[clug] project, video editing,editing out ads

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 02:46:34 MDT 2015

I apologise in advance for derailing the thread and probably posting
something that I may have mentioned here years ago. Nevertheless...

Back in the 90s I worked for a company in Sydney where we had the
_opposite_ problem; we wanted to capture the advertising and drop the
programme content.

The company was Tart Research and the business model was one where we would
record TV stations all over Australia 24/7 on time-lapse VCRs. The
recordings were passed to our cube farm where rows of data entry operators
with headphones, TV monitors and dumb terminals would fast forward through
TV shows to get to the adverts. Each ad would have its metadata manually
keyed in to our database, then the operator would skip past the programme
to find the next ad break and do it again.

The resulting data informed reports that were sold to big advertisers for

dollars for a campaign that promised X time slots of Y duration on Z
broadcasters, our reports could tell them whether ${SHONKY_AD_AGENCY} had
delivered or just taken the money and run.

In the advertising industry of the 80s and 90s, guess what the common
outcome was?

Anyway, it was a fun business to be in and we tried all sorts of (analogue)
ways to auto-detect adverts without a lot of success. People watching
screens did a pretty good job.


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