Some companies say they listen to the customers. And some want the customers to listen to them.
Philips Electronics has applied for a U.S. patent for a device for televisions and settop boxes that would enable broadcasters to lock a channel during commercials, thus prohibiting viewers from changing the channel to avoid watching ads.
According to various reports, broadcasters would then charge viewers fees for allowing them to “unfreeze” their channels.
Philips asserted that the technology would allow users to watch television without the advertising.
â€œWe developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads,â€ the company said in a statement. â€œIt is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services.
A Chicago Tribune report said Philips does not plan to actually implement the technology in its products.
Maybe not. But while a TV that forces a viewer to watch may be good for millions of fingers sore from carpal tunnel brought on by constant channel flipping, it sure isn’t in line with what consumers want. My guess is, this is one feature that’s DOA.