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Fast Forwarding Disabled For Video On Demand

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So last week, I decided to watch Hell’s Kitchen through Comcast’s On Demand service, since I didn’t feel like going in the bedroom where I had it DVR’d. When the first commercial break came, I reached for the remote and hit the FF button. Instead of fast forwarding through the commercials, I got a symbol like this:

That’s a new one. For whatever reason, Comcast was preventing me from fast forwarding through the commercials. Too lazy to go into the other room, I decided to just deal with the commercials.

What a mistake! In a 2-hour episode of Hell’s Kitchen, there are about 40 minutes worth of commercials. I figured the VOD commercials would be short like the ones on Hulu are. But these were painful 3-4 minute commercials. It really sucked.

There are tons of people complaining about this on Comcast’s forums, and this is their official response on the situation:

The ad models in the free VOD vary by network and sometimes by show, with some of the content fast-forward disabled and others providing full trick mode, according to Jenckes. CBS and NBC shows have fast-forward enabled, while for some ABC and Fox shows fast forward is disabled.

Later in the week, my girl wanted to watch Bachelor Pad through On Demand. ABC also disables Fast Forwarding, but they handle their commercials differently from FOX. They show you the SAME DAMN COMMERCIAL OVER AND OVER AGAIN for two hours! I saw the trailer for The Help over a dozen times.

C’mon ABC, it’s bad enough I’m forced to watch Bachelor Pad, can’t you at least mix it up with some different commercials?

It just goes to show you that the networks just don’t get it. Stick a 30 second commercial, or some sort of rollover on the screen, and people would be fine with it. But drive them crazy, and they won’t watch your shows on VOD anymore. Or maybe at all.

What happens when my DVR cuts off the last few minutes of a show thanks to a delayed start? I have to let my VOD show run for 1:57 mins unattended so I can see those last 3 minutes I missed?

Guess no one thought of that scenario..

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. CJ

    December 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    This pissed me off last night.. My DVR cut off the last 2 minutes of New Girl, so I pulled up the episode On Demand. But since there was no way to skip ahead, I just gave up.

    WTF?!

  2. Sarah

    March 29, 2012 at 2:10 am

    It’s not that they didn’t think of it. They just don’t care. Greed.

  3. David Bertelo

    August 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    The media companies are way to slow on the technologies advancement. They try and muscle people into thier antiquated models and it just won’t work. Fox has moved to an eight day delay to Hulu to try and force people to watch the original broadcast…. The problem? As someone who has decided to not have cable (the price model is for you to pay mostly for content your not watching), I simply use over the air (ota) broadcast with an antenna and a combination of Netflix and Hulu. Hulu can be great as a replacement for a dvr to catch up on a missed episode… well unless that episode is on fox. With an eight day delay the next episode will air before I can watch my catch up episode. So unless one is to illegally pirate that episode then the only solution is to only use Hulu to watch all subsequent episodes, the exact opposite objective of the eight day delay.

    It is simply a lack of intelligence. We seem to correlate the wealth and power of some of these executives with intelligence, but it’s simply not the case. The people making the decisions got into power in a time when competition was scarce.

    I’m not that old myself but I do remember a time when there was only an option of three networks, PBS, and since we were in the ny/nj market two local chanels. In a short time their competition went from 3 show a timeslot to 500. And they badly could handle that. The only thing the major networks had left was the control of key time slots. Put a show between “Friends” and “Seinfeld” and they will watch it. Now the consumer has all the control, and with artists and companies releasing thier content online with YouTube channels or direct to consumer like Louis CKs stand up hour, we are not far from a system change.

    With out mp3’s, napster, and online music piracy we would never had the the iPod, and from there devices like the iPhone (that I’m using to type this). The music companies would have preferred we all have cd’s still. Actually the music industry would probably preferred we all still use records, because you couldn’t use you computer to copy one for your friend. The TV and movie industry are now in the same spot.

    This is the transition point we were at in 2002 with music. Most musicians thought Mp3’s would destroy music as we knew it. The reality is the musicians who put out a crapy album, with only one or two good tracks that could be played over the radio and used in a movie and the rest being garbage, didn’t sell. Those artist that had a good product did well. Since the artists made pennies for album sales and most money was made touring and merchandising. Louis CK just the the same for Video. His comedy special was filmed independently, released online in a easy format, and came with a simple note saying “please don’t steal this”. He was able to cover his cost and make some money for himself after 4 days of sales, and after 11 days he claimed he had made too much money, so after giving generous bonuses to his staff he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity.

