TVGuardian: New Solution For an Old Problem
by Phil Boatwright

If you are familiar with my efforts as a film reviewer, you know how I feel about the use and abuse of language in the media. That makes TVGuardian and Phil Boatwright a perfect fit. Both from artistic and spiritual perspectives, crude, obscene and profane dialogue in movies and on television has devalued the prose, poetry and power of language. And I think this product should be in the TV-bearing home of anyone who identifies himself as a Christian.

What Is TVGuardian?
TVG (TVGuardian) is patented technology that automatically mutes foul language while you're watching TV and movies. It filters out the bad words and with the device you can watch TV and movies live or play them back on your DVR.

I've found countless films over the years that entertained and presented worthy themes, only to be annoyed by their verbal content, which in my opinion changed the tone of those productions. Well, here's a machine that aids those of us who have taken a stand against foul language in our homes.

TVGuardain has been upgraded.
Rick Bray invented TVGuardian back in 1997, when the company first producing more than 400,000 units. Since then updates and alterations have been made in order to make the family-friendly tool more effective. These boxes now allow viewers to choose the level of language they want to allow into their homes – from Strict to Moderate to Tolerant to Off. Offensive phrases are then automatically muted and suitable replacements displayed via closed captioning.

TVGuardian works on HDTV with HDMI support, it has expanded user selectable filter levels, improved accuracy, and TVG is now available for rent as well as purchase.

How Does It Work?
TVGuardian reads the closed captioning embedded in most forms of TV entertainment.  When it encounters a word that's in our dictionary of offensive language, it provides a suitable replacement.  So, for instance, if someone says, "Get the h--- out of here!"  TVG mutes that phrase and replaces it with closed captioning that reads, "Let's get out of here!"  In other cases, words are substituted.  "Move your a--!" for instance, becomes "Move your tail!"

What TVG Won't Do.
TVG doesn't filter out scenes of sex, nudity or violence--it is best suited for PG and PG-13-rated movies whose main offense is objectionable language.

Don't Have Kids? Why You Should Have It.
Our public behavior and speech should indicate to others what we stand for. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs" (Ephesians 4:29 NIV). So why is it that we tolerate profanity and obscenity while being entertained? Well, because it's been a part of the media every since the MPAA rating system replaced the more restrictive Motion Picture Code over four decades ago. We've all grown up with coarse and profane language in movies. We're used to it. Admit it, we've become desensitized by its frequency.

For whatever reason, people now writing movies (generally) can't express frustration without the f-bomb or anger without profaning God's name. And the s-word has become their new "darn it." And we Christians accept it by saying, "Oh, I don't pay any attention to those words." Yeah, right. What we're really saying is, "I want to see this movie so I'll put up with the objectionable language."

Allow me to look at this whole profanity thing from another perspective – an artistic one. In 1990 the PG-rated The Freshman, starring Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick, was peppered with obscenity and profanity. Not a lot, but enough to change the tone of an otherwise lightweight farce. I remember not liking the film, but a year later I saw the film on a family-geared TV network (I think it was Disney). The offending words had been removed. Sure enough, with the absence of the filmmakers' harsh rhetoric, the film's tone took on a more lighthearted resonance.

A couple of years later, I remember exiting a screening of Groundhog Day, a funny comedy starring Bill Murray. For whatever reason, the film didn't have any profane or harsh words. There was a giddy feeling as the folks left the cineplex. They had enjoyed the humor, it being a film that relied on wit rather than vulgarity to entertain. And as they left, no one said, "Where were the cuss words?" They weren't missed, not by the storyline or the screening audience.

Today, films without characters cursing are few and far between, so I come back to TVGuardian as an aid against this reprehensible practice.

Read three past articles I wrote concerning the use and abuse of language in movies:

Words Are What Men Live By
Profanity in the Movies – What's the Big Deal?
When Dialogue Was the Special Effect

Where Can You Get TVG?
Units are available for purchase or rent at www.tvguardian.com. Or call 1-800-298-5618.