This actually looks like old info rehashed. TiVo has had, and has used, tags in ads for a while now. ‘Press Thumbs Up for more info’, etc. They’re not all that common, but they’re out there. It just sounds like maybe TiVo is doing a marketing launch of an existing feature.
Also, this part of the article is wrong, wrong, wrong:
TiVo previously had a 30-second skip feature hidden in its technology, unless a certain sequence of buttons were punched on the remote control. The 30-second skip feature, when activated, let viewers jet past advertisements. Although the company in 2003 said it had no plans to strip out the hidden technology, that feature has since been removed.
As a result, a number of TiVo-related message boards feature postings that suggest ways to rejigger the technology to achieve the 30-second skip.
I already emailed Dawn Kawamoto (the reporter) saying she may want to correct the article. 30 second skip has NOT been removed. I’m surprised she’d make such a glaringly erroneous statement, especially since the very discussion thread she links in the article (other than being a year old) has people using the back door successfully. Yes, it was missing on the Toshiba SD-H400, that’s because Toshiba used a different remote with different codes. But it was not removed from the software, it is still in 7.1 (the latest) and on all the current platforms.
EDIT: A correction has been posted to the article, removing the bit stating that 30-second skip was gone.