"In this era of easy ad skipping with TiVo-like video recorders, could television viewers one day be forced to watch commercials with a system that prevents channel switching?Yeah, RIGHT!!! Talk about BIG BROTHER!! This will cause people to throw a HUGE fit and leave those programs or stations that demand this technology. However, I fail to see anyone actually thinking that this might be a good thing to push on consumers.
Yes, according to Royal Philips Electronics. A patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says researchers of the Netherland-based consumer electronics company have created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze a channel during a commercial, so viewers wouldn't be able to avoid it.
The pending patent, published on March 30, says the feature would be implemented on a program-by-program basis. Devices that could carry the technology would be a television or a set-top-box.
Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee."
Hmmm, let's see. We can pay a fee for the benefit to NOT watch commercials on our OWN tv's. Yeah. Right.