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LOS ANGELES - Wal-Mart is selling the world's first DVD player that can seamlessly skip over violence, swearing, nudity, and other potentially offensive movie content, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The $79 unit features technology by ClearPlay and is manufactured by Thomson, Inc. under its RCA brand.
Consumers can play any DVD in these units in the usual manner. In addition, however, they can activate a variety of different filtering levels that work according to ClearPlay's preprograming. The player filtering works only on selected titles; it has no effect on movies that it has not been preprogramed to handle, but for those it doesn't recognize, it has the capability to completely block, based on their ratings.
The sophisticated process is rather like very smoothly fast-forwarding and muting the original movie as it plays back. The DVD remains unchanged and unharmed.
ClearPlay offers several settings in four categories of filtering -- violence, language, sex/nudity, and explicit drug use -- with the user able to choose any combination. For example, the language setting can range from irreligious exclamations to ethnic slurs to graphic phrases used as profanity.