Not sure if this belongs in hardware (since it concerns end content we see) or AHL or perhaps in a new area titled "Give me a break!" very disturbing “Yes, said Royal Philips Electronics. A patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said researchers of the Netherlands-based consumer electronics company has created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze up a channel during a commercial, so viewers would not be able to avoid it . The pending patent, published March 30, said the feature would be implemented on a program-by-program basis. Devices that could carry the technology would be a television or a set-top-box. “ Evidently the notice of the patent filing created some bad PR, so Philips made a comment later in the week, pointing out the technology could be applied in reverse with viewers having to PAY for the privilege of not seeing advertising, if they want their remote ‘unfrozen’ so that they can resume their habitualized channel surfing.