Tag Archives: filter

Revisiting the Zen Water Vitality 4 Gallon Six Stage Water Purification System

Back in April I wrote about a water purification system I was using from Zen Water. I liked it, but also criticized some design flaws. It has been a few months and I figured I’d recap the issues I saw then, any new issues that have arisen, and give an update on my overall happiness with the product.

If you decide to buy one, use this link. 🙂

Design Flaws

This is a photo of my Zen Water Vitality Purifier.
This is a photo of my Zen Water Vitality Purifier.
  1. The boxing was flimsy and disintegrating.
  2. The unit seemed to be somewhat “dirty” when it arrived.
  3. The instructions were on laminate but included instructions for all models – which was unnecessarily confusing.
  4. There needs to be some clearer warnings about things you shouldn’t (e.g. washing ceramic filter with hot water).
  5. The plastic tanks and lids don’t fit perfectly (potentially allowing little nasty airborne things to get in…). I suggested that either making the components fit perfectly or having the lids slide over instead of sit on the tanks would seal out most bacteria, molds, etc.
  6. The bottom tank is not done with a smooth plastic surface which makes it difficult to tell how much water is left.
  7. The magnetic faucet fields like plastic junk.
  8. Another flaw I’ve noticed is that the faucet tap is placed into the bottom tank sidewall, rather than tapping in under the tank – this means that unless you tip the unit (not easy) some water will always stay in there.
  9. I am unsure what caused this, but the mineral stone container at the bottom eventually got blackish blotches all over it. They washed off simply enough and didn’t appear to be any sort of living organism…my guess is that the minerals tend to accumulate over time on the container.
  10. In a similar way, I’m unsure if this is an issue but there appears to be some sort of clothish filter in mineral stone dispenser and in the filter which I am concerned may be a breeding ground for things…and which seems to be becoming discolored…but isn’t replaceable without replacing the entire component.

Increasing Profitability

One more feature they could add that would significantly increase, imho, their ongoing profits is a notification program for when things should be replaced/maintained. They have the date of purchase, they can then count off (programmatically) the number of days till a maintenance task needs to be performed or the unit needs a part replaced, and then shoot out an email to the owner informing them of this need (and of course including a link to purchase the replacement part).

I imagine a lot of people either continue using the parts long past when they should have been replaced (and are operating at reduced efficiency) or simply set the unit aside and let it gather dust once it doesn’t perform at its highest standards, not bothering to replace parts…at least, this has been my experience with some products and an experience I have observed in others.

So What About It?

I like it. I really wish they would make the changes I’ve recommended above, most of which are really simple. Still, even with these flaws, I haven’t come across another system I’d prefer to have.

What Next?

Next step is in a few weeks to borrow a microscope and take a look at the water pre-filter and post-filter. I’m especially interested to see if there are any creatures living in my water. Haha, don’t worry, I’m sure there are creatures in your water!

ClearPlay DVD Player.

Ledger at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival PhotoImage via Wikipedia

Movies and television shows have allowed us to experience entertainment in ways never before possible. We can travel the world, experience adventure, discover ancient lands – such a multitude of experiences is laid out before our very eyes. Yet at the same time the advent of movies and television has brought much that we would rather not interact with on a personal or family basis. Depending on your individual and family beliefs you may have issues with extreme violence, drug or alcohol abuse, strong language, or explicitly sexual content.

This left many in a bind. Oftentimes the only movies that didn’t contain at least some of these elements where boring or childish. Great for when you have children – not so great when you get together as a family to watch a film or want something with more mature topical material for yourself. Even many great movies contained stunning – if brief – moments where they shot out some unexpected content. Ned Kelly starring Heath Ledger comes to mind with its unexplained and brief nudity. Awakenings starring Robin Williams, a moving film about disease and a courageous medical doctor contains a brief outburst of strong profanity.

An entire industry rose up to combat these issues. Edited DVD’s became very popular but were eventually outlawed by the courts as infringing upon the rights of the artist – manipulating the artist’s original intent. One vendor was found innocent of these accusations and continues to operate successfully to this day – ClearPlay.

How does it work? The ClearPlay DVD player doesn’t require special edited DVD’s, rather it has a small storage space inside the DVD player on which filters reside. These filters contain logic that says “skip time 01:15:33 to 01:15:35.” Thus the DVD player seamlessly skips over objectionable content – or mutes it. These filters aren’t blanket either. One can customize the filters according to one’s personal preferences. Don’t want to see explicit sexuality but drug and alcohol use doesn’t bother you? No problem, you can customize for that. Don’t want to see extremely gory violence but normal wartime or drama violence is acceptable? Can filter for that as well. ClearPlay offers extensive customizability on a per DVD basis.

Well, this DVD player must be exceptionally expensive to offer such advanced and useful technologies, right? No! The device is right around the same price as competitive DVD players that don’t offer the ClearPlay technology (every device should utilize this technology!). Right now ClearPlay has two models available, one priced at around $70 and the other around $80.

This is because ClearPlay doesn’t really care about the cost of the hardware – it makes its money from the filters. A subscription is $8/mo. with discounts available for annual, bi-annual, etc. purchases. These subscriptions allow you to download and install all the latest filters onto your DVD player. ClearPlay is constantly adding additional films to its list of filters. Or, if you don’t watch many movies you can purchase filters individually – when you feel it is necessary for the film you are watching.

I can’t recommend ClearPlay enough. So go out and buy one today – or at the least, next time you need a DVD player, make it a ClearPlay DVD player. It doesn’t cost any more than your average DVD player and even if you don’t subscribe to their filter subscription – at least you will have the technology available should you decide you need it.

I’ve been using my DVD player for around four years now without a problem! That is much more than I can say for some other DVD players I’ve utilized. Two thumbs up for ClearPlay!