Vudu's new features take all the fun out of things

Vudu — which is one of those huge libraries of movies and TV shows that's able to include your purchases from various other libraries like Google and Apple — today rolled out a handful of new features that should please tepid parents and enrage kids who find themselves on the wrong end of them.

First up is "Family Play," which has the ability to "skip or mute objectionable content." That means if there's drug use, or swearing, or violence or sex or nudity, it'll just skip over it. Or make it so you can't hear it.

What it apparently can't do is keep someone from actually hitting the play button in the first place if things are really that bad. On the other hand, Tony Stark was known to have a little bit of a potty mouth, so you're basically paying to watch the same edited movie that you'd see on cable TV.

Vudu says Family Play is already on more than 500 titles (both free and paid), and that more will roll each week.

Why is Vudu Disney-fying content? to let customers "tailor their viewing experience so everyone can enjoy films together."

Vudu also has teamed up with Common Sense Media to give some insight on what age a particular movie might be appropriate for. That's a little less intrusive, and I'm all for giving parents help in that department.

And, finally, it's added a new Kids Mode, which uses data from Common Sense Media to squelch out content that it thinks it might not want kids to see.

The new parental controls are available on iOS and Android, as well as other places on which you can find Vudu.

So go forth and censor. And watch your language.

Phil Nickinson
  • Family Play turns Pulp Fiction into a 5 minute trailer.
  • I wonder if they got permission from the movie studios, or if they'll get sued to oblivion like the companies that did the same thing before them.
  • After further research, it looks like they are working with movie studios. That's so awesome!
  • Do you have to enable it or does it just show up when like your fast forward, pause, play screen. Bc mine is on my tv and I never wanted it to be. So is everyone's like that or did maybe someone else on account set it up?
  • Nice work Vudu! I thought Back to the Future was such a great movie, so I tried to show it to my kids. (4 kids all under 12) boy I've never cringed and wrangled so much through a movie. I don't remember there being that much language in those movies, but hey 1980's. I was so glad when two of them fell asleep shortly into the movie. This would have been so helpful that night!
  • I hate this. Why does it say family play on screen? I didnt set it up and dont need it. So why the hell am I required to see this stupid family play on/ off everytime I pause, play the screen???