Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review: The Townsend Terminator - app to block annoying commentary

Want to block out Andy Townsend or other annoying commentators during the World Cup without losing crowd sounds or other more useful commentary?

Well you're in luck because a new piece of software called C-Chip is currently in beta testing that will allow you to do just that by selectively blocking out annoying commentators on matches at this year's World Cup finals in Brazil.

The software, called C-Chip, which will be available for Android, iOS and PC, is inspired by the V-Chip seen in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut – a small device that administers an electric shock to an individual whenever they use vulgar language (hence the name). In the real world, a V-chip refers to any technology installed in a television set that allows parents to monitor and censor programmes based on their rating.

The new C-Chip software, however, performs a much more useful function of constantly monitoring TV and radio commentary on your phone, tablet or PC and then, by using a complex algorithm to predict when a specified commentator is going to speak, replacing the sound of their voice with birdsong until they have finished speaking.

The beta version of the software that I tested had plugins to replace Adrian Chiles, Stan Collymore, Andy Townsend, Alan Hansen and Alan Smith, but ones for Alan Shearer, Phil Neville, Lee Dixon, Glenn Hoddle and Stewart Robson will be available at launch, with others being added at a later date.

During the limited time that I had to test the software, it worked pretty well, although it did on one occasion mistakenly block out Theo Walcott when I had programmed it only to block out Adrian Chiles.

The software will sell for £2.99 on all platforms, with additional plugins costing 99p each.

Further plugins are planned to replace the commentary with something other than birdsong, such as the sound of crashing waves, whale noises or crowd noise, but it is not yet clear whether these will be available in time for launch.

At the time of writing, no one from the makers, C-Chip Tech Co., was available to tell us what C-Chip stands for.

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