Censoring All The ‘F’ Words On TV

[Milton] sent in a build that censors every ‘F’ word on TV, and not just the one that rhymes with ‘duck,’ either. His setup sounds the alarm every time someone inside the moving picture box says a word that contains the letter F.

The build is based around Nootropic Design’s Video Experimenter Shield. This neat little shield has been used as a video sampler and has analyzed what the talking heads are actually saying. The Video Experimenter Shield has support for closed captions, meaning a transcript from a TV show can be read in real-time. All [Milton] had to do so the ‘F word’ alarm could be sounded was strchr().

The F-Chip, as [Milton] calls his build, includes three outputs – a solenoid sounds a bicycle horn, sends some air through a whistle, and lights up an ‘F-word’ alarm. From the video of the F-Chip in action (available after the break), we can tell that this build is awesome, thoughtful, and annoying. The only way it could be made more annoying is by making an ‘E-word’ alarm, but there are ways around that.

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Analyzing TV’s Talking Heads With Processing


[Michael] from Nootropic Design wrote in to share an interesting and fun project he put together using one of the products his company sells. The gadget in question is their “Video Experimenter” shield which was designed for the Arduino. It is typically used to allow the manipulation of composite video streams via overlays and the like, but it can also serve as a video analyzer as well.

When used for video analysis, the board lets you decode closed captioning data, which is exactly what [Michael] did here. He decided it would be fun to scrape the closed captioning information from various shows and commercials to do a little bit of content analysis.

Using a Processing sketch on his Arduino, he reads the closed captioning feed from his cable box, keeping a count of every word mentioned in the broadcast. As the show progresses, his sketch dynamically constructs a cloud that shows the most commonly used words in the video feed.

The results he gets are quite interesting, especially when he watches the nightly news, or some other broadcast with a specific target audience. We think it would be cool to run this application during a political debate or perhaps during a Hollywood awards ceremony to discover which set of speakers is the most vapid.

if you’re interested in learning more about the decoding process, [Michael] has put together a detailed explanation of how the closed captioning data can be pulled from a video stream. For those of you who just want to see the decoder in action, keep reading to see a quick video demonstration.

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