Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,246

    "Smut Free" DVD player. Thoughts?

    Link to article about WalMart selling the first DVD player that can reputedly skip over violence, nudity, etc.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ilm_walmart_dc


    I was hoping to solicit your thoughts on this product. While dismayed, I'm not entirely surprised by the appearance of such a product, but let's consider deeper questions. What does this mean for those of us to love audio and home theater? Do we shrug our shoulders and say, oh well, I'd never buy it? What impact could this have on the realm of HT equipment? Obviously, this is a moral issue, but when we critique or recommend equipment, can we avoid ( and should we avoid) being dragged into a moral debate when something like this DVD player comes to the market?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular karl k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas, N America, Sector 001
    Posts
    254

    I don't really see an issue here yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Link to article about WalMart selling the first DVD player that can reputedly skip over violence, nudity, etc.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ilm_walmart_dc


    I was hoping to solicit your thoughts on this product. While dismayed, I'm not entirely surprised by the appearance of such a product, but let's consider deeper questions. What does this mean for those of us to love audio and home theater? Do we shrug our shoulders and say, oh well, I'd never buy it? What impact could this have on the realm of HT equipment? Obviously, this is a moral issue, but when we critique or recommend equipment, can we avoid ( and should we avoid) being dragged into a moral debate when something like this DVD player comes to the market?
    I am curious to see how parents will react if so much of the content is removed from the movie that the kids won't be able to follow the plot and will begin asking questions durring the movie. It might be more of a hastle than anything. This is just another case where the parents are trying to duck active envolvement and someone trying to profit by it. How many people actually USE the V Chip? Or the ratings posted on the cover? How do you effectively remove the violence from T3 and still have any movie to watch??? Can you imagine removing the violence from Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner, and Daffy??? No anvils, exploding rockets, and tiger claws slicing through Chesters body. Ahh, the classics!

    As long as this isn't incorperated into every player AND made to work w/o choice, I don't have a problem. There's just no substitute for active involvement by the parents!
    Karl K.

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line... in the opposite direction.

  3. #3
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,826
    I personally find it a bit ironic that a company that has such a bad reputation as Walmart(kills mom and pops business, racial biases, use of cheap labor etc) would market a morality product. Have to agree with you Karl, another I don't want to supervise my childs television habits tool. I don't like decoders that do creative mixing(DPL II) and I don't like product that do video editing on the fly. Thumbs down big time!!!
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Rikki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    59
    I am personally 110% against censorship of any kind, so I wouldn't but it. However, if parents want to buy a smart DVD player or a V-chip for their TV, then why shouldn't they ? It's just a tool parents can use if they think their kids are getting too much of a bad thing.

    P.S. I would like to see Scarface or Cabin Fever edited by that DVD player. Now that would be funny.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,720
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I personally find it a bit ironic that a company that has such a bad reputation as Walmart(kills mom and pops business, racial biases, use of cheap labor etc) would market a morality product. Have to agree with you Karl, another I don't want to supervise my childs television habits tool. I don't like decoders that do creative mixing(DPL II) and I don't like product that do video editing on the fly. Thumbs down big time!!!

    I think they are republicans at hart following the leader.
    mtrycrafts

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Scooter329's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6
    I agree that this is a stupid idea. It's the same thing that walmart has been doing for years in deciding which music to sell in its stores based on content. I just feel sorry for the people in rural areas who have nowhere else to shop. By the way I'm a republican and I don't like censorship. Us republicans certainly don't have a monopoly on this sort of thing. Tipper Gore, who came close to being the first lady, did more to promote censorship in the medias of both music and films than any Bush has ever done. I'm also pretty sure the V-chip came out during the Clinton presidency. Not trying to start a political argument here, mytrycrafts, I'm just not a big fan of blanket statements. Have a nice day.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    WalMart's basically playing into their market. Even though they're now all over the country, the company was built on rural markets and families in the Bible belt. The magazines that they stock, the CDs they sell, and the movie titles that they carry, are all carefully screened to cater to that crowd. Weighing the costs and benefits of catering to an audience less tolerant of edgy entertainment versus consumers who are less tolerant of censorship, it seems that they've bet that they would lose more sales by stocking "offensive" material than whatever they would gain by carrying it. Smut-free DVD players are basically an extension of those video rental houses that rent "clean" movies, where they have edited out the sex, violence, and f-words. Even though I don't personally know anyone who supports those services, I have read that they are increasingly popular in more culturally conservative areas.

    http://www.cleanfilms.com

    (offtopic: is it just me or does the girl on that web site bring up the word association "home schooled" to you?)

