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AV Education on RHT

How To Make Your TiVo Skip 30 Sec. Commercials

Written by Jerry Del Colliano

The category of PVR or “personal video recorders” is one that is just starting to boom for the AV industry. In a recent market research study, we found that only three percent of AudioRevolution.com readers currently have PVRs, i.e., products that use the TiVo or ReplayTV service to record TV. A majority of the entrants to the study say they plan to purchase a PVR in the next year. Cable companies that are looking for ways to compete with satellite providers are now looking at offering PVRs directly in their set-top cable boxes. The cost of the PVRs then becomes a small monthly fee that tacks onto your cable bill. Before you flip out over an additional $5 per month, to try a PVR, because it will change the way you look at TV completely.

The two major players in the PVR space are TiVo and ReplayTV. ReplayTV, the more edgy of the two competitors, is more open about the fact that you can skip 30-second commercials with their service. TiVo, perhaps worrying about lawsuits from the TV networks, doesn’t openly say whether or not their unit can pull off this feat.

On the surface, in fact, TiVo can’t do it. This is where the concept of an “Easter egg” comes in. An Easter egg is defined as a hidden functionality in a software program or component that allows the savviest end users to find hidden functionalities. TiVo has an Easter egg that allows the user to skip 30-second commercials.

Here is what you need to do to activate your TiVo to pull this off.

1. Turn on your unit and start any recorded program from your “Now Playing” list.
2. From the TiVo remote, as the program is rolling, click the following buttons: Select – Play – Select – 30 – Select
3. When you are done, your TiVo should make the “bong” sound (perhaps as many as three times), indicating your unit is activated for the feature.

If you choose to try this option, we recommend you reboot your TiVo and then restart a recorded program. Hit the ->| button (a different button than the fast forward button) to test the functionality, which should now advance you 30 seconds at a time. Look to your progress bar on your TiVo to check that each hit on the ->| button advances you 30 seconds. While networks may worry that this is an easy way to skip commercials, it is less useful for skipping commercials as it is for perusing shows. I use this feature to check out programs that I record, like “Extreme Homes” (HGTV), so that I can power through the house I don’t want to see. I find the 30-second skip a better way than the 3X fast-forward for advancing through less desirable programming during a show.

Other hints from EasterEggs.com warn that the 30-second skip feature may not always be available and could need to be reprogrammed periodically. Check out their site for load of tips on a variety of software and hardware secret codes, as well as books on the topic.

Note: The Audio Revolution Inc. claims no responsibility for the use of this feature on any level. Use at your own risk.

Sources: EasterEggs.com, TiVo.com

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