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Cable networks are speeding up TV shows to cram in ads (cbsnews.com)
82 points by prostoalex 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 122 comments





I'm still boggled by the fact that people pay for cable TV service and then accept ads at all, let alone ads at the cost of messing with the actual content.

Two things shook me while watching TV on my USA trip.

One is the sheer number of ad breaks in programming. Here in Sweden there's only a few with a good chunk in between.

The second is ads during programs. I mean not even having the courtesy to pause but instead overimpose.

I sort of get it now why USA import shows have the weird breaks though.

Given, I seldom watch TV here anymore, so I might be mistaken.


> Two things shook me while watching TV on my USA trip.

I turned on the TV in the US hotel once for the experience. I found out that what I'd see as "making fun of the US ads" in the EU, was not even close to reality. It took me a moment to realise that the ad actually had monster trucks with the flag/eagle paint, guns, and explosions and it wasn't a cringe satire show.


There are millions of people who keep the TV running ALL THE TIME as in it's almost never turned off.

That’s insane. I can’t even think coherently with a TV in the background.

Trying to understand on why phones are so dangerous combined with driving, now killing more people each year than drunks behind the wheel, research's been done showing people can't really multitask, only switch tasks rapidly. We end up doing a half assed job on everything, including being present for other people whether other drives whose life depends on you being sober and focused but also friends and relatives. I've seen countless parents focused on their phones not paying attention to their kids, which is really sad.

It's craziness as people could be much more productive if they did one thing at a time. That said, people who have the television running all the time probably aren't seeking to optimize their productivity.


> I sort of get it now why USA import shows have the weird breaks though.

That's a direct result of networks dictating the # of commercial breaks in the show.

Watching a show like Battlestar Galactica is a bit odd because they liked to have dramatic little climaxes right before a commercial break.


If only it didn't affect athletic contests--maybe they could play a baseball game in two and a half hours again.

Sports?

I remember a scene on the simpsons where marge stopped mid conversation and got a broom and swept up all the ads on the bottom of the screen.

> The second is ads during programs. I mean not even having the courtesy to pause but instead overimpose.

As an American it's sort of funny because it's been so long since I watched broadcast/cable TV (10 years?) that I don't think this even existed at that time and I have to sort of imagine what this would look like.


I cord cut 10+ years ago as well, but they've been doing the "overimpose" since the 90's. Almost all of the broadcast stations do this, typically they advertise the next program, or other television programs playing on other days.

Ah, you mean like little bars that pop up at the bottom for like 10 seconds? I guess I have seen those now that you mention it.

If you imagine you escape ads when you pay for content, you're going to be disappointed. Even Netflix does paid product placement in 74% of its original series [1]

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-hulu-netflix-driving-...


That's different. It's waaaay less disruptive to see a Toyota logo in the background than to stop the whole show for 5 minutes or show those awful pop-over ads.

Watching US programming in a nation that hasn't embraced product placement quite so enthusiastically can be highly distracting. We have some, but it's relatively recent and comparatively subtle.

The scenes showing "natural" placement are often comically poor or heavy handed, with the logo always turned to camera.


That's still true in the U.S. too. It's always like a product that isn't regularly that brand, but substituted with the logo being heavily exposed.

There was one scene in errr, Designated Survival where they made a very overt show to display a BMW remote start function (via smartphone). It didn't even have any practical use for the episode, the dude just stood a few feet outside his car to start it with his smartphone because ???????

There’s an episode of CSI Miami where someone says let’s have a video conference and someone else asks but is it secure and Horatio looks right at the camera and says of course it’s secure, it’s Cisco.

My favourite is CSI New York - "I'll create a GUI Interface using Visual Basic, see if I can track an IP address"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkDD03yeLnU


Do you think that was product placement?

Cringe.

It's definitely interesting reading my sibling comments - their complaint is that there are product logos in the shot of the program that is being watched. I have only anecdotal evidence, and it's not even recorded evidence, but I'd wager that the vast majority of these product placement shots take 30s or less from the entire program (often 30m or more).