    WalMart's always been about dominating the lowest common denominator markets and meeting profit targets with sheer volume, not about breadth of inventory or serving niche markets. It's the same reasons why they've emphatically resisted stocking widescreen DVDs, and why behind the scenes they put pressure on studios to release cheaper movie-only discs rather than multidisc special editions. It's surprising to me that with the smut-free DVD player they would essentially stock a early adoptor product, but given that the feature will not raise the price of the DVD player by much, it's a fair tradeoff for them.

    Personally, I think it's a dumb idea because it relies on constantly updating the filters to fit whatever movies might get played on it (the studios are certainly not going to encode their movies to be compatible with this). With over 20,000 DVD titles on the market, I doubt that anything more than a small fraction of that inventory will ever have applicable filters available. There's no substitute for being attentive parents.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,720
    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter329
    I agree that this is a stupid idea. It's the same thing that walmart has been doing for years in deciding which music to sell in its stores based on content. I just feel sorry for the people in rural areas who have nowhere else to shop. By the way I'm a republican and I don't like censorship. Us republicans certainly don't have a monopoly on this sort of thing. Tipper Gore, who came close to being the first lady, did more to promote censorship in the medias of both music and films than any Bush has ever done. I'm also pretty sure the V-chip came out during the Clinton presidency. Not trying to start a political argument here, mytrycrafts, I'm just not a big fan of blanket statements. Have a nice day.

    What did Tipper try to do that you consider censorship, I don't remember?
    V chip is an option for parents to use, not censorship but a tool for parents. You want your kids to watch everything?
    It would be censorship if it was on all the time for everybody. This is a discussion, isn't it?
    mtrycrafts

  9. #9
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,246
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    What did Tipper try to do that you consider censorship, I don't remember?
    V chip is an option for parents to use, not censorship but a tool for parents. You want your kids to watch everything?
    It would be censorship if it was on all the time for everybody. This is a discussion, isn't it?

    I agree that no one political party has a monopoly on censorship. Just look at Joe Lieberman. But as far as Tipper Gore goes, she was a founding member of PMRC (Parent's Music Resource Center) and the reason why we have warning lables on CDs today. If you're interested, I'd point you to this link:

    http://archive.aclu.org/library/pbr3.html

    Let freedom ring. Just don't try to cuss or be sacrilegious or express violent thoughts.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    What did Tipper try to do that you consider censorship, I don't remember?
    V chip is an option for parents to use, not censorship but a tool for parents. You want your kids to watch everything?
    It would be censorship if it was on all the time for everybody. This is a discussion, isn't it?
    In the mid-80s, Tipper Gore (along with 17 other "Washington wives") was a founding member of the PMRC, which pushed for Congressional hearings on obscene and/or violent lyrics in music. (It basically started when Tipper heard her youngest daughter playing Prince's "Darling Nikki") Frank Zappa, Jello Biafra, and Dee Snider, among others, were some of the musicians who testified at those hearings. The short of it is that the whole process led to that familiar "Parental Advisory" warning sticker on CDs with explicit lyrics. Those warning labels are a voluntary industry system just like the TV, movie, and video game ratings.

