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Automatic Commercial Skip

Enjoy Ad-Free Recordings with Tablo

Each Tablo DVR comes with a 30-day free trial of the Tablo Premium Service subscription which provides access to Tablo's Automatic Commercial Skip feature.

When Automatic Commercial Skip is enabled, the majority of completed recordings will play back without ads on our most popular TV-based apps. 

 

How Automatic Commercial Skip Works

Once Automatic Commercial Skip is enabled within the settings screen of a compatible Tablo app, your Tablo DVR will upload a small portion of eligible completed recordings to the Tablo Commercial Skip Server for processing.

A hybrid of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and machine learning will examine the data and mark the sections containing commercials (in yellow). 

When a recording has been processed successfully, a new playlist will be delivered back to your Tablo that will automatically jump over the ads.

Depending on the recording quality and audio settings of your Tablo, this process will use between 100-200 MB/hour of recording in external internet bandwidth.

Those with upload speeds slower than 3 Mbps, or with very low datacaps should NOT enable this feature.

Tablo's Premium Service enables the Automatic Commercial Skip feature which makes it possible for your Tablo OTA DVR to play the majority of completed recordings without ads on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, and Android mobile devices.

Once enabled, your Tablo DVR will upload a small portion of completed recordings to the Tablo Commercial Skip Server for processing. A hybrid of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and machine learning will examine the data and mark the sections containing commercials.

Depending on the recording quality and audio settings of your Tablo, this process will use between 100-200 MB/hour of recording in external internet bandwidth.
Those with upload speeds slower than 3 Mbps, or with very low datacaps should NOT enable this feature.

 

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo app on Roku.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen press down on the D-pad for Options. 

 

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo app on Amazon Fire TV.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen press down on the D-pad for Settings. 

NOTE - Automatic Commercial Skip is NOT supported on playback via Tablo Connect unless you are streaming at full quality.

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo app Android TV.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen press down on the D-pad for Settings. 

 

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo app on Apple TV.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen swipe down on the touchpad for Settings. 

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo app on iOS or Android mobile devices.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen, toggle the Commercial Skip icon. 

 

Subscribers to Tablo's Premium Service can enable Automatic Commercial Skip via the settings screen of the Tablo web app at my.tablotv.com via Chrome or Safari.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip on a per-recording basis from within the playback screen, toggle the Commercial Skip icon. 

 

In order to be eligible for commercial skip processing, your Tablo DVR’s recordings must:

  • NOT be a Cloud DVR recording
    Only recordings made on a Tablo’s internal or hard drive storage are currently supported.
  • NOT be a manual recording
    Manual recordings lack 'program type' details and therefore are ineligible 
  • Be completed successfully
    In-progress, failed, and incomplete recordings are ineligible.
  • Be created AFTER commercial skip has been enabled in your Tablo’s settings screen
  • Have completed Fast-Forward Preview processing successfully

Certain networks, program types, and shows are always ineligible for commercial skip processing including:

  • [NETWORK] PBS
  • [NETWORK] TVO
  • [PROGRAM TYPE] Manual Recording
  • [SHOW] The Saint
  • [SHOW] The Green Hornet
  • [SHOW] Laramie
  • [SHOW] Have Gun - Will Travel
  • [SHOW] The Burns & Allen Show
  • [SHOW] Bonanza
  • [SHOW] Gilligans Island
  • [SHOW] Dragnet
  • [SHOW] Leave it to Beaver
  • [SHOW] Alfred Hitchcock
  • [SHOW] Tales of Wells Fargo
  • [SHOW] The Twilight Zone
  • [SHOW] Good Morning America

When Tablo's Automatic Commercial Skip detection is enabled, all recordings that have been processed will show a commercial skip message identifying either success or one of several error messages:

  • SUCCESS - Commercial skip is ready.
  • FILTERED - Program ineligible for Commercial Skip.
  • NETWORK - Commercial Skip upload failed.
  • UNSUITABLE - Recording rejected from Commercial Skip.
  • RECEPTION - Commercial Skip failed due to poor reception.
  • OTHER FAILURE - Commercial Skip detection failed. 
     

