TiVo didn’t confirm or deny the test when reached for comment. It told Engadget that it was “dedicated to innovation” in offering control over how you watch, and that it’s “investing in new advertising experiences.” It also claimed that its latest advertising units always let you skip them by hitting “skip,” although it didn’t elaborate on why that wasn’t the case in this test.
This doesn’t necessarily guarantee that TiVo will run ads before recordings, or for all people if it does. This may be used to subsidize or eliminate monthly fees where they apply, or offer free ad-supported content. CNN noted that TiVo aims to release a $50 Android TV-powered dongle in early 2020 that would offer the company’s internet-only service, for example. Pre-roll ads could help make products like that more affordable to people who’d otherwise never consider the TiVo ecosystem.