Personally, and of course this is just my opinion, but I would absolutely take product placement shots (even of the variety given by my sibling comments) over 2m of commercials every 10 minutes in the show.


I don't watch TV, that said I find product placement a pain, all those Apple and Dell laptops shown for no reason, the Nikon cameras thrust into the view, perhaps I'm to sensitive but some shows I'm annoyed by product placement shots every 10seconds.

It is, however, way more manipulative. Disruptive advertising at least makes it obvious that it is advertising.

Product placement, if well executed, is much less intrusive than ad spots.

An ad spot interrupts the story and flow of whatever you're watching while you won't even notice a well placed product (Stranger Things Waffles, for example, are a rather good product placement)


Exactly. The more unintrusive the better. Frankly, I'd rather have subtle, subliminal messaging then to be interrupted by an advertisement.

Youtube interrupts with ads whereas I believe they used to front load the ads at the beginnng. I'd be way more inclined to respond favoribly to an ad for which I don't already have a negative association: breaking the flow of something I'm already watching.

I can't imagine anyone getting interrupted then buying the product who's advertising just abruptly interrupted something. I wonder how the analytics work on ads meaning what do they consider a success? Just that the ad played? Some action by the user?


> Youtube interrupts with ads whereas I believe they used to front load the ads at the beginnng. I'd be way more inclined to respond favoribly to an ad for which I don't already have a negative association: breaking the flow of something I'm already watching.

Just like web browsing after ad blocking as compared to before, I've found that using youtube-dl (https://youtube-dl.org) just a few times has made me way less patient with this junk whenever I accidentally navigate to the official site.

> I can't imagine anyone getting interrupted then buying the product who's advertising just abruptly interrupted something. I wonder how the analytics work on ads meaning what do they consider a success? Just that the ad played? Some action by the user?

My impression has always been that there is almost no visible penalty for failure in advertising—you can't easily track the people who didn't buy your product because of an irritating ad—that even what must be the tiny success rate is deemed worth the investment.

(I think that also advertisers are in the same boat, relative to this, as consumers are: we want our products cheap, and manufacturers would rather keep them apparently cheap by loading hidden costs (like data gathering and advertising) on us than actually charge us what they're work; and advertisers, presumably, want their ads to work, so the networks would rather use whatever extreme and scummy trick is available if it appears to give them a short-term advantage over other networks than acknowledge the ineffectiveness of that technique.)


Advertisers to tend to measure how many people are turned of by their ads. Atleast the ones that care. The lower bidders (ie the scum of the internet) who sell ads for the absolute lowest price. They usually don't offer any clickthrough analysis, it's just a place to dump your ad into.

Quality advertisers will tell you if an ad sucks and is annoying potential customers (they measure accept/ignore/deny rates of ads).

The internet is a great tool to have a product offering race to absolute zero in both price, features and quality


> Advertisers to tend to measure how many people are turned of by their ads. Atleast the ones that care.

How? If I don't respond to your ad, then how do you know whether it's because I just wasn't interested, or because I was interested and your ad removed that interest? That is, in this language:

> Quality advertisers will tell you if an ad sucks and is annoying potential customers (they measure accept/ignore/deny rates of ads).

how can you tell the difference between 'ignore' and 'deny'? (I think particularly of Pandora, which plays the same ad over and over and over and over. I don't mind it once, but, the more I hear it, the more I vow never to use the advertised company; yet I have no choice but to sit through it. How can any company measure the negative effect they're having on me in this way?)


How long you stay on a site or focus on the page with the ad visible can determine this somewhat. If you quickly scroll by once the ad becomes visible and this behaviour is consistent with other pages with the same ad, then you're probably not showing a good ad.

Additionally advertisers do have surveys where users are asked about this (usually not many but sufficient to get a first guess).

On youtube the example would be the ratio of people clicking the ad, people letting the ad play out and people skipping it (and then likely also measuring how long it takes for them to click skip once it's available).


Thank you for the explanation. I wish very much that Pandora offered these (even indirect) feedback options. The music is playing in the background, so the page is never focussed at all, and there's no option to skip, so no way for me to voice my displeasure when the same ad comes on for the 10th time in a few hours (I'm not exaggerating).

