Review of an RCA ClearPlay DVD Player

With a discussion of just how well the filters work in practice: Add ‘Cut’ and ‘Bleep’ to a DVD’s Options

The funny thing is, you have to wonder if ClearPlay’s opponents have ever even tried it. If they did, they would discover ClearPlay is not objectionable just because it butchers the moviemakers’ vision. The much bigger problem is that it does not fulfill its mission: to make otherwise offensive movies appropriate for the whole family.

[…] ClearPlay works fine on movies that might, in fact, be considered family-friendly if relieved of the occasional gory injury or strong language – say, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or “Freaky Friday.” And for any movie, you can press the right-arrow button twice on the ClearPlay welcome screen to see a list of things the filter will make no attempt to skip (Intense Life/Death Situations, Intense Battle Sequences, Murder and so on). Nonetheless, had ClearPlay done a little filtering of titles and not just scenes, its arguments might have been a bit more persuasive, and the current court battle more meaningful.

But as it is, the evidence suggests that ClearPlay’s technology is not intended for families at all. It’s for like-minded adults, specifically those who are offended by bad language and sexual situations but don’t mind brutality, destruction and suffering.

Maybe every ClearPlay-sanitized movie ought to begin with a message: “This film has been modified as follows: It has been formatted to fit the taste, sensibilities and religious beliefs of a couple of guys in Utah. That’ll be $1.50.”