Nice! Come March, Tablo DVR owners will be able to automatically skip commercials while playing back television recordings. Unlike TiVo’s somewhat kneecapped SkipMode that only indexes popular, primetime programming and requires manual intervention at each break, Tablo’s solution should index just about everything* and will be automated:
Tablo’s commercial-skipping magic is a cloud-based hybrid of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and machine learning. When enabled, pesky ads are accurately and automatically detected so Tablo apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV can hop right past them.
A HDHomeRun paired with the Channels DVR service also provides OTA comskip, but I need to review their implementation. Having said that, we do know Channels requires additional hardware and is available to fewer clients (like Roku).
*In talking to the folks behind Tablo, it seems news programming has been particularly difficult to programmatically identify given the numerous cuts… and presumably local news is doubly challenging given less predictable breaks. As such, news will be excluded. But all our important serial programming should be routinely and properly tagged.