- A hidden feature on remote controls for TiVo digital video recorders lets viewers skip ads more easily. The “Easter egg” –industry jargon for a feature that is revealed when an unlikely series of keystrokes is entered — allows subscribers to make 30 second jumps in recorded programming.
The pattern consists of pressing the following buttons in sequence: Select, Play, Select, 3, 0, Select. Entering the same pattern again also deactivates the capability. The recorder “bings” three times to acknowledge the activation of the feature. Pressing the advance key on the remote control skips 30 seconds of recorded television programming.
TiVo spokeswoman Rebecca Baer said the capability was developed early on before the service and DVRs were made available and was meant only for internal company use. After some consumer research and strategizing, the San Jose, Calif.-based company decided to forgo disclosing the feature, according to Baer.
How cool is that? I also like TiVo’s agnostic response to the revelation: they don’t want to be seem as publicizing the feature for fear of further alienating the TV people (who are already trying to find ways to work around commercial-skipping ability), but they clearly are pleased that the word got out, thereby making their product more desirable to the consumer – nice Mona Lisa smile.