Philips technology may prevent channel switching during ads

Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics has created a technology that may possibly prevent TV viewers from switching channels during commercial breaks, a report from the English Business News said.

According to a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Philips technology could let broadcasters freeze up a channel during a commercial so viewers would not be able to avoid it, the report said.

The pending patent, published on March 30, said the feature would be implemented on a program-by-program basis, the report further said. Devices that could carry the technology would be a television or a set-top-box.

Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee, the report said.