So much for being an early experimental test. TiVo has confirmed that it plans to place pre-roll video ads before DVR recordings for all customers, even those with a lifetime subscription plan. "DVR advertising will be a permanent part of the service," a company spokesman Light Reading flatly said. "We expect it to be fully implemented on all eligible retail devices within 90 days."
"Eligible" retail devices are those that run TiVo Experience 4, the latest version of the software. If your TiVo box is up to date, you can expect to start seeing these commercials inserted before your DVR program or movie starts playing. But it's also possible that TiVo will extend these ads to products on TE3, so I wouldn't consider myself exactly safe there.
TiVo's defense of this decision, which many customers are likely to be upset, is that you have the ability to skip the ad as soon as it starts.
"We are dedicated to the innovation that helps Our customers have control of how, when and what they look at. Advertising is an important part of all media businesses and TiVo is investing in new advertising experiences. We have designed our new units DVR advertising with the ability to & # 39; skip & # 39; ads every time a customer arrives at & # 39; skip & # 39 ;. This is part of our ongoing commitment to provide our users with the best experience of discovering media possible ”
. It can be omitted, but as a video published in Zatz Not Funny is a slow transition between commercials and pre-roll content.
Customers in TiVo forums They are reacting as expected, and there are many who say they will leave the service and hardware completely once they start watching pre-roll ads when they sit down to look at something. bí after the story broke yesterday is full of the same feeling. "I signed into my TiVo account immediately and sent them a warning that if they start to force me ads for a service I am paying for, that will be the end of TiVo for me. I have been using a TiVo one way or another since it came out Series II. I currently run a Bolt Vox OTA, a Mini and an old Toshiba DVD drive. " Some are succeeding by calling TiVo customer service and requesting that ads be disabled, although I'm not sure if that will really work.
Others seem willing to bear it. "I don't want that 20-second ad, but if it helps support the company that allows me to watch TV on my schedule / terms, I bite it," wrote the MScottC forum user. “I am not about to fly my own board over this. I will protest, I will send an email, but I will not start shouting that I am throwing TiVo for an alternative, when in reality, a better alternative has not appeared in 20 years. "