With Imperfect Fast-Forwarding Ability, What Gets Through The Device Glut

How are your fast-forwarding skills? Blowing through all those commercials for the iPhone5 or Geico insurance, or that trailer for the end-of-the-year horror movie from a major studio? How perfect are you when it comes to getting through all of it?

The TV Watch family isn't all that good at it, so we're pissed. No, we don't get our knickers in a twist if some commercials for a new cholesterol-fighting drug slip through. But we do resent something less obvious: late local news promos.

At the end of 10 p.m. dramas -- just before the previews for what happens in the next episode -- local promos will show deadly images of car crashes, fires or schools with police officers hanging around. All bad stuff.

If you are looking for a good night’s sleep, perhaps these aren't the images you want to have while flossing your teeth and later approaching dreamland.

This fast-forwarding inefficiency gives more credence to media research that shows some -- I emphasize that word -- commercial content is landing in the gray matter of our heads. It’s making an impression, perhaps resulting in our purchase of whole-wheat pasta we don't normally use, higher-grade gasoline or a pricier Starbucks drink.



We'd all like to think we’re perfect when it comes to our home entertainment controls. Consumers are a proud bunch. How many will tell you they fully fast-forward through all commercials to get to program content (which, no doubt, has some product placement for a new model car or new electronic tablet device included in the storyline)?

Research also says the rise of all kinds of time-shifting has actually resulted in watching more TV. TV usage continues to climb, albeit slowly.

Here's something else to consider: a glut of electronic devices and controls on the couch or your favorite living room chair. If multitasking continues to grow as some research suggests, where does this leave the poor, now old-school remote control in -- or out -- of our hands? (Forget about a less cluttered device area -- not everyone is using their iPhones or iPads as TV remote controls yet.)

So we are busy with other devices like our smartphones and tablets while watching TV, and as a result, are not quick enough to pick up the TV remote when a commercial break approaches. The result: Even more commercial messaging slips through the cracks.

Now that time-shifted programming technology is in the majority of U.S. TV homes that subscribe to cable, satellite or telco programming services, the next couple of years may see our brains and remote-controlled fingers going in different directions.

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