Our family loves the movies. We have a long-standing tradition of outings to the theater for get-togethers and holidays. When our favorites hit home release, it’s often a fun excuse to enjoy them all over again. However, there have been a number of popular titles over the years our family has passed up because their ratings and content inappropriate for the whole family. That’s why we were so glad to have found Clearplay’s blu-ray player. Clearplay’s filtering system has made it possible for us to enjoy many more great stories—just minus the vulgarity, nudity, and violence we feel take from that enjoyment.
On a fundamental level, the Clearplay blu-ray player works like any other blur-ray player. Insert the disc, hit play, watch movie. Where the magic lies is in the filtering system that goes to work while the film is playing. The player connects to the internet and retrieves any filters available for the inserted disc, either silencing words or skipping tags clips in a mostly-seamless manner. What exactly is skipped depends on how we’ve configured the content controls within the Clearplay’s settings. It’s a surprisingly robust set of options that allow for varying levels of allowance across categories such as violence, sensuality, and profanity, among others. This allows a viewer to find the point within which they’re comfortable, for example, allowing “crap” but not harsh swearing. For those who prefer digital over disc, Clearplay also offers a web browser extension that currently works with Netflix, HBO Plus, and Amazon, and compatibility with other streaming providers in development.
As mentioned, this has been a great way for our family to keep up with some popular newer releases. One of Clearplay’s drawbacks, though, is that it tends to be hit or miss as to whether or not filters are available for films more than a decade old. We’ve also been surprised when filters are available only for a DVD version and not a blu-ray version. We’re currently using the latest model of the blu-ray player—bought in 2021—and it’s been working great so far. That said, so did the previous model we owned for the first several years we had it. Unfortunately, the players do seem to simply stop working over time. This happened to ours, the one my sister’s family had, and also the one my parents used. It’s disappointing for a piece of hardware that runs about $300, but the same thing also happened with a standard Samsung blu-ray player we used to have and according to what we found online, it’s somewhat common for any blu-ray player to simply stop after a few years of solid use.
On the whole, we highly recommend Clearplay for any families that love movies as much as we do. If you go the disc option, be advised that they’re frequently on back-order, which might mean you have to wait months until your order is ready. You’ll also need to be prepared to pay about $300 for the player itself, plus a subscription fee to keep the filters up to date. If on the other hand you want to keep things simple and just go the digital-only route and filter streamed content, the subscription for the Clearplay browser extension is a fairly manageable $7.99/month or $79.99/year.