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Philips device could force TV viewers to watch ads
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 15:29:26 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne () warpspeed com>
Date: April 20, 2006 8:40:30 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <dewayne-net () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Philips device could force TV viewers to watch ads
Reply-To: dewayne () warpspeed com

Philips device could force TV viewers to watch ads

By Candace Lombardi
<http://news.com.com/Philips+device+could+force+TV+viewers+to+watch +ads/2100-1041_3-6062861.html>

Story last modified Wed Apr 19 13:34:08 PDT 2006

An invention from Royal Philips Electronics prevents TV viewers from switching the channel during commercials or fast-forwarding past commercials when watching DVR content.

Viewers would be released from the freeze only after paying a fee to the broadcaster. The freeze would be implemented on a program-by- program basis, giving viewers a choice at the start of each one.

According to a recently published patent, the apparatus could work inside a set-top box. It would use the standard Multimedia Home Platform to receive a first control signal and then respond by taking control of the TV. The MHP would also be capable of sending the payment information that would lift the freeze, as it does when authorizing pay-per-view content.

If implemented, the invention would have a significant impact on television culture.

Many TV viewers are accustomed to the habit of watching two programs at once by flipping back and forth between channels during commercials. Philips' own remote controls currently cater to this habit with a button that automatically flips back to the last-watched channel.

The proposed apparatus would also aggravate children who use DVRs to zip through commercials to maximize their weekly TV-watching limits, set by parents. Some DVR technology even lets viewers watch one channel while recording another.

So, why then, would a television manufacturer risk angering its consumer base? Philips says: Don't shoot the inventor.

With this technology, it was the company's intention to develop a new paradigm for the watching of on-demand television, not to force people to watch commercials, said Caroline Kamerbeek, communications director for Philips International.


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