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Use PlayOn To Skip Hulu Commercials

Hulu is a great service, except for the commercials. I’ve seen all the Geico commercials more times than I can count (though I still enjoy the “Pen Mightier Than the Sword” one), and my wife is downright hostile to the Chase Sapphire commercials. It turns out that there’s a simple method to use PlayOn to skip commercials. Let me break it down for you:

  1. Start the video in PlayOn
  2. Press pause
  3. Get a drink or snack, move the cat, or otherwise occupy yourself for 2 to 3 minutes
  4. Resume watching
  5. Fast-forward when a commercial comes on

The PlayOn servier (aka computer) continues recording the TV show while the client (Roku box or iPad) is still attached. This extra recording time gives room to fast forward after a few minutes buffer is built. Presumably, the commercial skipping ability should also be present in PlayLater, the first compelling argument for getting PlayLater.

The fast forward is dead simple when using an iPad. The video progress bar at the top of the iPad window constantly refreshes with the latest duration. Since the PlayOn iOS app supports AirPlay, this makes the iPad + AppleTV2 a powerfully friendly video destination for PlayOn.

With the Roku box, a bit of finesse is needed to get a perfect fast forward. We’ve gotten the 30 second jump down around our house and it’s been a wonderful improvement in Hulu watching. I will add that we still watch commercials when we haven’t seen them 10 times. But, I promise you, those Chase commercials won’t suddenly make me love their credit card. Gold paint or not.