Homemade gizmo lets users censor annoying TV content


Frustrated by the saturation of mindless celebrity news on television, electronics hobbyist and MAKE Magazine blogger Matt Richardson decided to find a way to cut out television content that he has no desire to subject himself to, like, say, reports about Kim Kardashian’s new haircut, or other such drivel.

To accomplish this goal, Richardson created the Arduino Enough Already!. Based on the open-source electronics and programming platform Adruino, this tiny gizmo connects to the television, and is able to automatically mute the sound when pre-established keywords are mentioned.

The Enough Already! achieves this auto-censoring by decoding the closed caption data, which is broadcast through the NTSC picture signal. Richardson coded the device to pick up on certain words (he chose names like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen, but you could choose literally anything).

When a designated keyword comes through the closed caption, a modified LED on the Enough Already! acts like the TV’s remote, and commands the television to mute for 30 seconds. (Mute duration can be increased or decreased depending on user preference.) If the keyword comes through again, the clock resets, and keeps the sound off.

Because the Enough Already! is based entirely on an open-source platform, users can tweak the device to match their specifications — or to do something else altogether. Richardson suggests some mods to his creation, like adding a flashing light that illuminates when a word you do want to hear about is mentioned, or as a signal for a drinking game.

The downside to the Enough Already! is that one must possess a higher-than-average tech savvy in order to make the thing work. It’s possible to buy the various components for the contraption already assembled, but it takes some programming know-how and other tinkering skills to get the thing going.

Watch a video about the Enough Already! below: