Self censoring DVD player, now at Wal-Mart (big surprise - not)

RCA develops self-censoring DVD player

While it’s unlikely to be on the list, I’d like to see what happens if you tried to play Pulp Fiction or an early John Waters movie on it.

“It blow’d up good. It blow’d up REAL good!”

Awesome. Maybe next they’ll make one that filters out complicated plots and thought-provoking conflicts.

Does the DVD player also automatically convert widescreen movies into pan-and-scan, too? I mean, as long as you’re going for the “mangle the original to avoid annoying idiots” market…

The article doesn’t discuss the technology at all. How in the world would the player know what constituted an inappropriate scene? I can (maybe) understand dropping the audio out of bad words (by referencing the subtitles), but nudity? Will violence be edited out at all, and if so, how much? Certainly, the studios won’t provide start/end cues that the player can easily reference for drop-outs, so how would it work?

I don’t get it.

FTR, it’s a stupid idea, too.

The naughty bits of 500 movies are coded right into the player.

Meaning what’s naughty and what’s nice is decided by RCA rather than the makers of the film or the studio that produced it.

From what I gather, the company, Clearplay (who has been in legal trouble for selling edited “clean” pre-recorded movies), goes through the DVD (500 on the list according to the above story) and tags the naughty bits. My guess is that the list is embedded in the player itself and when a DVD that’s on the list is played, the software does it’s thing - dubbing clean words and skipping “unclean” scenes altogether.

I used to work with a guy who a similar device that he rand his DVD player through. It worked by scanning ahead via the closed captions. When it found an objectionable word, it would mute the sound of that word and flash a cleaner word on the screen.


“I don’t give a shit” would become “I don’t give a ______ (darn)”

I don’t see the problem. No one is forcing anyone to buy this player. I can see where it would come in handy for parents with young children.

As a parent of a young child, I would not watch an R rated dvd until the kid is safely tucked in bed. If it was PG rated, I would view the material first to see whether it is suitable for family viewing or not. In any case, the little tot is only interested (for now) in Pixar’s or Disney’s latest feature.

I’m not going to let a machine do the thinking for me. I’m not that lazy. :smiley:

The problem is not with the tech per se but with the inevitable push by social conservatives to make it mandatory for all. I actually have no problem with folks who don’t wanna see nudity, hear profanity, etc., except for that nasty subset of that group who want to avoid them by rendering them totally unavailable for everyone.

I keep forgetting, who was it that pushed that whole V-chip thing through?

And yeah, I agree this machine is going to lose a lot of money for RCA. But I don’t buy their crap, so really doesn’t matter to me.

I wanna watch the South Park movie on this player to see how it handles playing 'Uncle F**ker and the litany of obscenity Cartman yells out at the end.

D’ya think it will mute Barbra Streisand and substitute Julie Andrews?


I believe it’d just skip the entire movie, Mockingbird. :wink:

I think you’re being unrealistic. I don’t see “social conservatives” pushing this on people.

My guess is that there’s the current “trend” to clean up TV and RCA is just taking advantage of that to make a buck or two.

I don’t know that I would trust a machine, or even a human third-party, to edit out all-and-only the material that would offend me. When I’ve seen films that were edited for content before, the choices seemed almost arbitrary.

I saw American Beauty broadcast on the American Forces Network a while back. Words like “dick” and “goddamn” were dubbed over, but “faggot” and “fag” were apparently considered perfectly acceptable for family viewing. Personally, I’d consider the first “f-word” in the quote “Those fags make me want to puke my fucking guts out” more offensive than the second, but the censors disagree with me. (Although in this case I don’t actually consider the use of “fag” offensive, as the context makes it clear that the quote is intended as a criticism of homophobia rather than support for it.) I know there have also been movies in which nudity was censored for television, but violence was left alone.

There might perhaps be some value in a device that would allow users to choose what sort of material they didn’t want to see/hear, but what’s the point in letting someone else decide for you if you don’t even know that their standards are anything like your own?

Just noticed it’s a French-owned company. Should explain a little there. :wink:

I noticed that no one has actually included info on how the DVD player works…

You can find it here

(my emphasis)

So the end use is the person who decides which filters to use (or not)…a bit different than what is being suggested in this thread so far.

Also…the list of filters is updated every week (and downloaded into the player)…so it’s not just 500 movies.

To answer the question about Southpark or Pulp Fiction etc that seems to be producing the giggles…apparently the “end result is similar to an airline or television presentation of the movie.”

I would imagine that the versions of your more objectionable movies would be a lot like the “edited for content” Sopranos from the MadTV sketch.

Sadly, I can think of several of my :frowning: family members that would be among the first in line once this became available.

Well, that’s a bit different then! Thanks for the info. I wonder what kind of settings they have? I couldn’t find a list on the website. I think leaving these things up to a third-party is still iffy, but if it really does allow the user a large level of control it might be of benefit to sensitive or squeamish movie watchers.

If the objectionable content for the movies is coded into the DVD player, how will it work for future movies? Some R-rated movie made in 2005 obviously won’t be included in a player sold in 2004. Will there be upgrade chips or will people have to buy a new machine every year?