New Scientist | Invention: The TV-advert enforcer
Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.

Philips’ patent acknowledges that this may be “greatly resented by viewers”…

No. You think?

…who could initially think their equipment has gone wrong. So it suggests the new system could throw up a warning on screen when it is enforcing advert viewing. The patent also suggests that the system could offer viewers the chance to pay a fee interactively to go back to skipping adverts.

Is it at all possible that this is a hoax? Naah, it’s all too typical. The usual reaction when the “old media” people are feeling threatened by “new media” technology is to make the “old media” even less attractive by comparison, in a misguided attempt to protect their intellectual property.

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