Categories: Cord CuttingDVR

Tablo Commercial Skip Exits Beta With $2 Monthly Fee

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.

View Comments

  • I've got a Silicondust Quatro. It appears to be a much more open platform than the Tablo. I don't see an advantage with the Tablo unless it's the lifetime guide pricing.
    I use the Channels DVR server and apps. It provides an OTT integrated guide using TVE and includes commercial skipping for a total of $80 per year ($6.67 per month).

  • I was excited when Tablo announced the public beta for their cloud based commercial skip feature, however at the start I knew that it might not work perfectly. I hoped that they would be able to tune their algorithms over time to make it a useful feature. Unfortunately, I regret to say that my family's experience with this has not been good.

    Our experience is that even now there are too many false positives, where their algorithms incorrectly identify a portion of a recording to be a commercial. The result is that when you're watching that program, it skips ahead and you end up missing part of the program (usually right after a legitimate commercial). Viewers may not realize that they missed something until later in the program, when something in the plot doesn't make sense, or they may miss the last minute or two of the program.

    As a "free" feature that sometimes works we have been willing to deal with this aggravation, but at this point I don't believe that it's ready to exit the public beta. We will not be subscribing to this premium feature.

    Just my two cents.

  • dwgsp, thanks for the first hand account. I only tested it in limited fashion. I know the ad skip solutions are all imperfect. TiVo has been pretty good in my experience, but primarily indexes prime time shows on popular channels and occasionally misses even some of those.

Published by
Dave Zatz