Commercial Detection Experiences


I'm looking to spend some time improving commercial detection this year, and it would be useful to hear from people where the current system works well and where it fails.

For me personally, I record a mix of OTA and cable. Commercial detection is usually spot on, except on ABC's primetime shows. On ABC (and also on some cable channels like Comedy Central), the last segment of the show where the credits are shown will sometimes be missed and marked as a commercial.

The weather here is pretty tame so we never get weather or school closing tickers. I've heard that when those appear it breaks commercial detection completely and that's something I hope we can improve.

Share your results below. What shows and channels does commercial detect work well on, and which shows and channels seem to have trouble?


I’m using HDHR Prime with Comcast. My biggest complaint is that when I do a commercial skip, I wish it would drop me in to the show a couple of seconds earlier than it does. When the show starts after a skip, I’ve clearly missed a couple seconds of dialogue.


I'm using HDHR Prime with Verizon FIOS on Nvidia Shield. I find that the commercial skip works very well the vast majority of the time.

I'll pay a bit closer attention to see if there are consistent situations where it's not working, but for the most part I find myself being impressed by how well it's working.


I watch of a lot of NBC shows, and noticed in the last few months they put a lot of their own show ads at the end of the batch of commercials. The commercial skip gets the regular commercials fine, but now we sit through 1-2 ads for upcoming NBC shows which it thinks are part of the regular episode.


The main metric used to distinguish show from commercial is presence of a logo.

Since the NBC promo ads have the same logo as the show, the detector has a hard time telling them apart. I've noticed this too.

On ABC, the first segment of the show sometimes doesn't show a logo at all. Similarly at the end, during the credits sequence, there is no logo.

On FOX, CBS and most cable channels the logo seems to appear pretty reliably whenever a show is on. If there are channels or shows where things are not detected correctly, keep an eye out for when the logo is shown and report any patterns you may notice.


I noticed that it missed quite a bit of the cold open on the early SNL last night. There was a banner about the frequency changing next week, but it did have a rating logo in the upper left. I’m with @ClubChannels in that it seems like the detection is slow by a couple seconds, but i see this on NBC but not on FOX i generally do see a couple seconds of the last commercial.

The beginning of the Friday Tonight show was perfect, then it completely missed the quick jimmy promo, which had the logo too and commercial break between Rebel Wilson and Willie Geist. Then the rest was fine.


Like a weather banner? The frequency of the OTA station? Can you take a screenshot of it via VLC?

The ratings logos are not considered right now. I'm looking into a couple ways to ensure the beginning of the show is never missed.

I've noticed this sometimes but it is not consistent across channels or shows.


sorry, its like a weather banner, announcing the change in frequency change tomorrow. for us to rescan. it didnt show during commercials and not constant through the whole show.

since im showing screenshots. here is the classic SNL at 9pm too where comskip missed the first part of the show showing the logo jump.

the show is in SD i guess, but the frame is in HD, so they moved it into the SD area.


What I would like to see is the ability to comskip only certain passes not all by default.... As I have certain channels that do not have commercials but it tries to comskip them.


You can already do this per-show in the web UI, but I would rather hear about the channels where you see this so we can try to make it automatic and not have to have everyone set things up manually. Even on PBS shows I record, it's nice to have comskip mark the promos before the show so I can skip them.


I have an advance pass to record all horror movies on Indie channel 832 and Retro 833 .. these channels contain no commercials so I would like to set that pass to not comskip … while comskipping all my other passes.

Horror 832-833

15 recordings scheduled

Categories == Movie

Genres == Horror

Channel > 831


I record a lot of shows on Fox News where it rarely accurately flags the start of the commercial break, although it does a decent job of marking the end of the break.


I'd like to be able to skip comskip on my NFL season pass.


I am seeing issues on the Disney channel recording Stars Wars Resistance. It does pretty good on the middle commercials but the first one always makes it's mark at least 40 seconds before the start of the actual show.


I don't remember what channels it was on, but when I had the DVR I noticed that the commercial skip would always put me a couple seconds after the start of the show after a commercial. I'll 2nd what someone else said to put the marker a second before the commercial is over.

**Edit: I am on OTA only.


It did a horrible job recording Murdoch Mysteries on channel 9 (CBET), last night--mainly in several times failing to detect the transition to commercials.


Comskip seems to consistently be pretty poor on A&E’s Live PD. (Comcast via HDHR Prime)


If you want to try some comskip improvements, update your DVR to the latest pre-release by holding down SHIFT and clicking the Check for Updates button on the DVR web UI settings page.


I wonder what it's gonna do when I do that while it's "Processing recording..." and "Detecting commercials in..."?


It will wait until Idle and then restart