TV Guardian and original content: My take on things

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scooter, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    There was a thread regards this device in the Software forum and, while I am adamnant regards the unfettered presetation and expresion of entertainment and such..I DO see this device having it's place and preserving what we at HTF demand in DVD releases.

    I think a little history would help settle some fears about this technology, at least as I understand it's function.

    When the V-Chip was introduced, the majority of the entertainment industry pronounced censorship...EXCEPT for Steven Bochco. He saw it as the saviour of leading edge fare on regular network TV. It gave parents the opportunity to filter from their kids material the parents felt was not quite family fair..without requiring the producers of said material to self edit or censor.

    The fact that a program such as The Shield now exists...shows that entertainment can still take risks..and family concerns are to some degree addressed.

    I see this device as offering the same thing AND NOT being contrary to HTF's position of original cut..unedited or censored material. You go to your fav store..buy whatever title...original theatrical cut..and you as an adult watch it thru and thru.

    Say you have a 10 y.o. who can handle the story line but you don't want them hearing the 7 dirty words...this device can achieve that. As a parent..there were times when watching something with the whole family that I wish I had known a certain word or "view" was in the material. And being realistic...no one can pre-screen EVERYTHING before you sit down as a whole to watch it. Example...the musical "Annie" ... Family material..but towards the end no more than a coupla "god damn"'s come from Tim Curry's mouth!!!

    Again let me state in no uncertain terms...I want my DVD's to be what was in the theater...nothing less! I want OAR, original content with every four letter word, offensive characterization and ALL the violence at my disposal! HOWEVER...to allow parents to sanitize said material for more family friendly consumption is an assett. No need for dual releases..no censoring content.

    PLEASE..let's avoid liberal versus conservative etc. type arguments here that characterized a thread a coupla years ago about re-edited versions of films similar to airline cuts being released.
     
  2. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Thanks for your posting Scooter. I wrote the orginal post and unfortunately the thread was closed I think due to the assumption that it would get out of hand. Hopefully this thread can have useful discussion.
    TVGuardian is simply giving consumers MORE choices. That is what DVD and home theater is all about and should be what HTF is about! DVD gives consumers options like never before - DD/DTS; 5.1/PCM; letterbox/P&S; commentary/extras etc. TVG is finally on that list of options with the new releases of the Sanyo/Fisher players (see below.) Why TVG is so important is that both parties in this issue are satisfied. Many parents/families are clamoring for edited cuts of movies. Many HTF purists simply want their directors cut. TVG satisfies BOTH with NO compromises. It is simply a user selectable option. [​IMG]
    Here's my orig post:
    Well I"ve been awaiting the announcement for awhile but it seems Principle Solutions has finally licensed their filtering technology to a hardware manufacturer, Sanyo/Fisher. 6 products including 4 dvd players will have the technology programmed into the Zoran Vaddis processing chip. And the pricepoints for the products seem excellent for the intended consumer target. I'm a bit disappointed a higher end progressive unit with TVG isn't available (hopefully soon.)
    We will finally have an integrated easy to use solution for 5.1 systems. Studios have severly dropped the ball IMHO in providing family friendly content/edited cuts that are capable with the DVD format (and early on in DVD's promotion highly touted.)
    I currently have the external TVGuardian unit. The technology examines the closed-captioning info in the video signal and mutes audio during offensive phrases. While the unit works as stated, the drawbacks are: 1. often a few seconds of audio are muted leaving out an entire line of dialog 2. only works with composite video and l/r stereo analog audio. This eliminates easy use with current DVD players and most home theater systems.
    With DVD players now including built-in TVG we have an integrated 5.1 solution. Now I'm assuming all processing is done internally with the resulting digital audio bitstream to include the muted changes and decoded normally by a preamp/receiver. (If the TVG only works on the analog outputs it would be a crying shame.) I haven't seen a review of the units yet but they are due to be available in April.
    links:
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020108/latu056_1.html
    http://www.zoran.com/whatsnew/02_20_02.asp
    www.tvguardian.com
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I maintain that these devices are nothing short of ludicrous

    If you don't want your kids to hear words they already know by the age of 6-Don't let them watch it

    If you don't want your kids to see violence, don't let them watch it

    If you don't want your kids to see sex, don't let them watch it.

    (True story! Lady was in Starship Troopers with her 5 and 8yo. She was fine with the violence, but watch out! Shower scene and she hauls them out of the theater!)

    If any of the above offends you, don't watch the movie.

    Censorship devices are, and never will be the answer
     
  4. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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  5. Rich Stone

    Rich Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    OK I've got to chime in here. Scooter had some good points and I must say I wholeheartedely support this device/option being available. Why?