    The problem is the greed and ignorance of the execs… But I’m guessing in less then 10 years we will be on a 100 video on demand system.

  4. lilkunta

    December 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    what i dont get is when an episode is more than 2 weeks old why is FF function still disabled?

    i appreciate that cbs allows FF no matter what: whether the episode is new or old.

  5. Henriette

    April 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I would like to know who is deciding to disable the FF function? Is it Comcast or the network?

    I suspect that it’s Comcast, and if that’s true, they should start losing their customers!!

    • Sujeet Patel

      April 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

      I’m guessing it’s the network who made that decision.. Otherwise, wouldn’t Comcast just disable FF on all of their on-demand shows?

  6. Joe Piazza

    February 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    These commercials suck plain and simple.

  7. steve

    March 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Cosmos ffw disabled. Corporate kiss @$$ Comcast stomps on joe subscriber again. God Bless America!

  8. Daron

    June 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I really hate that Comcast did this. Nobody doesn’t want to sit and watch those dumb commercials.

  9. tvwatcher

    September 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

    100% greed on both the part of Comcast and Fox. That’s why I don’t watch any Fox shows any more.

  10. fedup

    July 14, 2017 at 5:04 am

    I watched sbs australia ODV with adblock, was fine till a few weeks ago, when they disabled the FF button and forced to watch ads each last 3 min+. I agree with the previous comments, greed, ignorance, arrogance. I don’t mind a 30 sec ad here and there, but one ad after the other, no way, I’d rather not watch at all. Stick to the good old torrents.

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Television

Seriously, A Reboot Of ‘The Office’ Sounds Like A Terrible Idea

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There have been reports that NBC is interested in reviving The Office for the 2018-19 season, bringing back a mix of new and old cast members to the Greg Daniels-created workplace comedy.

The only problem? It’s going to suck. BIG TIME.

I’m sorry people, but you can’t remake a classic like The Office, especially without the people who made it so funny in the first place. Steve Carell, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, and Ellie Kemper? There’s no chance of them coming back (save for a cameo), as they’re huge stars now.

NBC is reportedly already searching for a new regional manager to replace Michael Scott at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, but honestly who can play that role as well as Steve Carell did? Nobody.

As for the “mix of old cast members,” does anyone really care about Stanley, Creed, Angela, Phyllis, Toby, and the rest of ’em? Nope, they were just background filler that barely got any air time to begin with..

C’mon guys, the last few years of The Office stunk without Steve Carell, a far cry from the show’s glory days. So leave well enough alone, and try coming up with an original idea instead.

What do you think about The Office getting a reboot?

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Television

Watch As Special Ops. Veterans Take On Historical Foes In ‘Time Warriors’

If you’re looking for a new TV show to sink your teeth into, you’ve got to check out Time Warriors, which airs on NuBlu TV, a new streaming channel offering interactivity and giving viewers the power to weigh in on the content of future episodes […]

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of NuBlu TV, but all opinions are my own.

If you’re looking for a new TV show to sink your teeth into, you’ve got to check out Time Warriors, which airs on NuBlu TV, a new OTT streaming channel offering interactivity and giving viewers the power to weigh in on the content of future episodes.

The premise of Time Warriors is like nothing you’ve seen before, with an elite team of seven ex-Navy SEALs and British SAS special operations veterans revisiting history to fight in battles with legendary foes such as Blackbeard, Hitler and the Confederate Army. Watch as these special ops fighters customize their weapons, material and equipment, all drawn from the appropriate historical period, to level the odds against a larger enemy, much as SEALs do today.

Sounds pretty bad-ass, right? Trust me, it is, and once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop..

The team behind Time Warriors and NuBlu includes Daniel Weinand (co-founder of Shopify), Michael Janke (tech entrepreneur and co-founder of cybersecurity company DataTribe, as well as a former member of SEAL Team 6), Matt Bartley (director of series such as The Apprentice and The Biggest Loser), and Chris Campbell (former Mark Burnett Productions and Endemol Shine Group exec). That’s a pretty exceptional team!

To learn more about Time Warriors, we sat down with Michael “Odin” Janke, the Team Leader of the special forces team on the show:

Where did you come up with the idea for Time Warriors?

