“Men flip around the television more than women, I think. Men get that remote control in their hands, they don’t even know what the hell they’re watching,” Jerry Seinfeld famously noted in NBC’s popular TV show Seinfeld. “You know, we just keep going, ‘Rerun, don’t wanna watch it..’ ‘What are you watching?’ ‘I don’t care, I gotta keep going.’ ‘Who was that?’ ‘I don’t know what it was – doesn’t matter, it’s not your fault. It doesn’t matter, I gotta keep going.”

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Jokes apart, watching TV has become frustratingly annoying. Sure we now have more TV channels than before, but the overlords keep increasing the frequency of ads. And man, are those ads annoying? On the Web, you have many options to block, and bypass ads and similar annoyances. There’s a moral obligation which should stop you from doing that, but at least nobody’s taking away that option. On TV, however, there isn’t much one can do except sit and watch an awful amount of ads who in return sip peace from your life.

Thankfully, someone wants to fix that, finally! Sensara, a Bangalore-based startup is working to improve the TV watching experience. The company has just released a new service called AdBreaks, which aims to help users keep track of ads on TV channels. Through its website and Android app, AdBreaks tells users about the channels that are showing ads, and the ones that aren’t. It also mentions the duration since ads last appeared on a particular channel.

We tested the service ourselves and were rather pleased with the accuracy. The company says that it utilizes machine learning research it did for about five months to analyze various aspects of ads and how different channels run them.

As of now, the service supports about 50 channels including some of the most popular ones including HBO, Star Movies, MTV, Channel V, Sony TV, Star Plus, Zee TV, and Colors among others. You can find the complete list here. There aren’t many news and sports channels in the list, but the company assures us that it is working to scale that up.

The Android client offers several more useful information such as listing other interesting stuff that are on TV, and what shows and movies other users are watching. The app supports all popular cable operators. Give it a whirl and let us know how you like it.


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Author

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.