Dish DVR Commercial Zapper [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-23-2012, 06:13 PM

Dish Network introduced a controversial new HD DVR feature called Auto Hop that will allow you to play recorded shows without ever seeing the commercials. The feature will be added to Dish's new Hopper HD DVR and will work only with the set-top's 'PrimeTime Anytime' recordings. (The Hopper automatically records all primetime shows on ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS.)

Plus, the feature will not be activated on the primetime shows until 1 a.m. after their initial airing and it won't work on local news or sporting events.

When it's working, a kangaroo icon will appear on the show's artwork in the HD DVR's menu and you will get an on-screen prompt. If you choose to watch the show without the commercials, the recorded playback "seamlessly" eliminates the ads.

Of course, the traditional HD DVR allows you to manually skip commercials by hitting the Fast Forward button but the Auto Hop does the work for you.

The feature have already start to upset network executives. Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, called “Auto Hop” an insult to the TV ecosystem. While Les Moonves, CEO of CBS Corp., warned that rollout of the technology is illegal and reaches “a tipping point’ whereby broadcasters could drop programming to Dish subscribers and/or demand higher retransmission fees in the future.

Dish to Unveil DVR Commercial Zapper (

05-24-2012, 10:37 PM
As this story is developing, broadcasters Fox, NBC and CBS sued Dish Network on Thursday over a service that offers commercial-free TV.

In a suit filed Thursday in a Los Angeles federal court, News Corp.'s Fox says Dish's service is unauthorized and violates a licensing agreement between the two companies.

It says the service is a form of unlicensed video-on-demand because the recordings are kept on a portion of the DVR's hard drive that is controlled by Dish. Fox only licenses its regular programs to Dish for playback on VOD on the condition that fast-forwarding of commercials is disabled.

If the service isn't stopped, it "will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem" that underpins TV shows, Fox said. While NBC said in a statement "Dish simply does not have the authority to tamper with the ads from broadcast replays on a wholesale basis for its own economic and commercial advantage."

CBS also said in a statement: "This service takes existing network content and modifies it in a manner that is unauthorized and illegal. We believe this is a clear violation of copyright law and we intend to stop it."

Dish maintains that the service is "user-enabled" and that it is fundamentally no different from how consumers use DVRs today and filed its own suit in a New York federal court.

"Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control," said Dish's senior vice president of programming, David Shull, in a statement. "We are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control."

Dish sued over ad-skipping DVR service (

05-29-2012, 11:48 AM
This is viewed by some as a power play by Dish to force the networks to reduce their fees. DirecTV is watching.