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If Philips has their way you may not be skipping through TV commercials much longer. In fact, you might not even be able to change the channel on your TV during a commercial.

Philips has filed a patent application to stop people from changing channels during commercials or fast forward commercials for pre-recorded shows. According the patent application, Philips solution is to use MHP (Multimedia Home Platform) to read flags in broadcasts. If an advertisement is marked as such, your STB (Set-Top Box), DVR or even your TV could stop you from changing the channel or skipping past commercials. MHP software is already built into most digital TV receivers and recorders available today.

Philips knows that the patent would be “greatly resented by viewers” and could even cause end users to believe their equipment is broken. To remedy this, Philips suggests that the flag also trigger a notice on the screen to notify users of what is going on.

The patent application also suggests that end users be able to pay a fee to be allowed to skip commercials. The fee would probably be set by your cable or satellite provider.

As we move into the digital age, it seems more and more that we as consumers are at the mercy of these big companies. This is starting to look like the Telco business. First we have Caller ID, then Caller ID blocking, and now Anti-Caller ID blocking. What’s next, anti-commercial forwarding blocking?

Source: Philips Patent Application