    First: It in no way effects the original content on the DVD - those who wish to can see the material w/o audio muting. It's OPTIONAL! I wouldn't support it otherwise.

    Second: It is difficult to base your viewing choice soley on MPAA ratings - they seem to change, in terms of what is allowable, with the mores of society. I can't tell you how many times I've taken my to a PG movie and was taken back by the amount of things OUR household considers offensive. Should I have to preview ALL PG movies before watching them with the kids?!? Does anyone realize how FEW true family shows (like Remember the Titans) are released these days? Makes it very difficult to enjoy a movie night with the family.

    Third: The argument that they hear it all the time doesn't cut it with me. Just because a large group of people are doing a certain activity doesn't make it right for me or my family. It doesn't mean that our family has to condone it by freely showing/playing it to our children in our home.

    Do I think this device ruins the home theater experience? YES! Is it a "ludicrous" idea? Maybe to some. However, I as a parent totally support the incorporation of this OPTION in all DVD players.

    No offense or flames intended - just my two cents!

    Regards,

    Rich
     
  6. Brennan Hill

    Brennan Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    Censorship is the elimination of unauthorized materials. It's not censorship if the material is still there for the vast majority of people who want it. Call it what you want, but to call it censorship is not accurate.

    If anything, I feel an arguement could be made that saying that this equipment should not be allowed, or even discussed, is closer to censorship then these devises. It is without a doubt censure by definition.

    The fact is that the technology is here, there is a demand for it, and its coming in some form or another. It is unlikely you are ever going to convince a parent that they are doing wrong by muting foul language out of a film obviously marketed to children where the only reason the foul language is there is to manipulate the ratings system in order to make more money for the studios. This is the best alternative that I've heard of that does not infringes on those who don't desire this option. It takes up no space on the DVD, ala pan and scan, and does not limit the consumers choices in anyway, such as the case with pan and scan taking up shelf space in retail stores.

    All that said, if/when they ever try to market edited versions in place of the original films for the Walmarts of the world I'll be right there joining the protest.
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I have to say, this is a device I would never use in my own home. At the same time, it's something that I relish, and picked up one today.

    Why? I work within a community of retirees that like their Saturday "movie" night.. but they have requirements.. they want to watch "new" movies, but will not tolerate either violence or "language" which has left us in a problem for a long time; more then that, even though it is their night to watch, certain content is difficult for a business to show, even when your business is caring for people's needs.

    So, this was the perfect solution. I watched "Bull Durham" tonight using this device, and found that it did the job quite adequately, and all were very happy with the results. More then 50 retirees (70+) walked out happy as punch. And, for those who had no problem with the language, it wasn't that difficult to figure out "what" was being bleeped out; it was just the fact that they didn't have to hear it, so they felt more comfortable.

    In the end, I have good feelings about the device. It leaves the initial DVD in tact, and those who want to watch it with language are free to do so; but it gives you the choice to remove the language if you deem it inappropriate.

    We sometimes focus on "kid" friendliness, but we have to realize it isn't only kids. Would you take your grandmother to see almost any film above PG running at the theaters (exception films like "The Rookie"?) There have been lots of great films that have come out that with the exception of a few F-bombs could have been PG. In the past, there would have been no chance for many people to see those films due to their objections; if they can watch the film, and it's the way they want it, then that's what it's about.

    Years ago, when DTS first hit, I fell in love with the format (still am) but there were people who were furious with the concept of DTS as an alternative (one argument was that DTS was as bad as DiVX, as most threads revolved around those two issues) but what others argued was that like it or not, it provided the consumer a chance to choose his preference. Since in no way is the original content ever altered, same difference here.

    No, this isn't anything I would have in my home, but yes, it does have a niche in the market.
     
  8. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    I kind of feel like we have a very skewered, possibly spoiled view of what "censorship" is in this country. A parent buying a device that keeps their kids from hearing choice words is not censorship in the least, it's called paying attention to what their kids are watching, something that unfortunately, not a lot of parents do these days. There are still some countries in the world that will not allow certain material to be sold or shown, period. This is censorship. If Bull Durham were available only in a "TV Guardian Approved" profanity-free version, then yes, that would be censorship. Giving people a choice as to whether or not they want to see a movie

    A)As it was originally intended (for adults)

    or

    B) In a way that makes them comfortbale when their kids are

    watching

    is a far cry from censorship. Having a choice is the exact OPPOSITE of censorship. As long as there is an "on/off" button on that TV Guardian, or even a means to unplug it, then we are not in the realm of censorship.
     
  9. Brennan Hill

    Brennan Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, did you buy a DVD player with the TVGuardian device built in, or did you just buy a stand alone TvGuardian device?
     