Frontloading is still a bit annoying IMO but much better than interruptions. If it needs to be a spot ad or sponsorship shoutout then it should IMO be at the end. Lots of youtubers do that and I usually already tuned out when it gets to that point so it'll only hit interested people.

Product placement can vary in how intrusive it is. Reese's Pieces in ET is an example of good product placement.

It's when it's obvious that it's a problem -- holding on the logo of a laptop, etc.

If a character has to eat, drive, or use some real object -- you might as well use a real one and get paid instead of having to create a fake one.


>Product placement can vary in how intrusive it is. Reese's Pieces in ET is an example of good product placement.

Another great example is Hello Kitty in "Ant-Man and The Wasp". IMHO, it's a real masterpiece - several seconds of pure focus on the product in slow-motion. And people love the scene, becuase it's surprising, funny and well woven into whole sequence.

Here's the relevant fragment of the trailer if you're interested: https://youtu.be/RPUH-FlVCPc?t=1m34s


I don't mind product placement, so long as it doesn't take away from my suspension of disbelief. In general, I just don't mind ads; I mind terrible and intrusive ads, which traditional commercials absolutely are.

The BBC does not run intrusive ads.

Product placement is not intrusive at all.


Some examples of intrusive product placement:

https://youtu.be/oQYwFND7rHE

https://youtu.be/ca6W7peL6s4

https://youtu.be/J8T2kZ8f6BA

Especially bad when they make a character say or do something that doesn’t fit with their persona to shoehorn mention of a brand.

Maybe it’s me getting older, but I can’t help but notice product placement, speeding up of shows, Netflix doing the opposite by stretching out shows with useless filler scenes, story arcs introducing unnecessary and tacked on side plots to increase # of seasons, extra sexual and gore content to shock.

It really ruins watching media for me. The last one I really liked was Breaking Bad I think.


> https://youtu.be/oQYwFND7rHE

Wow, that's really pushing the definition of product "placement". That needs another term like "in-show commercial".


It's not the only one on that show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfHuZ5qrYX4

Those examples should credit Ford and Subway as director. :)

I'm the same. The Netflix version of Black Mirror loses so much impact from the addition of 20 mins of dead filler.

Don't forget overly long and overblown fight and chase scenes that all movies must now have. They just bore me senseless. The first one I saw was fun, probably Blues Brothers, but even back then they were taking the mickey. Never the choreography and humour of Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Nowadays at home when a movie starts a fight against the hero, or the car (spaceship) chase I tend to do something else for 5.

Breaking Bad was the best series to come out the US in ages. Even they lost the plot with the insanely long shootout with infinite ammo and insanely bad marksmanship. Thankfully that was a one off so very easy to forgive. :)

Brit series go too far the other way and cram far too much into too few episodes. I've been enjoying Last Kingdom but boy are they spoiling it by cramming two books into every season, with fewer episodes per series compared to the US average.


The BBC is funded via the TV License, they're not a commercial broadcaster.

I find the auto play of the promotional video that's always at the top of Netflix to be super annoying; however, once I'm watching something, advertising's unobtrusive. I'd rather have product placement than interruption marketing.

When we lived in an apartment, we were required to pay $99 for an Internet + cable bundle with Comcast. It sucked so badly that one of the deciding factors when we bought a house was that AT&T Fiber was available. We also had every bedroom, the office, and the living room wired for gigabit Ethernet with the expectation that we would be using only internet based video services.

Now, we have three Roku TVs and two 4K AppleTV boxes (thanks to DirecTVNow). We subscribe to Netflix (free with T-mobile), DirecTVNow, and Hulu.

My dad came up and he loved our RokuTV so I bought him one. He likes it, but he would never go cable free.

With cable, you just turn it on and start watching. With the Roku TV, you have to sign up for an account, add channels, login to all of your subscriptions. If you have cable, you have to login to all of the different channels with your cable subscription. WiFi is also more flakey then cable. Then on top of that, they have to worry about going over thier 400Gb cap.

