In a move that would surely delight advertisers but enrage consumers, Philips is trying to patent a method for flagging digital TV content to not only prevent viewers from changing the channel during commercials in live broadcasts, but to actually lock out fast-forwarding capabilities during ads in recorded programs as well.
This may be one of the dumbest ideas of all time. What’s worse, though, is the delayed reaction to the concept. Engadget is reporting on this as if it’s a new problem, but some DVDs have carried similar restrictions for a while now. I have a few DVDs that will not allow me to skip past the 5 minutes of commercials to get to the main menu. All the remote controls to jump to the title or root menu are prohibited by the DVD. In most cases, I have come to accept that.
Despite the assumption that consumers would be “enraged”, I imagine it’s probably not likely. What is more likely is the consumer being agitated briefly, then coming to accept it.