The DVR has pretty much changed the way that most of us watch TV. Besides being able to watch what you want when you want, it cuts down your viewing time by cutting out those pesky commercials.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people still watching TV in real-time. So what do those people do? Well, my husband has become a bit of a champion channel flipper. The problem is that he’s not all that good at flipping back. By the end of a random 30-minute program, I’d say we’ve caught maybe 10 minutes.
Well now, there’s an app for that. Commercial Break is a new app that can keep track of when that commercial break is actually over. Once the program starts up again, the app will send an alert to your iPhone.
The app has Digital Signal Processing built in, which uses cues from audio and video signals to distinguish between the ads and the actual TV programs.
“The average American sees more than 10 hours of commercials every week. Commercial Break is two Israelis’ attempt to help them take back that time,” said Haim Kairy, Commercial Break’s co-founder and CEO. “The idea came to me after channel-surfing one day: I realized that my co-founder, Eli Ben David, and I could apply our backgrounds in engineering and sound production to automate the tedious channel-flipping that we all do while waiting for our program to come back from commercials.”
Right now, Commercial Break is in public beta mode in New York City. It’s also limited to 10 channels (ABC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, NBC, TNT, TBS and USA). However, the company says that during this period, CNN, ESPN and ESPN2 are accessible nationwide, with TNT, TBS and USA available to East Coast users.
Commercial Break is free during the public beta period, via the iTunes App Store. After the trial time has ended, the company plans to expand to additional U.S. cities and make the app available for Android.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.