On Thursday, the satellite-TV operator began offering its customers a DVR feature that allows viewers to completely avoid commercials—rather than just fast-forward through ads, as the old model digital-video recorders do.
The new “Auto Hop” feature comes on a DVR dubbed the “Hopper,” a device that has been available to subscribers since March. With Auto Hop, viewers see a black screen momentarily where the ads were broadcast, or a glimpse of the first frame of the first commercial. Then the show resumes. Consumers merely have to click an on-screen Auto Hop button before a show to enable the feature.