My TV might be self-aware.

Recently, I noticed something odd. My parents have a TV in every room. That’s not what struck me as odd. It might be odd to you, but my dad’s nickname is Captain Video, so it seems normal to me.

Regardless, a couple of weeks ago, we were watching a movie on TBS or FX in the living room. Because my mom was doing something in the kitchen, she had the same movie on the same channel on the TV in the kitchen. The weird part…the TV in living room had a different commercial on it than the TV in the kitchen. THEY WERE ON THE SAME CHANNEL! What is this madness? Does DirecTV have the ability to decide which commercials go to which satellite receiver boxes?

I noticed this phenomenon happen while watching the NFL Mix channel. It’s that channel that shows all the NFL games (that aren’t blacked out) all at once on four to eight mini-screens. It was the time of the four games. Three of the four games were being shown on a Fox channel. It just so happened that they all went to commercial at the same time. Because they were all the same network, they were showing the same commercials…until one decided to show something different. Now, these weren’t all the exact same channel, like TBS, they were different Fox channels, so I can see that maybe the one channel had to show a Volkswagen commercial before the end of the second half and hadn’t gotten around to it or whatever.

But let’s get back to the crux of the matter, why and how is DirecTV showing different commercials on the exact same channel? I could see a different provider showing different commercials on the exact same channel. It makes sense that they have some control over the feed, but the same provider on the same channel? If that’s not spooky, I don’t know what is…

10 thoughts on “My TV might be self-aware.

    1. MsChick74 Post author

      Both were HD and on the exact same channel while we were watching the movie. One had a DVR and the other didn’t, but would that matter? It’s bizarre.

      Reply
  1. Rudy

    Each receiver has its own id, right? So it shouldn’t be that difficult to target individual boxes and DirectTV probably has their own version of “cookies” used for tracking.

    Reply
    1. MsChick74 Post author

      Riddle me this then… if they can target boxes to show different commercials, why can’t they also tell who is in a blackout market and who isn’t on the NFL Mix Channel? It sucks that I have to go to an actual channel to watch the game. I want to pretend I’m in a sports bar while I’m home.

      Reply
      1. Rudy

        I believe local games are never shown on the Sunday ticket (and hence the mix) because these viewers don’t show up on Nielsen ratings, hurting local ad rates. So in this case, its not technology, but $$ which is messing up with the home sports bar.

        Reply
        1. MsChick74 Post author

          Local games are shown on the mix, unless they are blacked out, then they aren’t shown. If Tampa Bay is playing Chicago at home and they can’t sell enough tickets, it won’t show up on the mix for anyone. Non-Tampa markets can get the game on one of the Sunday Ticket channels, but no one gets it on the mix.

          Reply
  2. susan

    (almost didn’t pass the math quiz this morning……no coffee yet)
    the big question is what commercials show in the kitchen versus the living room…..were the ones your mom saw geared towards the happy housewife? (ie: cleaners, cooking, personal hygiene) and were the ones your dad saw geared towards the manly man? (ie: hair loss, erectile disfunction, sausage, power tools) when the tv starts to know WHO is watching and directs ads accordingly, I’m going to start worrying!

    Reply

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