    Some of the other PMRC members (which included wives of Democrat and Republican officials alike) pushed for stricter measures like banning sales of warning labeled CDs to minors, but Tipper Gore was not one of them. My recollection is that what she pushed for all along was warning labels or printing lyrics onto the packaging so that parents can look them over before buying (the CD "long box" was still the standard packaging used at that time, so printing lyrics on the outside would have been relatively easy), and was not in favor of governmental restrictions on sales. Whether or not that constitutes censorship depends on how widely you define it -- strictly in terms of governmental restriction of artistic expression or inclusive of private sector actions, such as labeling, as well.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    74

    My 2 cents

    "Darling Nikki"... I LOVE that tune! Such a great album too.
    I wholeheartedly agree with those against censorship, but I have a side thought. How many movies does the filter actually recognize? Would it do anything to my "Bad Lieutenant" DVD, or any other non-million-selling film?
    While I'm vehemently against the idea of filtering an artist's creativity, I have to applaud the fact that the player's filter is defeatable. However, there's much to be said for "If you don't want your children seeing it, don't buy it". If I recall correctly Wal-Mart requires ID for buying R-Rated films. I know it's far from impossible for minors to buy or rent R-Rated films, but the biggest retailer in the world restricting sales should put a bit of a damper on things.
    I read an article about ClearPlay a while ago in Sound &Vision, and from what I can recall of the article the number of films they had "cleaned up" was small at the time. I certainly wouldn't want an 8 year-old finding a digital transfer of "Debbie Does Dallas" and playing it back willy-nilly , but the majority of DVD players that I've seen and every one that I've owned have selectable ratings filters or "parental control" levels already. Is this the standard for players, or is my experience an anomaly?
    Oh, and I bought my uncensored DVD copy of "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" at Wal-Mart. This was the deluxe version with the unrated deleted scenes, several of which were forcibly removed to prevent an NC-17 rating. As anyone who has seen it knows, that film is a paragon of morality and virtue. Guess that one slipped through Wal-Mart's radar. Or maybe they just looked the other way when they smelled profit.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,720
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    In the mid-80s, Tipper Gore (along with 17 other "Washington wives") was a founding member of the PMRC, which pushed for Congressional hearings on obscene and/or violent lyrics in music. (It basically started when Tipper heard her youngest daughter playing Prince's "Darling Nikki") Frank Zappa, Jello Biafra, and Dee Snider, among others, were some of the musicians who testified at those hearings. The short of it is that the whole process led to that familiar "Parental Advisory" warning sticker on CDs with explicit lyrics. Those warning labels are a voluntary industry system just like the TV, movie, and video game ratings.

    Some of the other PMRC members (which included wives of Democrat and Republican officials alike) pushed for stricter measures like banning sales of warning labeled CDs to minors, but Tipper Gore was not one of them. My recollection is that what she pushed for all along was warning labels or printing lyrics onto the packaging so that parents can look them over before buying (the CD "long box" was still the standard packaging used at that time, so printing lyrics on the outside would have been relatively easy), and was not in favor of governmental restrictions on sales. Whether or not that constitutes censorship depends on how widely you define it -- strictly in terms of governmental restriction of artistic expression or inclusive of private sector actions, such as labeling, as well.

    Is there something wrong with that advisory label? That isn't censorship. After all, movies are rated for content. Government didn't ban the lyrics then. It may now though, thanks to Bush and the religious far right. He wants to get elected.
    mtrycrafts

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    Is there something wrong with that advisory label? That isn't censorship. After all, movies are rated for content. Government didn't ban the lyrics then. It may now though, thanks to Bush and the religious far right. He wants to get elected.
    At that time, I was more in favor of printing the lyrics on the CD long box, and letting parents decide for themselves whether or not it's offensive. (No longer possible because pressure from environmentalists killed the CD long box packaging) Tipper Gore got miffed at that Prince song because she bought Purple Rain for her daughter, but had no idea there would be a song on there with references to masturbating with a magazine. I think her daughter was 8 at that time, so obviously that content was not exactly age appropriate.

    I wasn't in favor of warning stickers because I thought that the stickers would constitute a barrier to trade with a lot of stores going on record during those hearings that they would not carry anything with a warning label on it. WalMart I believe is one example of a retailer that does not stock anything with offensive lyrics (kinda hypocritical given that they do stock R-rated DVDs). And there's no consistency with regard to the type of content that would get the warning label. For example, Ice-T's "Cop Killer" got a warning label not because of language but because of its theme (which was about a gang banger killing a cop), yet Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" with its references to sticking a boot up someone's backside doesn't get labeled.

