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TV Station Logo Detector

get rid of TV ads forever
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I have a wonderful little device made by a company called Humax - it's a TV receiver with a hard drive, and it lets me record my favourite shows and watch them when I want to.

It has this really useful button you can use during playback - it skips forward 30 seconds, so when you hit an ad break, you just press the button to skip commercials. However you usually skip too far, so you have to skip back, so it's less than perfect - you still get the 'ad-break', just truncated - the flow is still broken.

I noticed two things. One - most channels these days have a channel logo in the top left corner of the screen - it's a static image that's alpha-blended with the underlying video. Two - the logo is on screen during the programme, but is removed during commercial breaks.

So I got to thinking. If the Humax (or equivalent device) could detect the presence or absence of the channel logo, it could identify the start and end of each ad break, and jump over it automagically. No more ad-breaks !

Detecting the logo shouldn't be too hard. All one would have to do is detect a set of pixels that remained constant from one frame to the next, over some threshold time. To deal with alpha-blended logos (typically a constant-alpha-blend to white) you could look for a constant edge in the saturation profile of the image. Or something. The precise choice of algorithm is left as an exercise to the reader ;-)

A successful logo-detection algorithm would presumably set off a sort of 'arms race', with TV channels inventing animated logos to outwit the detection.

bumhat, Dec 30 2007

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       Over here in the U.S. of A. we have what's called a TiVo. And Our channel logos are in the lower right corner of the screen, and most of them are "transparent", and some of them are animated part of the time.
BJS, Dec 31 2007
  

       bumhat is the best of all the nicknames.
theNakedApiarist, Dec 31 2007
  

       If it worked, the advertizers would have networks add the logos. How about just checking volume level. Here in USA, they blare the commercials.
MisterQED, Dec 31 2007
  

       [TheNakedApiarist] why thank you !   

       It should be possible to detect animated transparent logos - by measuring statistical properties of a region of the image.   

       For example, if you have a rotating logo, the average saturation of the pixels in the square around the logo will be higher (and more stable) than the rest of the image.
bumhat, Jan 02 2008
  
      
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