March 29, 2023

ClearPlay Update

Some time has passed since my ordeal with ClearPlay and I wanted to give you an update on how well this player has worked for me.

Before I got a ClearPlay player, we had a player that had TV Guardian on it.  If you’re not familiar with the technology, TV Guardian reads the close captioning as the movie goes on and mutes it if there are offending words, showing you the close captioning during that portion of the movie.

There were three flaws to TV Guardian.

  1. Close Captioning comes in chunks—so TV Guardian wouldn’t know exactly what instance to mute so it would mute the whole phrase.
  2. Since TV Guardian was matching text without knowledge of context, you had to choose different settings based on whether you were watching religious programming, and you’d find yourself laughing when TV Guardian replaced “sex” with “hugs” or something like that.
  3. TV Guardian doesn’t work with DVDs from Universal (which is a lot of movies) since they use subtitles and don’t provide classic close captioning.

What makes ClearPlay different is that people actually do the work to figure out context.  So when they mute a word, it’s the correct context, they get just the word, and it works on any Universal movie as well as others.

The other thing they do is filter scenes while trying to remain consistent to the story.  I find that knowing that a scene has skipped makes me wonder why it’s skipped, but knowing that someone’s made a decision to cut it helps me to just enjoy the movie.

My biggest complaint with ClearPlay right now is the filter support.  Making sure that there’s a filter for the movie that you’re thinking of watching isn’t always easy—since it’s not always clear what format (Widescreen or Full Screen) is filtered.  You may find yourself with a DVD that you thought you’d watch with ClearPlay, yet don’t have a filter, and are faced with losing the money or watching it without the filter.  I’d suggest just writing the movie off.

So, check out ClearPlay if you’re looking for a good DVD player that’ll take language, sex, and violence out of your movies—it’s a good investment.

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