Can you imagine most 70+ year olds having to go through all of the hassle with five TVs? Heck, except for the RokuTV, all of thier TVs are CRTs, including one that I bought for myself when I moved out in the mid 90s.


Maybe that's one of the reasons cable networks can get away with all that crap: you Americans love your TVs (five TVs in a house? That's just crazy to my European taste) so the demand is inelastic. It's not like you're going to substitute TV with books, games, hiking, or going to cinema, so they can squeeze as much as they want.

How large are the houses? The average size of a house in the US is 2500 square feet. The average number of TVs is 2.3 (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30132).

But then again, it would be normal for everyone in the house over a certain age to have their own “screen” - a phone, a cheap tablet for young kids, etc. What’s the difference between the accessibility of screen that’s stationary and people being on their phone all of the time?

In my own house, we are a bit extreme with six - our room, son’s room, gym, game room, living room and guest bedroom.

Sitting down and reading bores me. I’d rather listen to an audiobook while I’m commuting or working out. Since I workout at home, I seldom just sit down and watch TV by myself. I catch up on TV while I’m working out.


I guess the difference between "being on a phone" and watching a TV is the passive consumption of content owned by huge oligopolies that directly influence the laws to control its distribution. In that sense it's completely unlike chatting with friends on WhatsApp or playing CS, at least while there is some modicum of net neutrality. The type of content, the culture around it and the laws intertwine and create the perception that one has to have multiple TVs around home, all hooked up to some monopolistic content distributor, so they can "catch up on TV" and avoid FOMO.

I know plenty of people around who don't have a single TV in their 2br flats. A few have TVs that they use solely to play PS. That's why I suspect the culture is a big reason why American cable can be so user-hostile.


I guess the difference between "being on a phone" and watching a TV is the passive consumption of content owned by huge oligopolies that directly influence the laws to control its distribution

How many hours per day does the average kid spend watching YouTube (controlled by Google)? Of course FB is for old people but people spend hours a day on and off FB. For a lot of people FB is the internet. (https://qz.com/333313/milliions-of-facebook-users-have-no-id...)

And my son has a Playstation. Guess what he spends a lot of time doing? Using it to watch YouTube videos of other people playing video games. Yeah that’s a thing.


> substitute TV with books [etc.]

Not to be snarky, but it's "replace TV with books"; to use substitute, it'd be "substitute books for TV."

(Yeah, I know language evolves, but Humpty Dumpty had his head, such as it was, in a warm dark place — '"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."' [0])

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumpty#In_Through_the_L...


On further thought: "Substitute X with Y" should be accepted as OK, because:

1) If a new use of language is clear, that's what really matters. And if the new use makes it easier for writers / speakers to use the language with confidence — especially when it's not their first language — then so much the better.

2) To paraphrase a well-known saying: Language was made for man, not man for language.


Cheers! I'll keep that in mind. As a non-native speaker I sometimes miss the finer quirks of English, especially when it's subtly different from my mother tongue.

> substitute TV with books

Books are so boring. Like snooze.


That's a great point. I find having to decide what I want to watch to be a feature as I want to be deliberate about how I spend my time and attention. I know plenty of 70+ year olds that are way too influenced by whatever cable news is constantly playing in the background.

This is most of the the difference between McLuhan’s definitions of hot mediums vs. cold mediums. More power to you.

I just looked that up. The idea of hot and cold media's a useful way to think about this. The only thing knew about McLuhan before looking this up was that his most famous quote, "the medium is the message" which is worth pondering.

>worry about going over thier 400Gb cap

Internet third world.


At the time we were forced to have Comcast by our apartment complex - and by “forced”, I mean it was part of the lease agreement - they implemented a 300Gb cap. They hadn’t introduced the $50 Fee that allowed “unlimited” internet. Even if you decided to pay for business internet, you still had to pay the $99 on top of the cost for business. Of course since everyone had the same package;, everyone also had the same WiFi router. We ended up stringing three 100 foot Ethernet cords from the router.

