Broadcasters and advertisers have always been worried about the effects of TiVo like DVRs on ad-watching. Whether it's TiVo, ReplayTV, or a DVR from DirecTV, you can easily avoid watching advertisements on TV.
However, in future, skipping TV commercials may become impossible as Philips' have invented a technology to work inside a set-top box that could force you to watch TV commercials.
The new technology could let broadcasters freeze up a channel during a commercial, so viewers would not be able to avoid it. The good side is that the same technology could also allow viewers to watch television without advertising.
Though Philips has no immediate plans to use the technology in any of its products, if implemented, this could have a big impact on the way most of watch television. Atleast the advertisers, if not the consumers, will be similing.
Philips does acknowledge that the anti-channel-changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee.
Last year, Microsoft also filed a patent to charge people when they skip TV commercials and possibly charge them less in monthly fees when they do watch the advertisements.