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ClearPlay is a parental control streaming service that allows content filtering of ordinary movies, purchased or rented. It automatically skips over or mutes undesirable content such as profanity, graphic violence, nudity, drug and adult-oriented content (although some certain content remains due to the nature of some movies).[1]

How it works[edit]

ClearPlay streaming works with certain movies purchased through Amazon streaming. When watching a movie with ClearPlay parental controls the user can select which types of content to omit from the streaming presentation.[2] The presentation includes data indicating to the player where possibly unwanted content is located, often to the exact frame. This allows the player to skip or mute offensive or undesirable content during playback of the stream. The choice is also made available to watch the film in its unedited form, by turning the filtering off.

ClearPlay allows users to choose specific types of possibly offensive, questionable, or otherwise undesirable content to censor. There are twelve categories of content that can be filtered and four different levels (none, implied, explicit and graphic).[3] These categories include: Violence, Sex, Nudity and Vulgarity. Users will see a list prior to the beginning of the feature of possibly questionable content that will not be removed depending on the movie, scene and/or situation.

USA Today describes ClearPlay as follows:[4]

Users choose what content to filter in each movie, via an on-screen menu — "violence, sex and nudity" and "language" — and further customize the category. For example, in "language," viewers can choose to allow "crude language and humor" but filter out "strong profanity," "graphic vulgarity," "ethnic and social slurs" and "vain reference to deity." In all, filtering options offer up to 16,000 combinations.

The methods of removing content also depends on the scenes and user settings. Users can select which scenes and language to filter filtering. Although, if a user chooses to view a movie with closed-caption enabled, the closed captioning text is not filtered during the audio muting of the language/scene, and the offensive text can still be read. In some cases, the scene might be removed entirely, depending on the user settings and/or the discretion of the filter editors. The company also accepts feedback if people, for example, have suggestions on edited scenes, and/or disagreements with a particular edit.

The filter files interact with the player by way of what is called a FilterStik (a small USB flash drive which is included with the player). The FilterStik is connected to a computer, the files are downloaded to it through their website, and the FilterStik is then connected to the player. Firmware updates are also occasionally available for the player itself, by way of a similar method.

The Filter files are only available from ClearPlay as a monthly or annually subscribed membership. Unlimited access to the full library of movie Filters are then made available, which contains filters for various streaming movies or DVDs including most new releases. If filter files for a particular movie are not present, requests can be made through their website.

Legal actions[edit]

The United States Congress passed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act that explicitly clarified the copyright laws explaining that someone can personalize the playback of movies, skipping or muting content from playback of video on demand or DVDs.


The end-user's filtering choices may affect the presentation of the movie, and certain plots or themes may be trimmed from the film.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-12-24. 
  2. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (2004-06-16). "I Can See ClearPlay Now | Lance Ulanoff". Retrieved 2016-12-24. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Snider, Mike (2004-05-05). "Technology mutes, skips edgy content". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2016-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Farewell to ClearPlay". Because It Matters. 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 

External links[edit]