Philips files patent for TV ad enforcer

Posted on Thursday, April 20 2006 @ 14:15 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
New Scientist Tech reports Philips has filed a patent for a technology that forces viewers to watch ads on their TV.
If a new idea from Philips catches on, the company may not be very popular with TV viewers. The company's labs in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has been cooking up a way to stop people changing channels to avoid adverts or fast forwarding through ads they have recorded along with their target programme.

The secret, according to a new patent filing, is to take advantage of Multimedia Home Platform - the technology behind interactive television in many countries around the world. MHP software now comes built into most modern digital TV receivers and recorders. It looks for digital flags buried in a broadcast, and displays messages on screen that let the viewer call up extra features, such as additional footage or information about a programme.
The company suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from switching to another channel until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video records, making it impossible to skip the ads.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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