Commercial Detection Experiences


I think this is an excellent idea.

The changes to the comskip settings have had mixed reviews, and I'm always hesitant to run beta versions for software that other family members are going to use. But allowing for corrections, as well as incremental improvements is a very nice touch.


Wow! This is so freaking cool! I just had a play around with this tonight and it's pretty quick and easy to do. Man, I am stunned.

The things you guys do and come up with amaze me sometimes!


When you make the changes where are they saved? I looked in the comskip directory, but it looks like those files are untouched after the save in the Web UI. I was hoping to be able to correct some commercial and rerun an ffmpeg script to pick up the changes.


Please consider also propogating commercial fix-ups to other users who will later watch the same show.


A suggestion for a feature extension, for either comskip or another method of marking commercial segments, is to add a selectable ability to "auto-skip" past the commercial during playback. A windows-based dvr I used in the past, NextPVR, implements comskip and allows the user to select, at the client level, "auto-skip", where the playback will automatically skip over commercials without the need to skip via the remote. Nice thing about this approach is that one can turn it on or off, and nothing is ever "cut out" of the recording. In fact, on the rare occasion the skipping is innacurate, one can use the remote to navigate to the piece of the stream recording that was erroneously marks as "keep" or "skip". Worked well enough that the wife now misses it with Channels.


This is what channels does in the latest beta. See this thread


Only in the database. If you have the edl hack enabled then it will generate an updated edl next to the mpg. I can update the video.edl in the comskip directory too if that's useful


Thanks. I am wondering how that might help. Currently, I am using ffmpeg and video.ffmeta file to add the chapter markers for a recording. Do you know how I could use the .edl file in place of the video.ffmeta in the ffmpeg command?


I was watching a recording and I came across an example where commskip got fooled. During a commercial break commskip marked the end of the commercial break early because a commercial had a brand logo in the lower third. Does commskip do any OCR type processing on the logos it comes across or just a test for exists or not exists? The brand is called, shoedazzle.


Please screenshot the commercial editor showing the issue. The logo detector only works on specific logos, and you can mouse over the "logo found" to see what the detected logo was.


I don't know how to mouse over the "logo found", but I am providing a couple of screenshots. One screenshot shows the beginning if the commercial that comskip thinks is the end of commercial segment you can see the logo. Second screenshot show the section of the commercial editor. To fix my problem I would need the 150s commercial segment int the middle to be broken into a 30s and 120s. Where the previous 30s would be added to the first commercial segment and the 120s segment be added to the show segment next.



Logo detection was not used for that recording if it doesn't say Logo found at the top.

All three screenshots from the 150s segment look like ads (taken 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 through). Are you sure the last two minutes are part of the show, because it doesn't seem like it. The problem is the 150s set of ads got marked as a show, because the system thinks anything longer than 2 minutes together is part of the show.


So here is a screenshot of where I think the 150s segment should end but it doesn't its about 37s into the 150s segment. I am assuming the grey areas in the timeline represent commercials and the solid represent showtime. You can see in the showtime timeline that there is a commercial. thought it was related to comskip finding the brand logo, but I guess it is something else. Anyways, is there away through the editor to adjust the 150s segment? Only option is Is Commercial or Is Show? Not the ability to adjust the start and stop times.

Beginning of 150s showtime that should still be a commercial

Middle of 150s segment should be the end of commercial at 37s not in the middle of show timeline

real beginning of show timeline after commercials (37s in)


Okay. I think I am gettin this all confused. So, if I mark the 150s segment as a commercial segment it seems to work correctly. What setting is comskip is looking at the length of commercial segments?

So, it seems that if the last thumbnail looks like a commercial and it is selected as a show timeline, then it is probably safe to mark it as a commercial timeline instead?


The 150s block is listed as 2086.45s - 2236.60s. Converting to minutes, that is 34.77min - 37.27min. The three screenshots are from 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, i.e. 35.39min, 36min and 36.64min. Since all three of those are ads, that entire 150s block is just ads and unchecking it will combine it with the ads that came before it.

It seems like the seconds output is confusing, so I'll change the editor to use minutes instead and add minute captions to the thumbnails when you hover on them so you can tell where each photo is from.


Overall the idea of the editor is fairly simple. If all three images are ads and its marked as green, uncheck the box and hit save.


Just updated to the beta and tried the commercial editor. It does seem like there is a lot of room for improvement over comskip. To me a very consistent indicator of the show possibly returning from commercial is the tv rating badge in the top left. This plus CC or some other combination of things could be pretty accurate, I think.


I’ll also add that I was confused by the editor at first. I thought I was supposed to be marking the start and end of each commercial break. Once I saw the summary at the bottom it all became clear. Maybe some basic guidance at the top to just check the show and leave commercials unchecked would be helpful.


We are looking into this. It's not a perfect signal because promos for other shows on the same channel will usually also show a ratings badge (sometimes smaller), and the final credits sequence of many shows will not show any ratings logo at all.


Yes I’ve noticed that as well. What I was thinking, although the logic would be pretty advanced, would be to key in on the last of the ratings badges in a short time frame. For example, those promos are almost always 30 seconds or less, so if you detect another ratings badge within 45 seconds, ignore the previous one. So the detection would have to have some “look back” or “look forward” capability to figure that out, or I guess just some logic after the fact that could analyze all of the badges at once and only keep ones that are not followed quickly by others.