Self-censoring upconverting DVD player filters inappropriate content

Summary:Parental controls take on a new meaning with the ClearPlay UpConvert HDMI DVD Player, which offers downloadable filters that can block objectionable content while a disc is playing. For instance, if you want to control how much sex and violence your kids see in a particular flick, you adjust the filtering levels (from No Filtering to Most Filtering) via the on-screen interface (shown below).

Parental controls take on a new meaning with the ClearPlay UpConvert HDMI DVD Player, which offers downloadable filters that can block objectionable content while a disc is playing. For instance, if you want to control how much sex and violence your kids see in a particular flick, you adjust the filtering levels (from No Filtering to Most Filtering) via the on-screen interface (shown below). The player then skips past the "bad" scenes or mutes cuss words.

The player made a splash a couple of years ago when it was sold at Target and Best Buy, but disappeared when a patent dispute landed ClearPlay in litigation. The device is on back order for $119.99 on the ClearPlay site, but is in stock for $99.95 at SewellDirect.com.

Filters are up to date on the Utah-based (of course) company's site, and are transferred via a ClearPlay FilterStick (a.k.a. a branded USB thumb drive, though any thumb drive will do), which you then connect to the player. You can request a filter for movies that aren't on the ClearPlay list, though I imagine it wouldn't necessarily be worth it for them to create a filter if you're the only one requesting it.

ClearPlay markets the device as something for "cool" parents who want to show R-rated movies to their kids without the R-rated parts—in other words, the parts that kids think are cool. And the parents who would probably buy a filtering DVD player probably won't want their kids to know such movies exist, much less watch them.

But maybe I'm wrong. Would you buy a content-filtering DVD player to protect your kids? Let us know in the TalkBack section.

[Via Engadget]

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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