    Warning labels are not censorship per se, but they have some of the same effect, especially in smaller communities that aren't big enough to support a stand-alone music store. In those situations, the only place in town where you can buy CDs very well might be WalMart. (But, with downloading and the rise of buying music via the internet, this issue is less significant than before) In a few states, some pressure got subsequently applied to outright ban the sales of CDs with offensive lyrics, but I don't think those catcalls went anywhere because THAT would be prima facie censorship. If not warning labels, I still think that something needs to be in place so that parents can at least know that there might be age-inappropriate lyrics on a CD that they're buying for their kids.

    I'm not sure whether to call this censorship, probably not because it's not an outright ban. But, it still has market implications in that the product is not as widely distributed as others. And again, that gets down to a definitional question of whether censorship stops at government restrictions or if it also includes private sector actions, which these warning labels are.
    Last edited by Woochifer; 04-16-2004 at 08:00 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Rikki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    59
    Good history lesson on the whole PMRC issue - Woochifer. Like you, I'm kinda on the fence on whether to call the "Parental Advisory" sticker censorship or not. It is a good tool for parents to know whether they want their 8 year to listen to some of the explicit lyrics that are out there or not. I mean you can't expect parents to know every lyric or even every Artrist. But as you mentioned, WalMart is bascially censoring it because they don't even stock it - or give you the option to buy it which I'm totally against.

    The PMRC originally wanted a much more inclusive rating system on records. Something like this
    V = Violence
    X = Sex
    O = Occult
    D/A = Drug/Alcholol content

    But settled for the generic "Parental Advisory Explicit Content" label which serves the same purpose, and is technically still voluntary by the record companies.

    I think Video games have a rating system too
    T = Teen
    A = Adults only
    E = Everyone
    .
    .
    .

    Again, the ratings themselves aren't a bad idea. It's when the stores or the governemnt decides that selling games or music with ratings that they don't think are up to their standards is when it becomes censorship.
    Last edited by Rikki; 04-16-2004 at 09:34 PM.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Rikki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike That Likes Music
    Oh, and I bought my uncensored DVD copy of "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" at Wal-Mart. This was the deluxe version with the unrated deleted scenes, several of which were forcibly removed to prevent an NC-17 rating
    It is kind of a weird double standard. Filmakers will bend over backwards by taking out any scene to prevent an NC-17 rating when released at the theater. Yet the same movie released as a DVD often contains the whole orignal movie as intended and many other "unrated" bonus features. What's the difference where I see it at the theater or in my home ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    V chip is an option for parents to use, not censorship but a tool for parents. It would be censorship if it was on all the time for everybody.
    I agree with that statement. It would be censorship if you couldn't buy a TV without the V-Chip, but since you can it's just a tool.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki
    It is kind of a weird double standard. Filmakers will bend over backwards by taking out any scene to prevent an NC-17 rating when released at the theater. Yet the same movie released as a DVD often contains the whole orignal movie as intended and many other "unrated" bonus features. What's the difference where I see it at the theater or in my home ?
    I don't know how often a movie appears in it's original form. Not being argumentative, I honestly don't know. But from my limited experience (I have about 100 DVDs, but don't rent many) they tend to include cut scenes as "extras", not often actually edited back into the original film for a "directors cut". As to this specific movie (Jay & Silent Bob) I think it's interesting to note that every scene taken out to preserve an R rating was removed strictly for language. The was no nudity or violence in any of them.
    The cynic in me says that they include all the cut scenes with a DVD mainly so they can entice a few more suckers in. So even if you saw it in the theater, you didn't see ALL of it.
    I think the biggest reason that filmmakers bend over backwards to not get an NC-17 rating is simply that very few theaters will play anything rated "higher" than R. If it doesn't get out to a lot of theaters, not too many people will buy it on DVD later. I have several NC-17 movies and even one EXCELLENT (IMO) movie that was considered so graphic it wasn't even given a rating by the MPAA. These all saw extremely limited release in theaters, and if you wanted to see 'em on the big screen but didn't live near an "independent" cinema, you were pretty much screwed. So they're all basically now seen as "indie" even though one of them was written and directed by an artist fairly well known for his other work. I'm shocked that Hollywood is so shallow and greedy.