For a full overview of the meanings of these error messages, head over to the Tablo Knowledge Base.

How To Enable Automatic Commercial Skip

If your Tablo DVR has an active or trial Premium Service subscription, you can enable Automatic Commercial Skip detection within the settings screen of any supported app.

All subsequent eligible recordings will be processed by Tablo's Automatic Commercial Skip servers until the feature is turned off or your Premium Service subscription expires.

Once enabled, automatic skipping will also be ‘on’ by default in the player of supported apps.

 

 
 

How to Disable Automatic Commercial Skip

Tablo commercial skip off versus on

It is possible to turn the Automatic Commercial Skip feature off on a per-recording basis, if for example, you wanted to watch the Superbowl WITH commercials.

To disable Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip from within the playback screen:

  • On Roku - Press down on the D-pad for Options
  • On Amazon Fire TV/Android TV - Press down on the D-pad for Settings
  • On Apple TV - Swipe down on the touchpad for Settings
  • On Mobile & Web - Toggle the Automatic Commercial Skip button (looks like three squares under an arrow)

When disabled, identified commercial sections will still be visible (as grey bars) but the video will not automatically jump over these sections.

Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip FAQs

Depending on the recording quality and audio settings of your Tablo, the commercial skip process will use between 100-200 MB/hour of recording in external internet bandwidth. If you schedule 40 recordings in a month this will equal approximately 8 GB. It’s more than Tablo uses for regular processes but is still only a fraction of overall bandwidth for those with datacaps. If you’re concerned about datacap overages, you can disable commercial skip at any time via your Tablo’s settings screen.

In order to use Tablo’s automatic commercial skip feature, a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps is required but 3 Mbps is recommended. The feature does include the ability to retain data in a buffer in the event your external internet connection temporarily slows or fails, however those with very slow connections may experience delays or issues with this feature.

Tablo's Automatic Commercial Skip feature can be enabled on and is currently supported on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS & Android mobile, and Tablo's web app for Chrome and Safari. Automatic Commercial Skip cannot currently be used as a feature on LG or Samsung Smart TVs, or Xbox.

In a best-case scenario, a 1-hour recording should be commercial skip ready approximately 15 minutes after the recording is completed. However, the total time it takes for a recording to be processed by the Tablo Commercial Skip Server can vary depending on the length of the recording, the availability of an open tuner on your Tablo, your internet upload/download speed, and the current queue on the Commercial Skip Server. Longer recordings and recordings completed during peak periods can take between 1-2 hours for processing.

The Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip feature does include the ability to retain data in a buffer in the event your external internet connection temporarily slows or fails. Once internet access is regained, and after your Tablo is rebooted or begins its nightly maintenance period (whichever comes first), upload of recording data will be re-tried. If the Tablo is unable to upload the recording to the server for more than 3 days, the upload will be abandoned.

Only a small portion of your completed recordings are uploaded to the Tablo cloud-based Commercial Skip Server. This data includes your Tablo DVR's device ID (for troubleshooting), but not its IP address or your name. Any data sent to or created on the Tablo Commercial Skip server is erased every few days.

Recordings made prior to enabling the feature are not eligible. Network-based exclusions for PBS and TVO were made to save bandwidth as those networks don't have regular commercial breaks. As for program-based exclusions, the characteristics of these shows weren’t interacting well with the technology that we use to detect commercials. While we'll continue to work to improve the algorithms, we’ve disabled Automatic Commercial Skip on those shows, for now, to avoid providing a poor experience.

At this time, the player software on Samsung and LG Smart TVs is incompatible with the Automatic Commercial Skip feature. We will re-evaluate the possibility of adding this feature to these platforms in the future.

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