With the same fervor that consumers display when skipping commercials with DVRs, some network executives want to eliminate a certain Dish Network device. If they succeed, they’ll be ridding the world of an engineering feat. At least according to one group.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade group representing TV-set and other manufacturers, has named the AutoHop functionality an “honoree” for an innovative design and engineering award linked with its Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
One of the criteria used by the selection committee: the “product’s intended use/function and user value.”
The leading broadcast networks would argue that its intended use is to defraud them. As for the user value, they probably don’t want to say much. It’s tough to argue that something that saves time and helps avoid crass commercialism doesn’t carry some pretty nice value.
The Big Four broadcasters have sued Dish for launching AutoHop, which takes some of their recorded shows and automatically removes all the commercials. At least with traditional DVRs, viewers have a shot at being exposed to the ads.
Here’s a shocker: no programmers appear to have been on the panel that chose to fete AutoHop. Broadcasters might just blame it on the media since members were on the CEA selection panel, along with independent designers and engineers.
Accepting the award, Dish executive Vivek Khemka said in a statement what Dish has argued before: AutoHop allows consumers to do what they already do more easily. (That might be the embodiment of progress?)
AutoHop, which is part of a Hopper DVR platform, will be on display at the CES show in January. Lots of network executives attend. They probably won’t be stopping to pay homage.