Self-censoring upconverting DVD player filters inappropriate content

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).

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TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility
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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

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Talkback

43 comments
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  • Why not?

    I'd love to watch The Matrix and have the DVD player skip the sex part and adjust some of the filters for other parts of the movie (I'm okay with vulgar and violence).

    I'm in for a kick-a$$ music without me having to do some skipping. :)
    Grayson Peddie
    • Strange priorities

      So violence is all right but sex isn't? In most civilized Western countries, it's the other way around.

      Americans are indeed a peculiar bunch.
      gjampol@...
  • ClearPlay is AWESOME!!

    I've had a ClearPlay DVD player for about 2 years and it
    is SO VALUABLE! There are so many PG, PG-13 and even G
    movies that have unnecessary "trash" in them. ClearPlay
    enables us to truly enjoy movies without having to fast-
    forward or mute. Most of the time you don't even realize
    it skipped a scene! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this product!
    C Kocmoud
    • "Most of the time..."

      "... you don't even realize it skipped a scene!"

      Any movie in which skipping a scene is unnoticeable is probably a movie that's so poorly made (like most) that it wouldn't be worth watching even if it didn't contain material you objected to.
      fairportfan
      • Debateable

        Bank Job with Jason Statham (79% on Rotten
        Tomatoes) on a Clearplay skips the scene at the
        beginning with the lewd pictures and it's not
        apparent to the viewer that it occurred (I
        didn't know it'd skipped a scene until somebody
        else informed me).

        There's more, but that's the only specific
        example that comes to mind right now. My wife
        doesn't like watching movies rated R so we used
        to own a Clearplay to filter out the stuff she
        doesn't like and we were able to enjoy lots of
        movies (and suffer through some horrible ones
        too)
        p0figster
  • Not just for KIDS!

    I would not only buy them for my kids - but for me as well. I don't need or want all the trash that ruins otherwise meaningful and interesting movies. I knew technology would finally make something more useful! Thank you ClearPlay!
    llb8b
    • I agree

      My parents bought one of these and I like it. I don't need to hear foul language or see a lot of woman (or man) flesh.
      ricochet2200
  • RE: Self-censoring upcoverting DVD player filters inappropriate content

    Not for my kid.
    mheffler
  • I was wondering when these would come out...

    I think the idea is great. I have been continually surprized that the studios didn't want to have a 'TV' soundtrack included on the DVD. So appropriate muting is the next best thing.
    0ld_phaart
  • I'm ordering one today

    Thanks for the update! We've used a language filter in the past, but it didn't support component or higher quality video connections. Now we've got a solution that I hope will allow us to enjoy modern movies without the vulgarity and nudity.
    Technogeez
  • Yes! Finally!

    Finally can enjoy an otherwise good movie without the profane language!

    Sounds like the writer doesn't like the idea.. I guess you have to get past puberty before profane language becomes offensive.
    ddynamics
    • What about personal attacks?

      Do you need to get past puberty to get past those
      too?
      p0figster
      • As long as some people have a choice to do this...

        then who cares...
        Wintel BSOD
  • And i guess...

    ...you actually have to become an adult before you realise that language is just language and can't hurt anyone...
    fairportfan
    • Abuse...

      ...language hurts people everyday. Verbal abuse is real. You can learn a lot about a person by the words they use. The pen is mightier than the sword. Lanuage is part of communication, and that is everything.
      douttje@...
    • Yeah, that is what they said about Hitler...

      And Stalin, and...

      Words have their impact, and being exposed to excessive profanity will desensitize the listener.

      What you get is someone who uses the F-bomb as a noun, adjective, adverb and verb. Not the kind of conditioning that you want for your kids, regardless of your faith.

      If words and impressions have no impact, you should tell Madison Avenue. They know different.
      dcristof
      • So how do you stop it?

        Throw the 1st Amendment out the window?

        Some people just aren't going to cooperate on what you (or me) think they way things should be.
        Wintel BSOD
  • RE: Self-censoring upcoverting DVD player filters inappropriate content

    I have a ClearPlay and it is our main player for the family. I was hoping they would come out with a Blue-Ray version this year and the ability to download filters automatically, but I am tempted by the new unit.

    I would say the old unit I have was a bit flaky and have had it replaced once. On the plus side, I found their customer service to be exceptional.

    I find profanity offensive and easy to pick up, especially by kids. There are quite a few movies that have very little foul language, but place it prominently. MIB is an examble, the first word spoken is profanity, spoken loudly and all by itself. This device is great for that type of thing.

    I think of many more good movies that throw in one sex scene or a bit of profanity that is just totally unnecessary and does nothing to progress the plot. It is there just to get a harsher rating or for run during commercials to get the teens in the door.

    This actually was technology that was promised with DVD's. The ability to have a G/PG rated version along with the released PG-13/R rated version of a movie.
    nick@...
  • I got a ClearPlay player

    I got a ClearPlay player a couple months ago when Transformers II came out and my daughter asked to have the bad language filtered out. I had done another movie manually with a computer but it was quite a job. ClearPlay makes it easy. They had a demo set up at Family Christian Stores (Michigan).
    mikecollins1
  • RE: Self-censoring upcoverting DVD player filters inappropriate content

    What a waste of time.

    rparker009