BETA: Automatically Skip Commercials

The latest beta app now has the ability to skip over commercials automatically!

This new experimental option can be enabled in the Channels DVR beta app, under the DVR settings section. Try it out and report your experiences here.


Ran a quick test this morning and it worked well so far as following the commercial marks go. However, the difficulty, which will likely always be the case, is that the markers were incorrect. I know they'll never be perfect, so here is a suggestion I have.

Since we all seem to have a sense for commercial detection working well (or not) on a show by show basis perhaps it would make sense to select this option when watching a recording. So, for example, have a button to "Watch with Commercial Skip" and one for just "Watch". That way we could select at watch time how to handle commercials.

Just my $.02.


I like the idea of what you're saying, but I'd like to offer my take on it:

  • Continue to have global setting

  • Provide option to disable within the episode similar to settings like subtitles/CC

  • For passes, provide global option for that pass to not auto skip.

Thanks. I like what you've suggested.

However, rather than "Provide option to disable within the episode similar to settings like subtitles/CC" I'd still suggest just turning it off before beginning to watch an episode. This will, in my case at least, be better received by my wife.

I tested the feature on several of my existing recordings. I like it a lot.

On the recordings made on the main channels the automatic skip was mostly spot on. There were cases where the marker was off slightly (1-2 Seconds).

On a couple recordings made on Sub-Channels (example: Avengers on the CHARGE Sub-Channel) it did not recognize the markers.

I tested this on 5-6 old recordings.

I never got it working well in MCE Buddy so I decided not to try it here yet. I do have a suggestion though, not sure how feasible it is. Xfinity DVRs currently have an option in their Labs menu called Smart Resume that I hope could work very well with your commercial detection. It marks the positions of commercial breaks but doesn't skip them. Instead it waits for a user initiated fast forward which it automatically stops at the next commercial break end marker. When the detection works well this allows for a single click to skip the entire break. When detection doesn't work so well the user can either play through the commercials or add a couple clicks to the end of a break to get within a few seconds of the actual end. To implement this recordings would need to have the commercial breaks marked but not removed, and the skip forward function would need to check to see if it was the first activation within a marked break and if so skip to the next break end marker.

This is exactly how commercial detection already works in the Channels app. With this beta, there is a new option you can enable to skip automatically without having to click the remote at all.

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@tmm1 - I am pretty sure the entire Channels community wants to reach through their screens and give you a hug right now!


It works really well. I was surprised it jumped the commercial at the beginning of the recording too, so that was a big plus.

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I no longer have access to the beta apps

Is this Beta available for Channels DVR on the Shield? I tried to update the DVR just now from the Web UI but it keeps saying it's up to date. Maybe it is being rolled out?

This is a feature in the client app, and to get the beta you must use the links on

Ah! Gotcha! For some reason I thought I was already on that Beta for the Android client app.

I am now though! Thanks! I look forward to helping test this out.

Ok, sorry if I am being dense here, but I saw that the Channels DVR client app on the Shield updated but I don't see that setting under the DVR section as mentioned in the beginning of this post.

The version I am seeing under About is "Channels DVR 2.1.4". Is that the correct Beta version?

Hmm we pushed out 2.1.4 tonight and I guess that is taking over for the beta build.

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New android beta build had been pushed to the Play Store.

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Will this be coming to the Apple TV app? I am quite excited to see this!

Yes there is an Apple TV beta on

You must click Accept via the TestFlight link on an iOS device, and then TestFlight on tvOS will automatically show the beta as well.

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Is there a way to get a new invite to TestFlight? I previously had an invitation and was able to Beta Test, but now it says I'm no longer enrolled... and can't seem to get the system to kick out a new invitation email.

There are no more emails, only the self-signup testflight link:

You have to open it on an iOS device with TestFlight installed to join testflight.