I do not miss the advertisements
Previously, I blogged about how I got to be a MythTV user. Possibly the best thing about Myth is automatic commercial skipping! It is not perfect, but when it works, you barely know your’re watching broadcast television. It works by marking suspected commercials and jumping over those marks during playback. There are some very clever developers that wrote the code to go back over a recording looking for station logos, special video frames, closed-captioning breaks, among other things. This operation takes (on my machines) about 20 minutes per hour of real video and can (currently) happen only after a show is finished recorded. Each flagging job queues up so depending on how many recordings just completed it could be hours before the show is really ready to watch. You can always watch a show immediately after it begins recording. I have become so accustomed to time-shifting all my television that the wait between live broadcast and prepared recording is unnoticable. Watching a well-flagged television show is quite cool and even if the flagger misses, it is an easy thing to rewind then skip ahead in 30 second jumps. We do miss the TiVo sounds just a little, so someone makes them when necessary; ba-doop ba-doop ba-doop.
In addition to the volume of bad adverts, we miss out on the occasional not-so-bad commercial. The benefits and detriments of a comsumer culture is left as an exercise for the reader, but it feels nice to be free of stupid, stupid commercials. Adrienne felt that she was missing out on too much new TV, so she went out and subscribed to a television magazine. I guess people are willing to pay for targeted advertisements.