Skipping Commercials with DirecTV and Dish DVRs

Skipping commercials is the only sane way to watch television. Once you watch TV using a DVR and get use to the 30 second skip feature, you will never go back to watching live television again. The networks obviously don’t like that DVRs allow you to easily skip advertisements. Over the past couple of years the number of viewers who watch commercials are dwindling. However, the networks have tolerated the fast forward and 30-second commercial skip feature on DVRs, but Dish apparently crossed the line with its automatic commercial skipping feature called auto-hop. This reminds me of the Replay-TV lawsuit back in 2001 that resulted in removing the Auto-Skip feature which automatically skipped past the commercials. While the Dish Network, NBC, and ABC battle this out in the courts (and make several law firms a couple million dollars richer) I thought it would be good to review the current commercial skipping technology for Dish Network and DirecTV.

DirecTV remote controlDirecTV Commercial Skip: DirecTV has a little different commercial skip feature than Dish. When you hit the fast forward button it will skip a 30 second block in the program, but it fast-forwards at about 5x speed. So one click of the button takes a few seconds to get through the entire commercial. I don’t like this as it takes too long. Fortunately their is a way to make the fast forward button skip a 30 second segment in a second. Here is how to re-program your DirecTV to do a 30 second skip. Go to the Search for Programs in your DirecTV menu. Then search by keyword for 30SKIP. Your search will not return any results, this is expected; just select Continue and then press Done. Now when you press your fast forward button it will skip 30 seconds instantly. If you ever want to reset it back, then do the same thing, but enter in 30SLIP.

Dish Remote ControlDish Network Commercial Skip: I like the Dish commercial skip feature over DirecTV because it comes pre-programmed to skip 30 seconds. As most of us like to watch TV with the remote close by, you simply pick up the remote and hit the yellow button about 6 times and you are past the commercial break and back into your program. The green skip-back feature is nice when you have gone a little too far, as it only skips back 10 seconds. To me it is kind of like a video game… once you master the remote you skip through a commercial in about 5 or 6 seconds!

Personally, I don’t mind hitting the remote to fast forward commercials. I think Dish has a great idea with auto-hop, but is it really worth the lawsuit? My opinion is no, but while they fight this out in court, I will continue to use my remote and skip past the commercials.



6 Responses to Skipping Commercials with DirecTV and Dish DVRs

  1. mark menser says:

    I am thoroughly fed up. Under the old “TV Code of America” commercials were limited to 15 minutes per hour. last night I watched a movie on AMC and endured over 30 minutes per hour, culminating in commercial breaks ever 2 minutes at the end of the movie. Obviously, they hook you at the beginning and increase frequency as the movie goes on.
    When I was young I worked for Loews Theaters. We used to have an advertising trailer for “pay TV”, which promised that the payment of a monthly fee meant no commercials…ever. The cable company also used a telephone easement to dig up my front yard to lay cable.
    It was an is all a fraud.

  2. jamie jacobson says:

    I like

    The app just notifies you when commercials are over, so you can do whatever you want when commercials come up, and never miss when your program is back.

    I like to mute the TV and power up Pandora or switch to NatGeo

  3. LostOnTheLine says:

    The problem is, when you auto-skip the commercials you don’t even have the chance to see any of them, if you FF through, then you at least have see parts of it & are actively doing something, so when you drop the remote you will see commercial until you retrieve it. The less people who will see the commercials, the less the advertisers will be willing to pay for the spots. Advertisers pay a lot more for commercials in prime time, if they decide to pay less there will have to be more commercials, sure, they’ll auto-skip too, but that means that my hour-long program will be 30 minutes instead of 42, that means less story per episode & therefore more dumbed-down story lines.
    I’ll stick with a 5 click FF on my DVR & watching the end of a commercial or 2 to prevent the further stufifying of TV

  4. erik says:

    I don’t understand why CBS, FOX, & NBC execs don’t want us to enjoy commercial-free TV. I’m a DISH employee – AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, is taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, & NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room & DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV

    • Cal Reed says:

      Well if you’re a Dish employee then you should know there are only a few shows on Primetime that have the auto hop capability. A quick look at my current recordings on Primetime I count 26 programs of the 70 recorded programs that have the auto hop capability. The other 44 are not auto hop. I’m talking about Primetime. Most of the shows I watch in Primetime don’t have the little kangaroo indicating that the auto hop feature is available. Dish omits this as you have making it sound like in Primetime the DVR just skips right throug commercials. When in reality it isn’t ALL not even half of the shows.

      If I were a Dish employee I wouldn’t brag or tout the auto hop feature much until ALL programs on Primetime were auto hop.

  5. Aly says:

    I can definitely see your point of view, but honestly Auto Hop to me is no different than skipping through all the advertisements by remote anyways. It’s basically the same thing, since Auto Hop has to be enabled each time by the customer. Since I dislike commercials so much, Auto Hop was the main reason I decided to upgrade to a Hopper in the first place. My coworkers at Dish told me about it when it released, so I scheduled an install a couple days after. I am very impressed with the entire system, and love how I can watch a 60-minute show in 40 now with only a simple yes acknowledge before each episode. 🙂

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