My parents live in a smaller town where their only choice is crappy cable. AT&T discontinued DSL but my mom kept her DSL service when they went for cable internet (long story but it made some sense for them).


Spectrum has "cable box in a browser" these days, so no need to fuss around with individual channels to watch on a computer.

It's flash, not sure it would run on a Roku.


The AppleTV experience is better. You sign in to your provider once, and other apps - with your permission - can use your cable login. The App Store will also suggest apps you are elibke for based on your cable package and which nes you can get if you upgrade your package.

But, that’s a separate box and remote he would have to deal with.


I think most 70+ year olds do not have five TVs.

The living room, their bedroom, my dad’s entertainment room, my mom’s office and the guest bedroom. Those CRT TVs last forever. My dads entertainment room use to be my bedroom.

Most 70+ YO don’t have 5 TVs

Amazon's ads for their own shows and services on Prime are becoming gradually more intrusive though. I wouldn't be surprised to see regular ad slots being introduced at some point in time?

I remember days where there’s we’re no ads on cable tv as that was one of the selling points. Also used to be no ads in theatres. I can’t fathom why anyone would pay money to see ads. I’ve been cable free for a decade and could never go back. Won’t even if you pay me to. Nope.

Actually, as the quality of service continues to decline, it will bring traditional cable TV to an end that much faster. For the most part, people don't accept this stuff, and they're rapidly moving away from it.

Some folks here may not be old enough to remember: Cable originally started without ads. The revenue stream proved to be too juicy to ignore.

There's probably a prediction in there about Amazon/Netflix/etc.


six of one, half dozen of another.

It can add up pretty quick if you subscribe to more than a few streaming services and with many groups going their own way we might likely end up back with group providers. What makes the cable free work for us is that it felt odd in this day an age to have internet and cable as both are effectively a transport method. Why cannot the cable provider stream over my internet connection at a discounted rate?

on a site note about speeding up shows, when watching most informational videos on youtube you can speed them up to 1.25 speed with no real loss in quality. some presenters are a bit long winded


This shocks me too. I’d at least like the option to turn off ads for an additional fee. No way will i pay and watch ads however!

in NYC, internet+cable and just internet were the exact same price, so..

Here in the EU (edit: at least in Germany), TV stations sometimes slow down their shows to cram in more ads. There are rules that there may be only one block of ads in a show of up to 45 minutes, two blocks in a show of up to 90 minutes, and three blocks in a show of up to 110 minutes. So, if the content is just under 90 minutes or so, stations will stretch it slightly, so that it comes above the limit.

Fancy that. The EU making some good laws to protect the consumer from the corporation. Lovely stuff.

"The unbelievable reason republicans HATE the EU. Click here to watch this sped up video!"

The EU tends to be more considerate of its citizens than "capitalism" would dictate. It's what gives it a bad reputation among republicans, especially those with very little understanding of the intricacies of a society. This being said the fact that stations are not forced to disclose this for every single show that is being showed other than "real time" is still a bummer.

I don't watch TV though but I feel compelled to have an opinion about it :).


For broadcasts in Denmark, the rule is that ads cannot interrupt a program. It has to be before/after programs.

Some channels get around that by broadcasting from other countries to Denmark though.


It was the same thing in Sweden during the analog days. But there was only one commercial terrestrial channel so only one channel to obey the rules. Satellite TV (which was quite popular) all broadcasted from the UK so were under UK Ofcom rules instead.

The one analog channel that abided by the rules would get around it for movies by inserting a "news update" in the middle and cramming ads around that.

The rules were relaxed in the digital switchover since it was clear that digital terrestrial would flop if it didn't get some of the satellite channels. Now it appears to be limited to 12 minutes/hour (and no ads targeted at children)


Not sure if it’s a EU wide rule though. IIRC the rule in my country is just a maximum of 12 minutes per hour.

Chapter VII of the Audiovidual Media Services Directive [2010/13/EU] sets rules on "television advertising and teleshopping". Maybe member states can set stricter limits.

[2010/13/EU] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2...


Bear in mind that (in my country) this is averaged over a 24 hours. So you will see fewer commercials during daytime but a lot of commercials during primetime such that it averages to 12 minutes per hour.

