DISH Network rolls out 'Auto Hop' ad-skipping feature

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 11-05-2012

DISH Network, the third-largest pay-TV provider in the United States, is rolling out a new DVR function that brands are unlikely to be enthusiastic about: The 'Auto-Hop' feature allows viewers to skip over commercials, automatically.

The ad-skipping capability is available for the Hopper whole-home HD DVR system and works on primetime HD programs shown on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC when viewed the day after airing.

"It's a revolutionary development that no other company offers and it's something that sets Hopper above the competition," said Vivek Khemka, vice president of DISH Product Management, in a statement.

Other VOD and DVR options in the market, including TiVO, allow users to fast-forward through commercials, so they still are technically exposed to the visuals. This, on the other hand, will simply hop over the ads, as the nam suggests.

DISH launched the Hopper whole-home HD DVR system in mid-March with 'PrimeTime Anytime,' functionality, giving viewers the ability to record up to six shows at once while playing back HD content in up to four rooms. The Hopper also automatically stores these shows for eight days after they have aired, creating an on-demand library of approximately 100 hours of primetime TV shows. It offers users access to all next-day primetime HD programs broadcast by the four major networks.

With Auto Hop, a viewer can watch a show with the Auto Hop option commercial-free starting at 1 a.m. ET, after a show has been recorded to the Hopper's PrimeTime Anytime library. Prior to that, The Hopper's 30-second "hop forward" feature continues to work for same-day viewing. Auto Hop does not work on live broadcasts.