won't wait more than a few second for a page to load. There is also hope that faster speeds with less javascript and fewer time-consuming ads, will discourage the use of ad-blockers. Some types of ads such as pop-ups and "sticky" ads that move as users scroll down a page will not appear on AMP pages. Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Wordpress have said they intend to use the technology. News sites will create AMP versions of their stories when they publish and update the originals.

© 2015 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    3 years ago

    Thanks for the information. Would be wonderful if we could block all ads on TV, radio, facebook, etc. but then we would probably not have the entertainment venues.

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 

    3 years ago from Oklahoma

    Interesting product.

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 

    3 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    I want this ad blocker for my TV. It sounds really cool. I would love to see a day with noncommercial television programs without having to pay a premium.


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