TabloTV Automatic Commercial Skip Premium Service

I have been a fan of TABLO for years now.  I even had the pleasure of being featured by them in a Q&A session on their blog.  For the past few months, I have been participating in an open beta of the Automatic Commercial Skip technology they are planning on rolling out to all their devices.  The technology uses cloud servers and metadata to identify where commercials appear in your recordings and then instruct the devices to automatically skip them during playback. 

It’s been a pretty neat feature overall. 

Today, I received an email to notify me that the feature is exiting beta and will be offered as a premium add-on service.  For either a monthly charge of 2 bucks a month or 20 dollars annually, you can continue to use the feature past February 6th, 2020.  I have had the Lifetime data service enabled on my device but this additional premium service is not covered by the lifetime subscription.   The main justification behind the additional charges is to pay for the cloud infrastructure that is needed to process all the metadata for every recording by Tablo.  I’m sure it is costly and this is an interesting new potential revenue source for Tablo.

Will I be subscribing to the new Automatic Commercial Skip?

In short, No.  I won’t be subscribing to the Automatic Commercial Skip Add-on.  During my beta participation, I noticed the service was really hit or miss.  If the reception was spotty due to weather or location, I  found that many programs could not be processed correctly.  I also noticed that crafty Television shows confused the skipping algorithm forcing me to manually fast forward through the commercials anyway.  This is probably the main reason for me not subscribing.  There just isn’t enough value in it for me YET.  It just takes a few seconds to manually forward the commercials, that tacking on an additional 2 bucks a month just isn’t worth it to me.   All of these little microservices are a financial death by a thousand cuts type of deal.  2 bucks here, 2 bucks there and before I know it, I’m back to paying cable company prices.  So much for #CordCutting.

So what else can you use that 2 bucks a month for?

You are almost halfway to the 5 bucks a month for Apple TV+ or ESPN+.   You are a third of a way towards paying for Hulu @ 6 bucks a month.
You can treat yourself to a monthly donut and coffee at Dunkin Donuts!
You can buy yourself a fancy Coin purse on Amazon to carry your monthly savings!

Final Thoughts

If more features are rolled into it like cloud recording, cloud storage, archives or something else I haven’t thought of, I might consider the additional charges again.  But for now, the premium service doesn’t offer enough value for me to subscribe.

Happy Fast Forwarding!