Dish tweaks its ad-skipping AutoHop feature

Dish subscribers who use its AutoHop commercial skipping feature may have noticed some recent tweaks to the device.

The AutoHop, a controversial feature Dish has been offering since May, makes it easier for subscribers to skip commercials from shows recorded off of broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. As of yet, the AutoHop is not available for use on cable channels or smaller broadcast networks such as the CW or ION.

Three of the networks -- CBS, NBC and Fox -- have filed suit declaring the AutoHop violates their copyright. There are also charges that the AutoHop in essence creates an illegal video-on-demand service.

Some of the changes Dish has made to its AutoHop, first reported by Variety, seem designed to potentially legally defuse some of these issues with the networks, at least in the eyes of the court.

For example, previously when the AutoHop was activated it would automatically record broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Now, subscribers can choose which networks they want recorded.


Also, now when Dish asks subscribers to enable AutoHop and allow it to skip commercials, the “no” box is checked by default instead of the “yes” box.

That means a subscriber who wants an ad skipped now has to take an extra step for that to happen.


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