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TV Guardian

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DOES IT WORK WEDNESDAY

TV Guardian
By: Amy Jacquin

A lot of families like to watch a movie or two over the holidays. But many parents do not like the foul language that often comes with it. That's why one Jackson family is trying technology aimed at filtering foul language out of movies.

The Riehn family enjoys watching movies together... But Mom, Pamela, doesn't want to worry about the curse words coming out of character's mouths...

"The more they hear it, it becomes a part of their language," she explains. "I feel like what they don't hear, they won't repeat."

But rather than screen every show first, Pamela invested in the TV Guardian... It's technology built right into this $70 Sanyo DVD player. And she bought a separate TV Guardian box, to hook up to the kitchen television for regular TV shows and VHS movies.

The TV Guardian works by "reading" the closed captioning of shows and movies. Makers admit it won't work on every program, depending on the closed captioning function. But you can tell it works if the letters TVG appear on screen when you first turn the channel, or press play.

"If you don't see it, then it means it's not working," Pamela explains.

We watch one scene in Sweet Home Alabama that has several cuss words in it... The first time it plays, TV Guardian let's one slip by! But the second time we play it, TV Guardian catches every bad word... It just mutes the sound for a few seconds.

"It might miss one here and there... But that's okay," shrugs Pamela. "You can't shelter them 100 percent of the time. In a movie that has frequent foul language, and it takes out several phrases, you get a silent movie for a little while!"

TV Guardian can be set less or more strict. And you can choose to have the bad words replaced with more appropriate text, that shows-up on the bottom of the screen. It's a diversionary tactic.

"You're paying more attention to what it says than reading their lips, because a lot of times you can read their lips and tell what they're supposed to be saying," says Pamela.

Pamela says the TV Guardian technology is giving her family more movie and programming choices...

"We're very pleased with it," she summarizes.

So it works, but it's not perfect. It occasionally misses a word, and it cannot catch those added as background noise, because that's never closed captioned. So overall, we give the TV Guardian a B+.

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