The avoiding the commercials skill

I don’t watch much telly. I never watch any of the soaps, evah. Likewise I don’t watch the pretend quizzes and talent shows, especially the ones with Simon Cowell in, and I never watch any sport. Yeah, sad innit.

Rarely do I sit there all evening with the telly just ‘on’.  I know people who do that. And when you visit them you are forced to watch mindless TV and talk and catch-up during the quieter bits or the commercials. That just seems rude to me. When people visit me I always have the telly off.  But, hey ho.

I also rarely watch TV (for my own personal consumption as opposed to professional consumption) live. The things I do watch, I watch from the recordings we’ve made or integrated catch-up service.   The really annoying thing about catch-up services is that you can’t stop the adverts. You can’t fast forward or skip through them. And they are always the same at each break. Urgh. Luckily some catch-up services do countdowns to the programme, so I can mute and look away.

I’m more in control with my own recordings. The enemy is the commercial break, but I can spool through it.  Without fail I will spool through the commercials unless it has been physically inhibited.  And, whilst I say so myself, spooling through takes an expertise. An expertise that I have.

Yeah baby, I can run through at X30 and I can come to a shuddering stop at just the right place.

You see, it’s all about knowing what the ‘buffers’ are going to be. These days it’s usually a 5 second sponsor for the daypart or for the specific show you are watching.  That in itself is usually proceeded by trailers rather than commercials.  Not every broadcaster follows this rule, especially if they haven’t got sponsorship ‘buffers’, but most do.

So, here’s your traffic light way to always successfully spool through the adverts.

Like the Highway Code when it cones to driving your car, you need to have an outline in your mind of what happens in a commercial break.

The traffic lights are green. The programme has just stopped and adverts are running. Accelerate to a cool X30.  Yeah baby, you are cruising.

However, just like when you are driving you mustn’t get distracted and take your eyes off the road, or in this case, the fast moving adverts. If you stop watching, you’ll crash and burn.

Amber. You notice (at X30) that the adverts have merged into the highly repeated programme trailers. At this point it can help if all but the most skilled of remote control operators slows down from the X30 high speed.

Red.  OMG you must stop! As soon as you see the slightest hint of the sponsorship buffer you must return to normal play mode. Don’t take a second of hesitation.  This is as important reaction-wise as the emergency stop in a driving test.

Done correctly, the sponsorship buffer will play and you will drop seamlessly into the next part of the programme, missing none of it.

Good luck.



Categories: Behaviour, Media, TV

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