Commercial detection in the UK

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Introduction

This page is to collect users' efforts at detecting commercials (adverts/ads in UK speak) on UK channels.

Ad breaks on UK channels don't follow the same pattern as those in the US, so existing commflagging programs frequently fail to detect breaks.


Ad break patterns

(Put any general info regarding ad break patterns here) Ad breaks on UK channels are usually shorter than in the US, and are usually separated by at least 10 mins of actual programme. (We don't have the same habit of showing a few "teaser" minutes at the start, followed by an ad break).

Ad breaks usually last around 4-5mins on the old "traditional" channels (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5). (These are sometimes known as "terrestrial" or "analogue" channels as they are the only commercial channels you get on the standard analogue terrestrial service). On "non-terrestrial"/"satellite"/"cable" channels the ad breaks can be much longer (and on some stations LOUDER!).


Approach

There doesn't seem to be any set pattern regarding fading to black, blank pictures, use of logos etc across all the channels. However, analysis of individual channels may reveal patterns that may allow commflagging of that individual channel. For example, Sky One is said succumb to Logo Detection as it doesn't show its logo in ad breaks.

Therefore, this page serves to collect user's successfull settings, observations of patterns, suggestions for potential detection methods ON A CHANNEL BY CHANNEL BASIS.

Commflagging Tools

There are a number of tools available which might be used to provide commflagging.

Mythcommflag

mythcommflag is MythTV's built in commercial flagging program.

The key advantage of mythcommflag is that it is integrated with MythTV and so can insert the detected breaks into the database automatically.

Comskip

Comskip is a Windows based program (originally based on mythcommflag?) used by a number of Windows based PVRs (e.g. GB-PVR) It includes a couple of extra detection methods not provided by mythcommflag. Experiences of Windows users can also be applied to Myth commflagging.

Comskip reportedly will work on Linux under Wine.

ShowAnalyzer

ShowAnalyzer or SA is a commercial/shareware Windows based program. Cost 28/3/08 is US$19.95. SA's author has made attempts at specifically producing UK detection methods and there are a number of user's config files posted on SAs support forum.

ShowAnalyzer reportedly will work on Linux under Wine.


Potential Methods for Ad Break Detection

Put any general methods that might be used here.

Silence Detection

Reportedly there is a UK requirement for a 120ms silence before and after each ad break.


Channel By Channel

ITV 1

Observations of Patterns

Methods that MIGHT work

Methods that have some success

Configurations

Mythcommflag

Place config files here...

Comskip

Place config files here...

ShowAnalyzer

Place config files here...


Links

Commflagging - mythcommflag
[http://www.kaashoek.com/comskip/ ] - Comskip
[http://www.dragonglobal.org/showanalyzer.html ] - ShowAnalyzer