No Escape From Advertising!

Digital Video Recorder (DVR) ads that just won’t go away, the New Scientist reports:

For many people, the best thing about Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) is the ability to fast forward through adverts. This is possible as the machine pre-records TV onto a hard disc before play-back.

Not surprisingly, however, this feature hardly appeals to advertisers, or broadcasters who rely on adverts for revenue. So, thinking laterally, UK inventor Colin Davies has devised a system that forces a PVR to show adverts even during fast forwarding.

The compression algorithms used to capture digital TV typically capture only frames in full every second or so. The frames in-between are then captured by defining the differences between these full frames.

When a PVR fast forwards it saves processing power by displaying only the key frames. So the new system lets a broadcaster concentrate an advertising message in those key frames. A simplified version of an ad should then still be visible during fast-forwarding, albeit without sound.

The sponsor’s message then pops up and dominates the screen even while fast forwarding. The same system could be used with DVDs to make messages stand out when people skip through trailers. Is there no escape from advertising?

Like a bad date that won’t stop calling when you dump her (or him)! See the full patent application here.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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