8 Comments
founding

The golden age of commercial skipping never happened. I know this because my ex was an engineer for Sonic Blue in the 90s. SB had a DVR that implemented automated commercial skipping. For a year or so, we never saw an ad. Not one; it worked that well. Tivo's never came close. It even had a Super Bowl mode that allowed you to watch just the ads. If there ever was a perfect TV viewing tech, Sonic Blue had it. But the ad agencies and TV networks killed it along with the company, so it was never fully commercialized. PC if you are a Bulwark member, I still remember how great your alg was. :)

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The late golden age of tv was a 0 interest rate phenomenon. Once money started costing, well, money the good times were gone.

I love “Streets of Fire”. Great cast and joyously pulpy. Knights fighting with sledgehammers instead of swords.

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TiVo was a godsend, but ad-skipping goes back at least to VCR time-shifting and the invention of the scan button. (Before that, the screen went black when you fast-forwarded.)

For now many services do offer commercial free tiers, though they keep boosting the cost of the privilege. (And as with the airlines' race to the bottom, revealed preferences show most people will accept infinitely degraded service rather than pay a fee for something that used to be free.)

Though Paramount Plus gets special mention for forcing a minute long *unskippable* promo ahead of its shows even in the ad free tier.

And technological circumventions exist, though it's an arms race and they don't work with everything. I suspect AI is going to bring a phase where ads try not to *look* like ads to avoid the next generation of adblockers.

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founding
Jan 12Liked by Sonny Bunch

Gods dammit, now I need to go back and re-watch Battlestar Galactica because that show was just phenomenal. No laser swords, blasters, phasers, or aliens. Just Marines with M-16s and grenades up against robotic warriors. Starfighters that use bullets. Capital ships with flak guns, torpedoes, and nuclear warheads. And space battles that actually acknowledge the frakin zero G environment they fought in.

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