ClearPlay is an advanced parental control DVD player that allows content filtering of ordinary DVD films, purchased or rented. ClearPlay is the technology that automatically skips over or mutes undesirable content such as profanity, graphic violence, drug and adult-oriented content, all in real time.
How it works
A ClearPlay-enabled DVD player is required, along with what are called Filter files. These files, which are created by ClearPlay editors, will know where the possibly unwanted content is located, even to the exact frame. This allows the ClearPlay DVD player to block offensive or undesirable content during playback of the DVD. The choice is also made available to watch the film in its original form, by turning the filtering off.
ClearPlay allows users to customize what they want to skip. There are twelve categories of content that can be filtered and with four different levels (none, implied, explicit and graphic). These categories include: Violence, Sex, Nudity and Vulgarity. Users will see a list, before the movie starts, of possibly questionable content that ClearPlay will not remove depending on the movie, scene and/or situation.
USA Today describes ClearPlay as follows:
Users choose what content to filter in each movie, via an on-screen menu — "violence, sex and nudity" and "language" — and further customize the category. For example, in "language," viewers can choose to allow "crude language and humor" but filter out "strong profanity," "graphic vulgarity," "ethnic and social slurs" and "vain reference to deity." In all, filtering options offer up to 16,000 combinations.
The methods of removing content also depends on the scenes and user settings. Users can select from four levels of filtering in each category. Although, if a user chooses to view a movie with closed-caption enabled, the closed captioning text is not filtered during the audio muting of the language/scene, and the offensive text can still be read. In some cases, the scene might be removed entirely, depending on the user settings and/or the discretion of the filter editors. They also accept feedback if people, for example, have suggestions on edited scenes, and/or disagreements with a particular edit.
The filter files interact with the player by way of what is called a FilterStik (a small USB flash drive which is included with the player). The FilterStik is connected to a computer, the files are downloaded to it through their website, and the FilterStik is then connected to the player. Firmware updates are also occasionally available for the player itself, by way of a similar method.
The Filter files are only available from ClearPlay as a monthly or annually subscribed membership. Unlimited access to the full library of movie Filters are then made available, which contains filters for various DVDs including most new releases. If filter files for a particular movie are not present, requests can be made through their website.
The United States Congress passed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act that explicitly clarified the copyright laws explaining that someone can personalize the playback of movies, skipping or muting content from playback of a DVD or digital download.
The end-user's filtering choices may affect the presentation of the movie, and certain plots or themes may be trimmed from the film.
- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1613345,00.asp I Can See ClearPlay Now
-  ClearPlay's Notes
-  Technology mutes, skips edgy content
- Snider, Mike (May 5, 2004). "Hollywood riled up over ClearPlay". USA Today.
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