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TiVo-Enabled Ads Begin Appearing on Encore

Following up on our previous story about interactive advertisement development taking place at TiVo and ReplayTV, today we witnessed the first use of the so-called TiVomatic recording scheduler.

When an ad for an upcoming movie appeared on the cable network Encore, a small TiVo icon superimposed itself on the upper right hand part of the TV screen. It indicated that something would happen if you clicked on either the "Select" or thumbs up buttons of the TiVo remote. We decided to try it to see what would happen.

When we clicked one of those two buttons, it caused TiVo to ask if we were interested in recording the next available broadcast of the advertised movie. It took a little while to figure out what was going on, in part because the first time the TiVomatic icon appeared, it was in an advertisement for a program that had already been recorded and was presently being viewed. This could be really confusing to people, especially when coupled with the fact that this feature is not (yet) widely supported.

It is, however, understandable that a network might want to run a 15 second promotional ad for a movie right before that movie is scheduled to be played. Another alternative would be to conditionally display the TiVomatic icon if the viewer has not already recorded the program. The business rules for that could get really complicated.

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