This is for Germany. I assumed that it was EU-wide, but it may be like that in Germany only.

Since I 100% stopped watching regular TV, watching shows on netflix, etc., so that even a few minutes of regular TV drives me crazy. It's the frenetic ads, the toxicity of many of the shows, and god knows what else that's crazy making. Now I know that it's actually sped up. How could that not affect someone's mental health in some way even a subtle way?

Same here. In addition I can't stand the wild swings in volume. Baby sleeping in the other room so you set it to the lowest volume possible where you can hear. When it breaks into a commercial, the volume seems to increase by 50%

Yeah, ads playing louder than the programming's been going on for decades. Also, it's worth noting that advertisers intentionally manipulate your emotions, including fear. That can't be healthy.

I'd say unobtrusive ads in search results, at the beginning of videos, etc., can be good. I'd feel grateful of Youtube switched back to front loading the ads to the point where I'd probably go out of my way to pay attention to those ads.


> it's worth noting that advertisers intentionally manipulate your emotions, including fear. That can't be healthy.

I don't know that "healthy" is the concern I'd have there. All television programming intentionally manipulates your emotions. That's why people watch it.

The same goes for... all other forms of entertainment, without exception.


Sure, but I don't want to feel a fear reaction from an ad as there's nothing else satisfying about it to make that fear worth it. If I watch a good movie and feel fear but, at the same time, I'm fully absorbed in the movie for 2 hours then I've gotten my money's worth. The fear helped me understand the characters better, perhaps. In good movies the manipulation's part of making the experience better, not an end in itself (unless it's a crappy movie or show).

If you're in the US, that's now illegal, and you can file a complaint: https://www.fcc.gov/media/policy/loud-commercials

Other countries have similar rules, complain to your regulator!


I can't view the standard practice document linked on the page, but I'd be curious if the legislation only affects actual loudness, not perceived loudness.

Even if ads and programming are the same db level, ads can easily be EQ'd to be perceived as louder


I am in the US. However, I read somewhere that the ads are allowed to be at the level of the maximum volume in the program, which sort of muddies the waters.

I also think they're encoded very very poorly, compared to normal shows, which can have some nasty volume spikes.

Besides sports, I don’t see why anyone watches live TV on a schedule in 2018 when both a DVR and on demand is a thing - even if you do have a cable subscription or an OTA service like Sling and DirecTV.

If I recall correctly from my time having Comcast, they don’t show commercials when you watch on demand after three days. I think it has something to do with ratings only count live + 3 days.


TBS has been doing this for YEARS. They use every trick in the book, but messing with the timing of episodes is the most jarring. And frankly, ruins a lot of shows, comedy is all about timing after all.

It was even worse “Turner Time”, where they would start and end all shows 5 minutes pass the hour to make you miss the first 5 minutes of a show on another network to convince you to keep watching.

https://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1626/why-do-wtbs-s...


Comedy Central is doing a similar but different thing. They're adding more commercials to a commercial break, so now a 30 minute block is like 34 minutes, creating a weird stagger in the schedule. MTV does this too, but they play catch up on the occasional episode by cutting out the intro completely, and their schedule stays on the half hour. Both are Viacom networks.

Probably that's why soccer is not popular in US. You can't interrupt soccer game for an ad. That's not the case with NFL, where you see an ad every time players stop playing.

From my experience the US broadcasts of soccer do have a ad popover the playing game on some games; often over or in addition to the scoreboard. It is much like an animated banner that you would get on a website. It does not cover the entire screen; but it is still intrusive. Of course there is still exposure to the stadium side banners, and shirt sponsors as with all soccer games.

If they are this desperate, prepare for net neutrality to become more important. I’ve already started to experience delays in streaming speeds and reliability. Please call or write to your representative and express concern that your internet service provider has a clear incentive to inhibit the free flow of information to your home, and that you are deeply concerned about this.

[2015]

Does this mean that the networks are creating derivative works of the content they licensed, and then airing that? Especially if they are cutting out opening titles.

