I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. Assuming you’ve read the headline, you already know one of our favorite OTA DVR offerings will be making commercial skip available for $2/mo (or $20/yr) as part of a new “Tablo Premium” service.
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. Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip ProcessThis 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. […] 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.
By comparison, Channels DVR using HDHomeRun includes commercial skip (of all programming)… bundled within the existing, slightly higher monthly fees. TiVo provides more limited commercial skip content but also requires higher fees than Tablo and, ironically, sullies recordings with pre-roll advertisements as part of their revenue model.
The good news is that the Tablo commercial skip feature is obviously mature, ready to go and will be making its way to additional platforms, including the iOS, Android, and web players once it exits beta next month. Also, given the broad branding of “Tablo Premium,” I wonder what other sorts of goodies they may roll out in the future.