VUDU Family Play Mode

Last week, Walmart’s VUDU announced a new feature called “Family Play Mode” which automatically skips sex, violence, profanity, and drug use in 500 movies. This is the most significant development in parental and family content skipping since we launched VidAngel in 2013. 

Here is what we know so far:

– They offer Disney content

– They are supporting modern streaming devices like iOS, Android, XBOX One and a few smart TVs 

– They offer 500 PG and PG-13 titles

Some backlash:

– Filmmaker discussion boards online have exploded in shock and anger.

– Commenters across social media are predicting that Family Play will be shut down by pressure from the DGA.

– When Sony announced a similar initiative back in 2017, they were attacked by the Directors Guild of America and leading Hollywood content-makers. Eventually, due to significant pressure, took “Clean Version” down.

We congratulate VUDU and Walmart on being the first major player to catch the vision of skipping. 

27 thoughts on “VUDU Family Play Mode

  1. Yeah I was shocked to see this! Great news for those of us who are concerned with this! Just wish they included R rated films too. Have to stick with VidAngel for those!

  2. i tired it out with a few scenes on a couple movies, while it does remove subject matter as a whole, with out the personal filters from Vidangel you risk skipping way more than you may want. the more graphic titles will of course be more effected depending on your settings. If it sticks we shall see but my guess this wont bide to well with R rated titles, just depends.

    1. Thank you Walmart! I don’t know how you convinced the Studios to allow this. One online vlog suggested its Walmart they can do anything especially since they sell so many movies. I have tried Family play on a few movies and I’m appreciative of this so much! Even though you can’t customize or set default filters and I have to play from my new iPad to Samsung smart TV I purchased in 2015 using HDMI… it’s exciting to see filtering inch forward I hope. The service is no where near what VidAngel provides as with VidAngel I can use on all my devices and can set default filters and customize specific stuff I don’t want to watch. I would think Studios would like VidAngel better since on the consumer decides what they want to skip and or mute. Again Walmart and VUDU team you rock!!! Why not incorporate VidAngel tech and give users more choices for filtering?

  3. I don’t see it mentioned, so for those who haven’t noticed it’s powered by Clearplay and that’s why the filtering is substandard compared to vidangel.

    1. -I use VidAngel and ClearPlay.

      -ClearPlay’s Amazon filtering has the same custom filtering as VidAngel.

      -Vudu is paying ClearPlay, hence why there is no ClearPlay membership on Vudu.

      -Because Vudu is paying ClearPlay, they obviously have some say in how the filtering works on their site.

      Just because Family Play is powered by ClearPlay does not mean that Family Play filtering is subpar (that was a pretty uninformed statement to make), because there is a lack of drill down filtering selections — ClearPlay knows how to do custom filtering.

    2. I would not necessarily say that ClearPlay is substandard to VidAngel. They both focus on different formats and areas of filtering. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. I have both and admit that I use ClearPlay’s Blu-Ray player, Amazon Prime, and VUDU filtering far more than I do VidAngel.

      I am not knocking VidAngel, just saying that there are advantages to both, and they both serve the filtering needs in great ways!

    3. Who cares – there were more titles available and a major company was involved. It’s gone now (as we knew it would be).

  4. Recently I got into a conversation with some friends about the movie ‘Passengers’. We agreed the movie could be recut into a much better film by drastically reordering the scenes. Imagine: There’s a Reddit thread for every movie where fan edits are advertised (and voted/rated). Each edit would be a file containing resequencing instructions for a given film. I’d click a link and that sequence file would be used by VidAngel to filter and playback the film (presumably already in VA’s catalog of titles). With care the existing content filters could also be applied. I’d pay VidAngel for the ability to watch fan edits of films — I’m sure many others would also — even if VA never provided a single reedit sequence. I’ll just hold my breath 🙂

  5. ClearPlay in VUDU is a great addition, but adding VUDU as a connectable service in VidAngel would be even better. I really like the granular control that I get with VidAngel.

    Why is VidAngel stuck with the same devices and services we have had? Did your developers leave or something? I would love to see VUDU added to VidAngel as well as LG’s WebOS as a streaming device. New devices have been promised and it has been a long time since we have seen new devices and services. Most people want to just use their smart TV and not bother with additional devices, wires, and remotes.

    1. Vudu with VidAngel would be a great addition. I miss the full control and breadth of titles on Vudu as well. We are working on it and our developers rock. No on leaving, we have a great developer culture at VidAngel. It’s just that they have been hard at work on things you haven’t been able to see yet. But you will.

  6. Yep, vudu + family play (aka clear play) is awesome. We watch movies again. I sure do miss VidAngel. Unfortunately, we only pay for Prime and there’s just not enough content on Prime to justify a VidAngel subscription…right now.

    1. We’re glad that Vudu is working out for you Jonathan. I used Vudu for a movie my family wanted to watch a couple weeks back as well (I miss having full control of the filters, but it’s better than nothing for Marvel movies). There’s some great Prime content on VidAngel when you want to check it out again.

  7. maybe this has been addressed elsewhere. But why is vidangel still in a lawsuit when the same concept is being followed on VUDU family play?

  8. I don’t know the internal details of Vudu, but from my perspective, It seems that Vudu read what the studios said in the VidAngel lawsuit and then decided to offer filters in spite of the language in their streaming contracts (where the studios own words in the VidAngel lawsuit work against them and discourage them from pursuing Vudu). We are very excited that Vudu has not been sued and we’re hopeful that they’ll be able to renew their streaming contracts with the studios even though they are filtering. In other words, they learned from our lawsuit to avoid one themselves.

    1. I am so happy to see how positive and encouraging vidangel is towards family play! Most businesses are so negative and cut throat towards each other.
      That shows me you aren’t just out to make money but actually care that there are clean movie options for families. Thank you for that! And because of that – I will do whatever I can to support vidangel!
      Actually I hope vudu buys vidangel so you make a lot of money AND we have clean content Lol!

  9. Google gets away with censoring and filtering of content they don’t like, could this constructed in a similar manner?

  10. Well that didnt last long…just got an email from VUDU today…..really stupid move on their part as a lot of us will no longer purchase titles from them….

    Update on Vudu Family Play

    Hi Vudu customers,
    Thank you for trying out our Family Play feature. Starting on July 20, 2020, Family Play will no longer be a supported option on our platform.

    As a destination for your family’s video entertainment needs, we continue to provide a range of features that give you peace of mind to find the right content for each member of your household.

    Vudu will still offer features such as Common Sense Media reviews (guidance and reviews from a parent’s point of view), Kids Mode (ability to set age limits on content your kids can browse and watch), and Parental Controls (managing purchase options protected by a PIN). All these features will continue to be supported on Vudu so you can enjoy your classic favorites and discover new ones worry-free.

    At Vudu, we are committed to being your family’s streaming entertainment destination.

    Thank you for continuing to use Vudu.

    Vudu team

  11. You were right. It’s being pulled on July 20th, 2020. FURIOUS. Hollywood can’t let a service that honors families stand.

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