    Mike

  17. #17
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,720
    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    At that time, I was more in favor of printing the lyrics on the CD long box, and letting parents decide for themselves whether or not it's offensive. (No longer possible because pressure from environmentalists killed the CD long box packaging) Tipper Gore got miffed at that Prince song because she bought Purple Rain for her daughter, but had no idea there would be a song on there with references to masturbating with a magazine. I think her daughter was 8 at that time, so obviously that content was not exactly age appropriate.

    I wasn't in favor of warning stickers because I thought that the stickers would constitute a barrier to trade with a lot of stores going on record during those hearings that they would not carry anything with a warning label on it. WalMart I believe is one example of a retailer that does not stock anything with offensive lyrics (kinda hypocritical given that they do stock R-rated DVDs). And there's no consistency with regard to the type of content that would get the warning label. For example, Ice-T's "Cop Killer" got a warning label not because of language but because of its theme (which was about a gang banger killing a cop), yet Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" with its references to sticking a boot up someone's backside doesn't get labeled.

    Warning labels are not censorship per se, but they have some of the same effect, especially in smaller communities that aren't big enough to support a stand-alone music store. In those situations, the only place in town where you can buy CDs very well might be WalMart. (But, with downloading and the rise of buying music via the internet, this issue is less significant than before) In a few states, some pressure got subsequently applied to outright ban the sales of CDs with offensive lyrics, but I don't think those catcalls went anywhere because THAT would be prima facie censorship. If not warning labels, I still think that something needs to be in place so that parents can at least know that there might be age-inappropriate lyrics on a CD that they're buying for their kids.

    I'm not sure whether to call this censorship, probably not because it's not an outright ban. But, it still has market implications in that the product is not as widely distributed as others. And again, that gets down to a definitional question of whether censorship stops at government restrictions or if it also includes private sector actions, which these warning labels are.

    This warning sticker is similar to wraping Playboy and putting it on the top shelves. Stores have an option to carry or not, even if not wrapped. Playboy would be obvious to know what is in it. A CD is not. Putting the lyrics on the large box would not really solve it either as the kids then can just read it and not even buy it
    mtrycrafts

  18. #18
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    This warning sticker is similar to wraping Playboy and putting it on the top shelves. Stores have an option to carry or not, even if not wrapped. Playboy would be obvious to know what is in it. A CD is not. Putting the lyrics on the large box would not really solve it either as the kids then can just read it and not even buy it
    Yeah, but the thing about the warning sticker that was adopted is that there are no consistent guidelines as to how it's applied, and the type of content the warning label designates. Just as an example, The Crystal Method's "Tweekend" has a warning label on it because the line "Listen all you motherf**kers" is recited twice (it's predominantly a beat-oriented electronica album otherwise). Yet, there are plenty of "classic rock" albums that have more profanity in them and no warning labels whatsoever (examples off the top of my head include The Who's "Who Are You" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and "The Final Cut").

    I bring up printing the lyrics because the whole point of Tipper Gore's involvement with the PMRC was to provide some kind of information to parents on the content in the CDs that they buy for their kids. You can't stop a kid who's really to buy something, even now with the warning stickers, but at least having the lyrics there for the parents to scan through at least gives them the means by which to make their own judgment call. Some parents don't care at all about profanity, but are more offended by sexually suggestive lyrics. And even there, you got a wide range between vague allusions to orgasm in songs by the Indigo Girls or Bruce Springsteen versus more explicit references by Prince.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Best CD player under $1000?
    By Arch in forum Digital Domain & Computer Audio
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 02-29-2004, 04:05 PM
  2. Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD Player
    By NJ_Richard in forum General Audio
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-19-2004, 06:16 AM
  3. Anyone using XBOX as a DVD player?
    By RGA in forum Home Theater/Video
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-22-2003, 11:01 AM
  4. Looking for new CD player...
    By Invader3k in forum Digital Domain & Computer Audio
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-21-2003, 05:33 PM
  5. Xbox vs. PS2 as a dvd player and game system
    By IRG in forum Home Theater/Video
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-10-2003, 11:02 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •