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I'm still loving my TiVo, what, 8 years in? Something crazy like… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
September 12th, 2007
09:37 am

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I'm still loving my TiVo, what, 8 years in? Something crazy like that. It doesn't have automatic commercial skipping, but the fast forward is pretty darned fast, and I've learned not to watch live TV anymore, just so I can zip over the commercials.

However, I just saw an ad for "Across the Universe", and was surprised that a Beatles-related movie would be opening soon, and this would be the first I had heard of it.

Clearly, I'm being a crappy fan.

I've read the IMDB and WikiPedia pages, which bolster my resolution to see the movie. But is there any other juicy tidbits I should know about this movie? abbeyrd? Anyone?

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[User Picture]
From:ginsu
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
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It doesn't have automatic commercial skipping

It really surprises me that the networks have not taken obvious steps to defeat that sort of thing. For instance, redefining commercial length as a variable which is dependent on what sponsors will pay, as long as total advertising time for a given show remains the same.

[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
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But they do that already, right?

Mostly, the unit is 30 seconds, and if you want to buy a 3 minute block, that works, and people do it. Occasionally, you see a 15 second commercial, but to fit into a multiple of 30 seconds, that same advertiser provides two 15 second commercials, which usually run back-to-back, which ruins the effect.
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From:ginsu
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Well, I mean that a commercial could be 1 minute four seconds long or twelve seconds long. The only thing that would be constant would be total amount of time in the hour dedicated to commercials (about 18 minutes).
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From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
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But when the network sells 17 minutes, 37 seconds of their 18 minutes, and no advertisers want to supply a 23 second commercial, the network is screwed.

[User Picture]
From:ginsu
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
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no advertisers want to supply a 23 second commercial

We have different ideas about how advertising works. =) Sponsors are desperate to maintain or increase market share and are quite flexible in terms of how they go about it.

The marketing content I generate, for instance, is based on word count. If someone tells me to write 823 words on the AMD virtualization optimizations in Barcelona, I'm gonna do exactly that, no matter how complex it is. I don't think cutting a soap commercial from 30 seconds to 23 would be very tricky.
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From:piehead
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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But if you're doing video production for a commercial, you don't want to customize the running length per-wacky network specific time length.
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From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
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I don't think cutting a soap commercial from 30 seconds to 23 would be very tricky.

Probably not for a single cut, no.

I would imagine that delivering all word lengths from 50 words up to 2000 words on AMD virtualization would be at times tricky, but mostly tedious. And, if they're only going to use lengths 823, 1077, and 1593, that's 99.8% of the versions wasted.
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From:ginsu
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
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And, if they're only going to use lengths 823, 1077, and 1593, that's 99.8% of the versions wasted.

Er, why? My concept, which doesn't involve waste, is this:

1. Sponsor and media owner (network, in this case) decide what they want (meaning, what sponsor will pay in return for what amount of ad time for what show).

2. Creative talent (that's me) is tasked with generating content which includes key points in the suggested structure/length. In some cases, they specify that I should write it in such a way that it could be condensed if necessary without much work -- in other words, make the story compressible. That's relatively easy and fun and part of the writing challenge. This content I then provide, quickly and accurately, and so justify the absurd de facto hourly amount I get.

If I were doing commercials, it would be much the same, except there would be delay to shoot and edit the video. But given the tech we have today for such purposes, not really very much. And to tweak the video digitally to make it shorter? A matter of hours. If that. I wrote my content to enable that possibility in the first place.
(Deleted comment)
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From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Hm, I've seen "Frida", and I think that's it of her movies.
(Deleted comment)
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From:cmf
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I only saw a poster for this movie yesterday. First I had heard of it as well. Go figure.
From:mminsf
Date:September 12th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
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It's hard to beat the Beatles - Bono combo.

You know about the 30 second tivo trick, right?
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I do - what 30 second tivo trick?
From:mminsf
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
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On your tivo remote while viewing a recorded program press:

select play select 3 0 select

You should then hear three beeps. After that, you can use the arrow line key (I have no idea what it's called, but it's the one above the 3) to forward your tivo 30 seconds.
[User Picture]
From:moonlightnrain
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
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More here: http://www.g4tv.com/techtvvault/features/29762/Secret_TiVo_Codes_pg2.html

However, my understanding has been that some codes don't work with some boxes. Still, well worth a try. :) Pressing the ->| key four times is faster than your >>> speed, for certain.

And this may be the most appropriate use of this icon I've ever had.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
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yeah, I think at one time, I tried a few of these codes to do crazy stuff like rearrange the sort order of my "now playing" menu - I don't know why I didn't set up the 30 second skip and keep it around; that seems like one of the most useful ones.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
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Hm, I got the three beeps - it seems like it works, as long as I remember to press (->|) from the play mode and not from a fast forward mode - in fast forward, that button does the "skip to next 15 minute marker" thing that it used to.

I think I had seen a big list of undocumented tricks like that somewhere, and many of them were listed as not working on all boxes, so I let it drift out of my awareness.

But this one, I'll probably use. Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:zonereyrie
Date:September 13th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
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There are some more here.

If you still have your old Series1 then you can probably enable back-door mode and access even more.

(I run tivolovers and TiVoLovers.com.)
[User Picture]
From:abbeyrd
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
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I've heard of it (it's currently playing at TIFF, I believe) but don't know too much about it. I think it's getting some good buzz, but to be honest it looks like crap to me.

However! In more exciting news, Help! is being re-released on DVD next month with lots of extras.
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