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May 27, 2004

Comments

Contrary to what the Directors' Guild says, ClearPlay does not prevent me from witnessing any of the offensive content Hollywood insists that I sit through when I watch movies in the privacy of my own home. For instance, while viewing the film "Regarding Henry", ClearPlay did not stop me from listening to all that foul language, or the grunts and groans coming from a porno movie theater that the main character wanders into. Instead, ClearPlay allows me the freedom to watch quality movies without being offended by behavior that I consider disturbing.

I'm have to agree with Mr. Booth on this one. Should the Directors' Guild just send a representative to my home every time I watch a movie to make sure the director's artistic vision is being upheld? What if I decide to skip a boring section of a movie and see the ending? What if I get up and go to the bathroom without pausing the movie, missing a scene that was especially important to the creators of the movie? What if I would rather watch Titanic with the volume muted and a Black Sabbath record blaring as my soundtrack? None of those things allow me to see the product as envisioned by the glorious creators of corporate art.

For that matter, since when do movie studios really care about artistic vision? Directors are constantly forced to make cuts to fit their movies into the studio-allotted running time. I don't think I see a lot of promotion of the low budget films that represent the pride and joy of unknown directors and actors. I do see plenty of ads for vapid sequels and summer movie trash. Is that because the companies are really enthusiastic about the artistic passion embodied in such cinematic masterpieces as Legally Blonde 2 or Catwoman?

Of course, there is the obvious statement too - if you want to see an uncensored movie, don't use ClearPlay! People who seek this technology out are the ones who want to use it. ClearPlay isn't making the decisions FOR them, the users are entrusting the technology with the task of sanitizing their movies. If someone doesn't want to watch sex and violence, why not allow that? The studios and directors are still making their money on the video, let the watchers see the movie however they want. A handful of people in Hollywood already determine which movies get made, now they want control over how we watch those movies? Insanity.

A note on how ClearPlay worked out for RCA - the DRC232N was pulled from the market this summer (articles here and here . However, the movie industry had nothing to do with the decision. Another company claimed RCA infringed its patent on a similar parental control scheme. For those who are really interested in grabbing the RCA ClearPlay machine, Circuit City seems to still stock it.

And a bad grammar apology for my first sentence in that reply. "I have to agree..." Sorry!

No harm done, John. Thanks for such an insightful comment. When I first learned that the RCA/ClearPlay dvd player was being discontinued, I rushed out to my local Wal*Mart and purchased two more machines to use when my current one ceases to function. The DRC232N can also be purchased from ClearPlay's website for around $80.00. And believe me, it's worth every penny.

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