Overlays and EAS have usually been acceptable, and composing the end titles with something else is a longstanding practice, but it doesn't actually modify the content directly.


Is anyone still watching network/cable TV?

Yes. And they are disproportionately heavy video consumers with indifference to how many ads they see.

Or is the TV just left on while no one watches? I know I have been to relatives with Cable/Satalite and it gets left on all the time even if no one is watching. Netlfix Hulu Amazon (usually) eventually check to make sure you are still there to save bandwitdth/licening fees. Weirdly some shows on netflix don't seems to ask too play next episode having woken up 8 hours latter and a season or so farther than I was before.

So happy to live in a country where downloading TV shows from the web is legal.

No more annoying ads and restrictions.


Is uploading legal too? Because downloading is legal in other EU contries too, but uploading is not, so you can't use torrent to download, because that uploads too.

So if uploading is not legal then you can't use torrent.


Yeah. Uploading is not legal. That's why I use Usenet!

Which country is that, out of interest?

Switzerland. Our copyright law allows for private use of media. Software piracy, however, is not legal. Also upload is illegal as well.

Comparison video blocked, copywrite claim. Disagree. It’s fair use demonstrating allegations.

With automated processes for copyright claims becoming so common, fair use is really getting trampled on.

Unfortunately fair use is merely a defence, not a right.

This is pretty user hostile. Glad I don’t have cable anymore.

This is how the death spiral starts for cable.

Well, isn’t that a standard practice in radio? The songs are a tad shorter and, as a result, a bit pitched up. Part of it is about ads, but mostly it’s about increasing the chance of you liking what you hear (more songs means maybe you’ll like one, at least) and not changing the station. If we can fit 11 songs in the space of 10, that’s a wider net.

Why wouldn’t TV follow suit?


No need to speed up music, just fade it out early. Pop music has evolved to be structured in a way that not much will be lost, survival and success of the most radio-friendly. Few songs break that rule and those that do are either deliberately short or way too elaborate for radio anyways.

I wonder if radio in the 50s used this or if it's the result of change in market (probably due to TV too) that made them consolidate into simpler format and more ads. In which case it would be a metaphor for the faux-death of TV.

What percentage do they speed it up?

Up to 9.0% now apparently.

Working link to the Seinfeld example on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6i1VVikRu0


7.5% for Seinfield.

Read all about it on a news web site that confine the text to part of the page in order to cram in ads.

2015, not new news

Reminds me the first time I watched a european version of lost. Being used to the show so much, I noticed the pitch of the intro sound was different. Then I realized PAL is 25fps vs NTSCs 23.976. I was surprised I could hear the difference at all

It was probably shot on film at 24fps, then a 3:2 frame sequence is applied to convert to 30fps, which is then slowed down to 29.97. This slowdown (known as a "pulldown" in the jargon) causes the drop in pitch of the audio.

(Sometimes things are actually shot at 23.976, so that they can be sequenced straight into 29.97 without needing the pulldown, but I'm not sure how common this is).

The other thing is that when converting to PAL, you have two choices - either apply a very complicated frame squence that I've long since forgotten all the details of, or just speed up the footage from 24fps (or 23.976) to 25fps, causing a raise in pitch.

So it's quite possible that neither of the versions you watched were actually at true speed or pitch - the NTSC version could have been slow and the PAL version could have been fast.


Pretty sure NTSC standard/transmission is actually 29.97. It was 30Hz when originally released in black and white and then some was dedicated to the color channel.

30fps (b&w NTSC) and 25fps (PAL) are derived from grid AC frequencies of 60Hz (NA) and 50Hz (most other countries). Kept the old-school electronics simple...


I'm sure ads are the primary reason, but 2018 audiences do expect faster paced shows. There's a reason the lede refers to Seinfeld getting funnier.

Jokes that were cutting edge 20-30 years ago need less introduction now. The easiest way to cut that unnecessary intro is just to speed up the show.


I read "sounds funnier" as funny-strange not funny-haha. :)

Another common practice years ago was simply to cut parts of a movie. They'd go to commercials and come back skipping a few scenes.




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