  10. Brennan Hill

    Brennan Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    If anyone is interested, Walmart.com carries the Sanyo DWM-380 dvd player with foul language filter for $129.74. Here is the link. I'll probably pick it up and a six-pack of PBR and spin Reservoir Dogs to see if this unit overheats. Pretty fitting that the only retailer that I've found that carries it is Walmart, not exactly the typical gene pool that most Home Theater afficionados swim in. Oh well, as a parent you have to swallow your pride from time to time. :b
    Sincerely,
    Joe from Fontana
    p.s. I have my flame retardent suit on, so you may fire when ready. [​IMG]
     
  11. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    I'm looking forward to seeing a first review of the Sanyo DVD player unit. I have the external TVGuardian unit and while it works well for VCR/laserdisc formats with stereo surround encoded output it cannot handle a 5.1 digital bitstream for DVDs.
     
  12. Brennan Hill

    Brennan Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, after much deliberation (I really don't like giving Walmart my money), I broke down and bought one. I wanted to give it a try for both eliminating the language in some movies I otherwise feel are appropriate for my children, and also for when my children are within earshot of a movie my wife and I are watching that may have a few stray "f$%^ you's" that I would prefer they not be desensitized to.

    The language filter works well, there are several options to chose from depending on how strict you want the profanity muted out. You also have the option of replacement captions for the muted language, or no captions at all.

    However, I knew I was in for trouble when I picked up the box and found it to be lighter then some magazines I read. The player itself is an utter piece of crap. Whenever the movie goes to a black screen, it shuts off the video to my receiver so "Video" pops up on my television on-screen display. Not only that, the audio and video went out of sync during a movie and I had to restart the unit to get it to sync-up again. Total junk. So I have to admit that those that find these devices objectionable get the last laugh.
     
  13. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't want to say that any parent is wrong for wanting to not have their children listen to certain words, but I do want to state my opinion. It's really up to the parents. It's how they want to raise their children. Personally though, i feel that it's wrong, here's why. Kids will hear those words at school, from friends, etc. They will most likely be using those words. I fell that it's better to be open with your child and allow them to understand that those words are part of today's vocabulary. If you box them up, they are going to think of them as taboo and it will make them want to use them even more. They are just words. If they are acceptable for adults, they should be somewhat acceptable for children. They are acceptable and they are part of vocabulary, whether most old timers want to believe that or not. I don't even understand why any words, unless they are hate related, should be controversial. And saying a word doesn't make a person better or worse.
     
  14. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

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    Scooter,
    I am afraid I understand what you mean in your paragraph about not bringing conservative vs. liberal and so forth into this thread. Please also excuse my being too lazt to learn how to quote.[​IMG]
    However, I agree with everything you said in your post and I am (sorta) religeous right conservative. Probably the type who you thought might post some type of scathing rebuttal. Theere is simply too much to be expressed in any type of art to insist that all art be made to appeal to all members of society. Although, my tendancy was to let my son see the movie and discuss the objectionable parts with him afterwords. We saw Starship Troupers. He was embarrassed by the shower scene. Therefore, I doubt that it did any permanent damage. I might not have taken him if I knew such a scene was in there, but it IS impossible to screen everything. Our kids will have to learn to deal with it sooner or later.
    My son will be 18 in November, so this is not really a concern for me, anymore, but if parents who would prefer to clean up the movies have a way to do so without ruining them for everyone else, that works for me.
     
  15. Michael St. Clair

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    Jack,

     
  16. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

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    Michael,

    After reading your post and re-reading mine, I see that I could have made things more clear. I'm not sure exactly why he was embarrassed by the scene. I did not think to ask, but he was not comfortable with it. I supposed I was reacting more to my gut reaction to his reaction than to anything he said. He did not start seeking out porn sites on the 'net or start sneaking in porn movies and has seemed to prefer avoiding sexually explicit entertainment in general.

    The violence is another story. But by the time he saw thi sflick, whatever damage was going to be done was done. His favorite sport has always been professional wrestling. It seems that he inheirited my wife's and my short fuses. I did discuss the westling thing with him when a talk show that he had on featured a 12 year-old who killed a 6 year old while "wrestling" with her. In responding to my questions, he said that he knew that that the wrestlers were trained in doing what they did, that he had no business trying those moves, especially on a smaller, younger child, and, if he did play at wrestling, that he needs to stop when the other kid has had enough. He is the oldest grandchild on both sides, so most of the kids he is with are younger.

    He did eventually join the high school wrestling team.

    Actually, you raised some good questions. To answer your first one, I think I would have been concerned if he reacted as if had been used to seeing nudity all of the time when he never had when he was with me. I took him to nearly all of the movies he's ever seen.

    I probably created more comfusion, didn't I?
     

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