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Joe, Mechanic
Category: Consumer Electronics
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Experience:  Auto, Marine and Home Electronics professional. iphone, bluray and home theater setup and repair.
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Has a device been invented to bypass TV ads in real time?

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Has a device or program been invented to zap (bypass) TV commercials in real time? For example, the default channel that would play when a commercial is bypassed or zapped would be the next favorite channel if such were not in a commercial break as well, and so on to the next favorite channel until such time that entertainment programming (vs. a commercial) would play in lieu of the commercial.   I am aware of recording devices that can bypass commercials, but can commercials be automatically bypassed in real time by some device or program without necessitating the viewer changing the channel manually / by remote control? Are coded signals broadcast or transmit with programming and commercials that distinguish the two such that a receiving device could filter out one versus the other? Beyond pressure by advertisers to prevent commercial zapping devices to be sold, are there any regulations against commercial zappers being produced and sold on a mass or even small market basis? How to end the scourge of unwanted advertising over real time TV/Cable without having to record and filter the program for playback at a later time?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 2 years ago.


I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!


Expert:  Joe replied 2 years ago.


Thank you for using, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your concern today.


There is no way to bypass live-time commercials, in recordings yes but not live.... the commercials are built into the programming by the company providing the channels. If your trying to just switch to another channel and then switch back once the commercials are over, the only option is to switch the channel manually.


If you need any further assistance you can reply back for my help at any time.





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Joe, Mechanic
Satisfied Customers: 6810
Experience: Auto, Marine and Home Electronics professional. iphone, bluray and home theater setup and repair.
Joe and 7 other Consumer Electronics Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still looking for an answer to another part of my question (as per my original submission) and that is the question of regulation: Are there any laws against the manufacture of a device that could automatically bypass / zap / or change channels in real time when a commercial is broadcast / transmitted? I ask because I believe there was some lawsuit several years ago by a consortium of advertisers who blocked or tried to block some technology that could zap commercials and I believe it was in real time versus recorded time. If that lawsuit was successful, did that create "case law" such that no manufacturer should attempt to use commerciial zapping technology (or invent something similar)? If not case law, was there any federal or state law that was subsequently passed to prevent commercial zapping in real time? Or has "the better mousetrap" that can genuinely zap commercials in real time just not been invented yet, but if it was, it could go into production without case law or statutory law to prevent it's manufacture and sale to the public? There is a genuine need for the product and potentially a HUGE market that would buy it. But if laws have been enacted to prevent commercial zapping in real time, then that's a non-starter for anyone who has or can "build a better mousetrap," as it were.

Expert:  Joe replied 2 years ago.

I am sorry but since that is a different question regarding law, I cannot answer that 2nd question as I am not an expert in law and since it is a law question I am not allowed to answer that, that 2nd question would need to go over to the law category.




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