Philips Backpedals on Anti-Ad-Skipping Technology20 Apr, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Dutch-based consumer electronics giant Royal Philips Electronics April 20 downplayed the significance of a recent patent application for technology that could prohibit owners of digital video recorders (DVR) and other set-top box devices from fast-forwarding through commercials.
Sales of DVR devices, whose appeal includes skipping through commercials of recorded programming, are expected to exceed 25 million units by 2009, according to research firm Parks Associates.
In its application (#20060070095) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office made public March 30, Philips stated the technology actually enabled watching a television movie without advertising, but since “some people do want to see the ads,” it had developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads.
“It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services,” said Andre Manning, director of corporate communications at Philips Electronics North America. “Philips never had the intention to force viewers to watch ads against their will and does not use this technology in any current Philips products, nor do we have any plans to do so.”