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Apparatus and Method for Blocking Television Commercials and Displaying Alte...

Apparatus and Method for Blocking Television Commercials and Displaying Alternative Programming

Abstract

A logical unit and a commercial blocking program in the logical unit allow alternative viewing options so that the user may define the alternative programming to replace the unwanted communication. The commercial blocking program breaks all incoming television signals into time, video and audio components and is able to recognize specific commercials based on those components. Upon viewing an unwanted commercial, the user indicates that he wants to block the commercial through one of a variety of input methods. The commercial blocking program then prevents the commercial from being displayed on the user's television and causes alternative programming to be displayed instead. The user may configure the alternative programming via the alternative programming logic. The user may configure the alternative programming as a universal television channel, based on the specific commercial, based on the television station, based on the time of day, or based on an elaborate viewing hierarchy. At the end of the blocked commercial, the commercial blocking program displays the television program that was originally displayed on the user's television. Alternatively, the commercial blocking program can buffer the various television programs received from the cable provider and record segments of the cable signal based on certain keywords. The commercial blocking program searches for user-defined keywords, records television programs complying with the search terms, and displays the recorded television programming stored in the memory.


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