How do you prefer to handle them?

(TV commercials, that is.)

Mute and mostly ignore.

If I’m watching something I’ve recorded (which is how I watch most stuff on broadcast tv that I’m interested in) I fastforward. Unless I forget it’s recorded or just have the tv on for the noise while I do something else, in which case I do see some commercials. I picked ‘some are better’ b/c well, I do like creative commercials.

I’ve been known to stop the ff and watch commercials I particularly like, in fact. (“That’s not how that works! That’s not how any of this works!”–I’m looking at YOU!)

If it’s on the DVR and I’m on the exercise bike, I fast forward through them.
If I’m watching live, most commercials are background music. A few annoy me enough that I change I mute them if I actually care about the show I’m watching, or go channel surfing if I just wanted background noise.

I like commercial breaks, especially if I’m watching TV with other people. It gives me time to absorb what’s going on in the television show I’m watching, and talk about it with other people.

So I can’t really partake in the poll.

Change channels. I pick a random HBO channel and watch whatever’s on it for 2-3 minutes then switch back.

When I was a child the TV would often be on in the next room while we were eating dinner at the table. When the commercials came on, I’d get up and go watch them, then return after they were done.

Even though I love commercials, I have an aversion to buying products that I’ve seen advertised heavily. For instance, the first indicator that a movie is going to suck is that its commercial is played constantly.

Should be a multiple-answers-allowed poll, because I “sometimes mute, usually ignore” AND “some are better than regular programming.”

Yes, JKellyMap, I dropped the ball on that.

I personally get extreme and even mute the themesongs and pointless edge filler (“coming up next …”/“our story so far, in case you have forgotten what happened 4 minutes ago …”).

Not that I watch much TV anymore, except online. It was kind of a relief when C-Band went mostly dark.

The poll should have an option for “I avoid watching TV and get my mindless brain candy from the internet instead”

I consider that I have “won” if I manage not to know what it was a commercial for.

I forgot to mention. Sometimes a commercial runs in the background, because it’s just a good time in the show to go to the bathroom.

Yes, my favorite is when I can tell you everything about the commercial except the specific product they’re advertising.

No PVR. I watch them.

Even better than fast forward is a thirty-second skip. I reprogrammed one of the buttons on my Comcast DVR to add this feature. And then I will usually watch something on paid cable or public television (i.e., the channels that don’t have commercials) live and watch stuff from commercial television stations on tape delay, so that I can skip through the commercials. When you do so, it only takes about 43 minutes to watch a typical hour-long series.

There are all too many of those. I suspect that those who make them have convinced themselves that we unconsciously DO take in the name of the product. But I wonder what independent research on that point would reveal.

On the topic of watching particular commercials that one likes: I would always stop and watch the series of ads featuring Malcolm McDowell and James Earl Jones doing dramatic readings of phone-texts. I would STILL stop and watch those, were they still playing. They thoroughly entertained me!

But I had to do a search to find out which telephone-related company the commercials were advertising…which would tend to indicate that the commercials were not effective. (And they weren’t “unconsciously” effective either, apparently, because I still don’t use any of that company’s products.)

Other! I get up and leave the room. Take a whiz, brew some tea, re-shelve some books, take the trash out, whatever. I turn my back on 'em.

Years ago, I was finding raw analog wildfeeds of Voyager and Enterprise on T6 or T5, packaged for Canadian television, with short fades to black for the commercial breaks. They fed the entire two part final episode of Voyager in one 80-minute chunk, and from watching it, I could not even quite tell where they split the two episodes (there were no bumper bits or recap things).

Yep, I think it’s because commercials stopped telling us anything about the product. When this trend started, I was kind of insulted. After a bit, I realized that the commercials were better this way, and stopped caring that I didn’t know what product the commercials were for.

I love those too, but I am blissfully unsure as to the phone company. I think it’s Verizon, but I’m probably thinking that because of the black background in the commercial.

I flip to another channel.