Contrary to what a quick skim might suggest, TiVo is not removing fast forward. You can still zip through your program, same as before.
The tags mentioned in the article exist today, and have been in use for a couple of years now (including during fast forward).
Rather than generic thumbs-up tags, the new tags can be larger, and display both branding and new options for interactivity (contests, surveys, etc).
Nothing is full screen, nothing blocks your ability to control your television.
The displayed tags are tied to the broadcast commercial. No Coke ads over Pepsi commercials. The tags are only there if the advertiser or broadcaster includes them in the broadcast.
There’s no concept of a ‘pause ad’, like the competition had (or has?).
TiVo does not know, or report, what you are watching, to anyone. TiVo subscribers, as a population, can be measured, but no individual information is available. And, if aggregate and anonymous information is still not something you’re comfortable with, you have the option to opt out of data collection altogether.
Those who feel that they’ve been ‘sold out’, I can understand that, particularly if it’s based on what you read in the press yesterday. If I thought a product I loved was being thrashed, I’d be upset as well. That’s simply not the case here. The changes are small, and can be very useful.
Admittedly, it would be much easier to just plaster advertisements all over the guide, or the other in-your-face ads our competitors have done. We’ve always taken a more careful approach to this topic at TiVo. I believe we’ve done well to date in striking a balance between making advertising non-intrusive and yet more useful.
Either way, we appreciate your opinions on the subject.