From: Dewayne Hendricks <email@example.com>
Date: April 20, 2006 8:40:30 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Philips device could force TV viewers to watch
Philips device could force TV viewers to watch ads
By Candace Lombardi
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
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
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.
Weblog at: <http://weblog.warpspeed.com>
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