Earlier this year, the Automatic Commercial Skip feature launched in a free open beta to all Tablo OTA DVR users with trial or active TV Guide Data Subscriptions.
During the beta period, our Automatic Commercial Skip servers have processed millions of recordings giving Tablo customers a commercial-free DVR experience on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android, TV and Apple TV.
We’re excited to announce that in the coming months, we’ll be extending support for Automatic Commercial Skip to Tablo apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as our web app for PC and MAC.
Stay tuned for app update notifications!
With this expanded support, and thanks to your valuable beta program feedback, ongoing stress testing, as well as some hard work tuning the digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and advanced machine learning behind this feature, we believe Automatic Commercial Skip is ready to transition out of beta this February.
Keep reading to find out what this means for you…
Introducing Tablo Premium Service
As we outlined during the rollout of Automatic Commercial Skip, part of the open beta process included evaluating ongoing infrastructure costs related to delivering this feature.
In order to generate the Automatic Commercial Skip playlists, each Tablo OTA DVR device with Commercial Skip Detection enabled sends metadata for every single eligible recording to our cloud servers for processing.
This requires significant cloud computing resources as well as ongoing development and maintenance of the advanced machine learning systems and DSP algorithms that make this feature tick.
We’re proud to have been able to offer Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip as a free service to our customers with active TV Guide Data Subscriptions during the open beta. However, these ongoing cloud infrastructure costs are beyond what we can include as part of the basic subscription, which has not increased in price since Tablo’s launch in 2014.
To avoid raising the base TV Guide Data Subscription price for everyone, we have instead chosen to move Automatic Commercial Skip into a new, and optional, Tablo Premium Service add-on starting February 6, 2020.
Pricing for the new optional Tablo Premium Service add-on will be as follows:
- $2.00 USD ($3.00 CAD) per month on top of monthly Tablo TV Guide Data Service
- $20.00 USD ($30.00 CAD) per year on top of annual Tablo TV Guide Data Service
- $20.00 USD ($30.00 CAD) per year for those with lifetime Tablo TV Guide Data Serivce
How to Continue Enjoying Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip
Until February 6th, all Tablo OTA DVR users currently eligible for the Automatic Commercial Skip beta can continue to enjoy this service for free as part of the basic TV Guide Service subscription.
Tablo customers that wish to continue using Automatic Commercial Skip beyond that date must visit the Tablo Account Portal at account.tablotv.com and add Tablo Premium Service to their existing TV Guide Data Subscription before February 6th, 2020.
Please note that your Tablo Premium Service subscription will become active immediately upon purchase.
What Happens If I Don’t Subscribe to Tablo Premium Service?
If you are not currently using Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip, nothing will change for you.
If you’re currently enjoying Automatic Commercial Skip on your Tablo, but don’t plan on subscribing to the new Premium Service add-on, you will lose access to this feature starting February 6th, 2020.
This means new recordings created after this date will not be processed for Automatic Commercial Skip and recordings that were previously processed will no longer play back without commercials on supported devices.
If you change your mind, you can subscribe to Tablo Premium Service at any time and immediately re-gain access to the feature on previously processed recordings, and new recordings will again be eligible for processing.
Tablo Premium Service FAQs
I have a lifetime Tablo TV Guide Subscription, is this feature not included?
Unfortunately, no. The ongoing development, maintenance, and cloud infrastructure costs required to deliver the Automatic Commercial Skip feature are too great for us to include in any version of the base TV Guide Data Subscription at its current pricing.
Does this mean you won’t be bringing any new features to the basic TV Guide Data Subscription level?
As always, we are committed to making Tablo more awesome for all Tablo users which means we will continue to develop new enhancements for users within the base TV Guide Data Subscription. Because Automatic Commercial Skip has ongoing costs tied to it, we didn’t feel it would be fair to require all users to pay extra for something that they may not be using.
I have multiple Tablo OTA DVRs. Do I need to add a Premium Service subscription to each Tablo to enjoy Automatic Commercial Skip on every unit?
Yes. Automatic Commercial Skip processing is tied directly to your Tablo, so each device on your account that will be using Premium Service must have its own subscription.
I have an annual or lifetime Tablo TV Guide Data subscription. Can I pay for Automatic Commercial Skip on a monthly basis?
No. Since Tablo Premium Service is an add-on, it will match the billing term of your existing TV Guide Data subscription. The only exception is lifetime subscribers who will be billed annually.
If I subscribe today when will I be billed for my Premium Service add-on?
If you’re a monthly TV Guide Data subscriber, you will be billed monthly, on your current billing date. This means the first month’s charge for Premium Service will not appear until your next invoice where it will be added as a prorated amount on top of the next month’s Premium Service charge on your invoice. Then it will repeat at the full amount on a monthly basis going forward.
If you’re an annual TV Guide Data subscriber, you will be billed immediately for the Premium Service add-on, pro-rated according to your current TV Guide Data billing date, then it will repeat at full amount on an annual basis going forward.
If you’ve got a lifetime Tablo Guide Data subscription, you will be billed immediately for the full amount of the annual Premium Service add-on and it will repeat on an annual basis going forward.
If I don’t subscribe to Tablo Premium Service right now, or let it lapse, do I need to turn Automatic Commercial Skip back on for new recordings to be processed if I re-subscribe sometime in the future?
No, you don’t need to re-enable Automatic Commercial Skip after your Premium Service subscription lapses if you had previously enabled it on your Tablo. As soon as your Premium Service subscription is active, all newly created recordings will be uploaded to the commercial skip server for processing. Recordings created during the time your Premium Service subscription was inactive will not be eligible for processing.
Why do you even have subscriptions? Why don’t you include these costs in the price of the device?
As the popular aphorism states, “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” Our goal as a company is to provide a quality product that receives ongoing enhancements and support while also keeping hardware prices low.
In order to do that sustainably, without resorting to in-app advertising or selling your viewing or personal data to third parties, we need to pass along some of the costs that we incur for the high quality guide data, support, cloud infrastructure, engineering, development, and other things that make Tablo great.
Will Automatic Commercial Skip still be part of the 30-day free trial?
Yes! Tablo Premium Service with Automatic Commercial Skip Detection and TV Guide Data Service will both be included in the 30-day free trial when you first set up your Tablo OTA DVR.
When is Automatic Commercial Skip coming to iOS, Android, and the web app?
Before the end of March, our mobile and web apps will be updated to enable commercial-free playback of recordings for Tablo customers with Automatic Commercial Skip enabled. Keep an eye on the Tablo Community Forum for further details.
Is Automatic Commercial Skip coming to the Tablo app for Samsung or LG Smart TVs?
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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