TiVo Commercial Auto Skip Has Arrived

As you-know-who broke the news, TiVo has deployed automatic commercial skip capabilities with the latest “Hydra” software update … that has just begun rolling out to Bolt, Roamio, and Mini DVR hardware.

When first initiating playback of a TiVo SkipMode-flagged recording, you’ll be prompted to enable “Auto Skip” to automatically zip by commercial interruption. There’s also an associated settings panel to toggle the feature on/off. And, in my brief time with utilizing Autoskip, it works pretty darn good — you do catch a tiny bit of the commercial break at both beginning and end, along with an associated chime and tag in the upper left indicating “Skip in progress” – which seems like a reasonable transition, vs a potentially jarring quick cut.

Unlike Channels DVR and Tablo commercial skip capabilities, TiVo augments their ad identification technology with human curation. So, given those resource constraints, only prime time television is enabled. Having said that, it’s still a huge convenience and win for us customers.

36 thoughts on “TiVo Commercial Auto Skip Has Arrived”

  1. What’s the verdict on Hydra these days? Is it still to be avoided, or as it improved to a functional point? This feature is the first thing I’ve seen on it that makes me want to upgrade to it.

  2. Elan, Roamio Pro/Plus. There are times/places when it’s not as snappy as I’d like. But in the video, I also paused extra long in some locations so things could be absorbed and read.

    Dan, it’s more usable with each update but still not as efficient are the HDUI. However, to get new features like this, you have to upgrade.

  3. What other features will I lose if I stay with the HDUI on my Roamio rather than switching to Hydra? The ongoing comments about Hydra continue to be that for many, it’s not as appealing as standard HDUI so if the only problem is my having to press a key to skip a commercial, something that’s become second nature to me by now, that doesn’t seem enough to take a risk (esp. since we can’t go back). But if there are other new features that I’ll miss out on if I don’t upgrade, that could change my mind.

  4. Thanks. I have a Roamio Pro, Mini, and Mini Vox. Not worried about losing features upgrading, but too afraid of sluggishness. My Mini Vox already makes my older boxes feel slow.

  5. As someone who was waiting for YouTube TV to include HGTV & Food Network before leaving my TiVo/Cable, they’re making it really tough. It sounds silly, but that skip button is huge – especially when you consider that YouTube TV will replace your recordings with On Demand programs that won’t allow you to fast forward through commercials. If only those Minis weren’t so buggy…

  6. Does anyone know if the expected wireless Mini and/or TiVo app that will be coming out for streaming boxes (in my case an Apple TV 4K), will work without Hydra and on a Roamio (vs Bolt)? The answers to this may force my hand to move to Hydra and/or Bolt when those come out by the Fall, since either of those approaches to hooking up a second TV in another room will be far more useful to me than auto skip. Thanks.

  7. Good to know, thanks for the update, would have never gotten it from TIVO.
    Still haven’t upgraded to Hydro because of bad reviews.
    Now I’m thinking about it but will do some research.
    It’s really not that big of a chore to push the little green button.

  8. I think the faster your home internet is the better for new menus. We are on gigabit and hydra on bolt has been snappy. Once internet is slow it gets weird.

  9. Having to move to Hydra is a deal killer for me. I’ll have to “suffer” through pressing one button to skip a set of commercials.

  10. Overall Hydra has been fine, we’ve had it a couple of weeks. The Mini remotes don’t have a back button, but still work. It’s a learning curve. The autoskip was the main reason I upgraded, they sure hid it!

  11. Mr.West, If you’re impatient you can go to the settings and request a check-in to see if it’s your turn. The update is rolling out in batches. I know some received Saturday night and some Monday night. Not sure what the total timeframe looks like.

    Elan, my Roamio is mostly a ‘headless’ hub.

    Larry, any/all new features you’ll miss out on. This is just the first. I’m willing to bet you’ll need it for the upcoming streamer apps. Hydra doesn’t have the Live Guide and is still inefficient in some ways compared to the HDUI. Also you gotta retrain your fingers to use the back button instead of the left arrow for many things. I updated (again) specifically for this feature.

    Shawn, I’m FiOS fast…

    Bill, yes Hydra works on all Minis. Your remote may be another matter… you need the back button and older Minis don’t have.

  12. I’m pretty sure that on the older Mini remotes, the “Zoom” button operates just like the “Back” button. And it’s in the same spot on the remote.

  13. I’ve been using autoskip on commercials for a couple of years with, now open source, SageTV. Runs as a VM on my server.

  14. I’ve actually had this on my Boots for a week or two. It takes a little getting used to at first and I still find myself reaching for the remote sometimes when I don’t need to. Still have to for weird networks and shows. Looking at you, Bar Rescue.

  15. David, 21.9

    Ed, any/all Roamios (and Bolts) running Hydra will have the option.

    Chad, and many of us were skipping commercials 15+ years ago with ReplayTV (which made them a target, actually).

  16. I went to settings this morning and did a TiVo Service Connection. I still have not received this update. Is it being rolled out to different parts of the country at different times or what? At the latest, when should I receive it?

  17. Shawn B,

    From what I’ve read, the 3 TB drives they were using are no longer being sold. Which is why they have dropped the 3 TB model.

  18. I had been putting off upgrading to hydra, but I just upgraded and I really like it. Menus are just as fast as before, just look 100% better. Transparent overlays are much nicer.

  19. Apparently, my Roamio OTA updated last night. I have auto skip, and it works as expected. I didn’t get prompted to enable it, because I immediately went to enable it, because I noticed a change in the My Shows screen.

  20. FWIW, my Roamio OTA is lightning fast after this update that brought auto skip. It’s usually slow as molasses.

  21. It took a while for auto skip to work, but last night it did. Maybe it was the show? I like the easy delete function they added with the x at the end of the show list.

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