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The Big Red 30 Second Mute Button

Mutes the TV for 30 seconds (and is big... and red).
  (+9, -3)
(+9, -3)
  [vote for,

The big red 30 second mute button would be a large easy to hit button on my TV remote that, when pressed mutes the sound of the TV for 30 seconds. Multiple presses (within one second of the last press) would add 30 seconds per press. Pressing the button more than a second after the last press would cancel the mute.

The big red 30 second mute button could be used several ways:
• Mute that advert that I really hate. Most TV ads in the UK seem to be about 30 seconds long. Hit the button once when the offending as starts. Hit it again if the offending ad is still there when the sounds comes up. Hit the button while the sound is down if the trauma is over within the 30 seconds and you happen to look up.
• Mute the entire ad break. Ad breaks tend to vary in length at different times of day so I'd have to guage this carefully, but I can hit the button multiple times and get the sound back on 30 or so seconds before the programme starts again.
• Mute for longer. Hit the 30 second mute twice when the phone rings. If the phone call looks like it's going to take more than a minute, hit the normal mute (small normal button) and let that take over. (works for me as my phone is cordless so I can carry it over to the TV)

Why's it a big button?
So that your response time whenever an annoyingly painful (or even painfully annoying) ad appears.

What's wrong with a normal mute button?
I tend to amuse myself by reading a paragraph of a magazine, looking at the halfbakery on my laptop or chatting to someone when the ad breaks some on. I'll quite often mute the tv if I'm taking to a friend otherwise I'll let the tv run and subliminally absorb the ads unless they annoy me (in which case I'll mute them). When this happens I often get absorbed in what I'm doing and forget to turn the sound back on, missing a few minutes of what might be vital plot.

Now I know that TV remotes are varied and common devices. If one of them out there has the time limit on it (even without the bigness redness of button), I be interested to know.

st3f, Apr 21 2006

Decoding IR http://www.microchi...24&appnote=en011039
Learn the secrets of your remote control [kbecker, Apr 22 2006]

A blog talking about Philips' patent http://blog.activeh...hilips_patent_.html
[Dub, Apr 25 2006]


       does it come in blue?   


       driving along in my car yesterday, Kelly Clarkson's annoying record came on the radio and I banged in a tape before I remembered that I have no idea where the eject button is and that "Sven, Sven, Sven..." crashed my audio system the last time I played it.
po, Apr 21 2006

       It sounds to me like this really wants to be functionality built in to the television itself, actuated by the remote of course.   

       With a fully programmable remote, it should be no real challenge to issue a mute command and then 30 seconds later issue another. But, if the remote isn't pointed at the the TV when the "unmute" second command is sent, the sound would remain muted.   

       I can also see a relatively easy (depending on what you know about IR, microcontroller programming and digital electronics) way to build an add-on to the television that would bypass the "pointing at the set" issue. Unless you have a headphone jack on your TV or run external speakers, my idea would require access to the speaker wires inside the set.   

       "...I be interested to know."
Writing in the 'str33t st3f' persona again? ;-)
half, Apr 21 2006

       I and I is always str33t, half.   

       I didn't think of the idea of putting this into a custom remote. That would work well and sounds like a marketable product. A small display on the top of the remote could tell you how may blocks of 30 seconds are remaining (since the TV is no longer aware of what is really going on).
st3f, Apr 21 2006

       Yes yes yes, especially for Sheila's Wheels.
calum, Apr 21 2006

       My remote has a "Jump forward thirty seconds" button, and a "Hop back ten seconds" button. Makes it really easy to skip past the commercials.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 21 2006

       Can you keep pressing the jump forward button? I want to know what happens in the next series of lost
miasere, Apr 21 2006

       All the way to the end of the episode.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 21 2006

       The button should be so big that you can reach it from any room in the house. Bathroom (in case you're trapped in there when the obnoxious loud ad comes on); kitchen, etc.   