In my career in Special Ops, we study, refine and analyze tactics from history. Apache Indians, African tribes, Vikings, etc. We often talk about specific battles and break them down to analyze the strategies. This always leads to discussions about “what would we have done? What if 5-10 of us were inserted into that specific time in history?” We wanted to show the “flaws and failures” that also happen, not just the movie-like hero always wins side of this job.

Did you consider offering the show on a traditional network vs. online, and if so why did you decide otherwise?

When Daniel, Matt, Chris and I filmed Time Warriors, we had many studios and networks offer to produce it. However, as discussion continued, they wanted to change it for “broad viewer consumption” and it would be a completely different, canned type of show. We didn’t want that and felt that with our technology background, we could take everything that we like about Reddit and everything we like about what we would watch, and present it for free to audiences. We feel strongly that there is a problem that is not being solved.

Viewers want to binge watch, not wait for next week to see the next episode, and they want to engage, give suggestions and have a say in the plot/characters and challenges. We feel that NuBlu is our attempt to solve that problem. We feel OTT (Over The Top) is where customized, white-glove content can best be served to an interested audience.

Why did you decide to go with Blackbeard?

Blackbeard was more than just a pirate. He commanded an armada and force that literally raided, burnt and looted entire cities. He disrupted trade and the buildup of the new world. The Golden Age of Piracy helped shaped the U.S. the way it is today. Stopping Blackbeard at that point in time or even earlier, would have drastic changes to the current history of the U.S. He would be a formidable enemy back in the day.

What’s next for Time Warriors? Who do the fans want to see you guys go up against next?

We have presented three key historical battles that we are having our audience vote on: Defend the Alamo, Assassinate Hitler, and Stop the Viking Raid of France. We will tally all of the votes and announce what the audience has chosen as the next series.

So what are you waiting for, go watch all five episodes Time Warriors now and see how they fare against the almighty Blackbeard! And afterwards, head over to the Time Warriors Forum, where you can vote for who you want them to fight next!

Make sure to also visit the campaign landing page at #MenWhoBlog for more info about NuBlu TV and links to interviews with Mike conducted by other bloggers.

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Television

Take Your Shows Everywhere You Go With DISH’s FREE HopperGO

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This is a paid post on behalf of Megan Media and DISH HopperGO, but the opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.



Dish Network HopperGO

As someone who’s constantly traveling, I often find myself getting really backed up on my TV shows. I’ve got 5 episodes of Gotham recorded right now, and who knows when I’ll find the time to get caught up? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take our DVRs with us on the road, allowing us to watch our favorite shows when it’s convenient? With DISH Network’s innovative #FreeHopperGO Cyber Monday deal, you can do exactly that!

The HopperGO is a portable media storage device that lets you transfer DVR recordings from your Hopper 3 or Hopper w/ Sling and watch them anywhere using the free DISH Anywhere app. The HopperGO acts as a private entertainment hotspot for up to five devices, allowing you to stream your shows wherever you are, even if you don’t have access to the internet. There are no wires, no cords, and it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hands, making it super convenient for travel.

Prior to the HopperGO, I would download a few movies or TV shows when preparing for a long flight. But with my iPad always near-full, that always proved challenging, requiring me to delete some apps or music to free up enough space. With the HopperGO, that’s no longer an issue, as it doesn’t use any data or storage on your mobile device. And with 100 hours of storage space on the HopperGO, you could conceivably watch every episode of Game of Thrones and still have more than 30 hours left to spare!

And don’t worry about finding an outlet or lugging around another power cord, because the HopperGO has a battery that lasts up to four hours and can easily be recharged through any USB port. Many of the newer planes have USB jacks right in the headrests, which makes charging really convenient. I also travel with a mophie battery pack, which can charge the HopperGO in a pinch if need be.

Dish Network HopperGO

Personally, I think the HopperGO is a real game changer. It will keep you and your family entertained when you’re disconnected from the world (like on those painful cross-country flights), and allowing your DVR queue not to grow out of control.

If you’re interested in getting the HopperGO for free, now is the time to act, as DISH has an awesome Cyber Monday deal happening now through December 11th. Any new customer who signs up for DISH by calling from the promotion site and mentions the Cyber Monday deal offer code “Free HopperGO” can get a free HopperGO with any DISH base pack (Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 DVR only).

** Free HopperGO is only available with a NEW subscription to DISH, and restrictions apply.

So what do you say, are you ready to take your shows everywhere you go with the HopperGO?

This is a paid post on behalf of Megan Media and DISH HopperGO, but the opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

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