       Or maybe a huge red button in every room.
phundug, Apr 21 2006

       and all of them are useless except for the one on the remote.
The Guy On The Couch, Apr 21 2006

       "The button should be so big that you can reach it from any room in the house."
I was picturing a button not quite so large.
st3f, Apr 21 2006

       One could build a spring loaded addon for a regular remote. One would move it back to push the mute button the first time, thus winding the spring. The spring slowly unwinds in a kitchen timer fashion, bringing the mute button pusher around to bear on the botton. At the end of the allotted time the mute button is pushed again, unmuting the TV. The spring loaded addon should be in the form of a kookaburra or some other bird witha large pecky bill. It could be red, possibly with the use of small red-dyed feathers.
bungston, Apr 21 2006

       You could start your R&D effort with a PIC ->link .   

       Usually remotes will be just out of your reach, so a button may annoy you more than help. Consider a microphone and a key phrase like "Gimme some peace!". Of course, any person you really want to talk during the ad should be informed of this in advance.
kbecker, Apr 22 2006

       I like this concept, adverts irritate the hell out of me.   

       Perhaps you have a 'movie' setting on the control that actually detects when a movie is stopped for the adverts to come on. Movies and other features must have a certain signature, or be slightly different to adverts with respect to colour and tone .. perhaps your system could detect when that colourset/tone changes and mute the sound, putting it back when it detects the movie returning.   

       Failing that, you could have a remote that disables the sound for about 30 seconds .. :P
kuupuuluu, Apr 24 2006

       'nother take on the gizmo, given what has been given so far and interpreted so as to be buildable within my existing set of skills:   

       • Thin, discreetly packaged device has IR receiver on the front, IR transmitter on the back and a microcontroller somewhere electronically in between.
• The device is applied with sticky tape or similar to cover and physically block the IR receiver window on the television and put the gizmo's IR transmitter in view of the television's IR receiver.
• The device has the ability to "learn" like a typical learning remote.
• The device passes through all commands except mute, which it reacts to as follows: First press mutes audio (first press is passed through). Second press of "mute" within specified short time window adds time increment (30 seconds) on a countdown timer (displayed on the device, big digits) and is not passed through.
• After the timer counts down, device emits "mute" command to de-mute the set.
• Pressing "mute" during countdown mode unmutes the set and starts the cycle again.

       (That's the best I can do for a universal device and a clean UI without putting actual thought in to it.)
half, Apr 24 2006

       This is an excellent idea. I drink quite alot of gin while i'm watching television, so if the button could be made about the size of a large dinner plate it'd be even better.
Mr Ham, Apr 24 2006

       That's pretty good, half. Since I had, while writing the idea, considered the idea only as a factory-built feature. Your idea putting the feature into a universal remote opens things up a bit.   

       My vision of a part-baked version of this would be a single button remote with seven or eight LEDs showing how many 30 second blocks have been selected. My reasoning is that I like the idea of a button that you can find and hit at a moment's notice... and the mute on my remote just isn't big enough.   

       (Sorry po... I missed your blue comment. It might have to be some colour other than red, to avoid confusing those that keep getting told to 'push the red button now' by proponents of UK digital television.)
st3f, Apr 24 2006

       They should stop saying that anyway, Live snooker coverage, just push the red button now, not on my television in the Netherlands, bastards.
zeno, Apr 25 2006

       'Interactive TV' .. it's only interactive when they want to spam you.
kuupuuluu, Apr 25 2006

       Ideally, universal remotes would come with an API and a development kit so you could write a "30 second mute" program on your PC and download it onto the remote.
hippo, Apr 25 2006

       //po's wish for blue // she's just bloody awkward.
po, Apr 25 2006

       // universal remotes would come with an API and a development kit // Baked: Philips Pronto.
coprocephalous, Apr 25 2006

       Cracking Idea! Improved only by removing the timer, and replacing it with a mechanism governed by the SPL(volume -or something) of the audio - (they always "turn-up" ads)   

       [copro] didn't Philips just patent a video that prevented people skipping ads, just recently? - At first I hoped they were being nice, and creating a patent to prevent anyone else doing this, then I heard that you can disable the mechanisms by paying them a fee! cynics
Dub, Apr 25 2006

       TV Turn Off Week (reminder)   

       Also, [bungston]'s anno's right on target for proper halfbaking here.
sophocles, Apr 25 2006


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