Today, we had the pleasure of speaking with Britt Bennett, Co-Founder & President of TVGuardian LLC.
The story of the TV Guardian starts like any great invention. A person sees a need not currently met, and their passion takes over to meet it. Inventor Rick Bray was watching E.T., a movie which everybody considers a kids or family movie. Rick was quite disappointed in the plethora of foul language in this film. He wondered why there had to be so much foul language in the media and why technology wasn’t available to deal with this problem.
Britt had a similar story. While watching Mrs. Doubtfire with his kids in the theater, he too experienced a vast amount of profanity. I’m sure they both had the same question. Why does this have to be? Can’t families simply enjoy television and movies without exposing them to unnecessary language? Suddenly a 6 year old hears words they shouldn’t hear until they are 12, 16, or maybe not at all. We usually assume if we turn on a Disney or family movie it should be free of offensive material. Most of us have experienced many of these same situations. When it happens, we cringe inside. It goes straight to the heart. We as believers are all too often exposed to the use of our God’s name in vain. In TV today, this is one of the most acceptable forms of profanity allowed to be broadcast uncensored. Britt admits most have a deep visceral frustration with this. Americans feel they have no true filtering / monitoring choice. They can use the vchip and block almost everything or watch nothing at all. Believers should have the choice to be entertained without offensive material. Their mission is to provide us with that option.
The TV Guardian began as a set top box. They then began to license the technology for DVD players. It was installed in 12 million DVD players. As DVD players became less popular and cheaper, they began negotiations to license the technology to cable & satellite TV providers. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a huge interest from those providers. Therefore, they didn’t make any significant progress in that direction. Though it was not initially marketed specifically for believers, it was evident that they were the largest consumer group interested in the product.
At one point, there was uncertainty if this business could continue. They have this proprietary technology & patent that may have went unused. Imagine not making this valuable technology available to families & believers. Kids in the future may have watched TV unfiltered. They would have been subjected to material that was inappropriate for any age. Fortunately, the great desire for this business / ministry to succeed prevailed with perseverance and God’s help. This product is something Britt & Rick care for & are very passionate about.
The response to the new product release has been much stronger than expected.
Consumers are excited it’s back and that it’s available for high definition content as well. The new TV Guardian devices are available in Standard as well as High Definition. We are optimistic in the near future that blu-ray players will begin to incorporate closed captioning in their devices. This will allow the TV Guardian to filter blu ray content.
There is a shift in marketing focus for TV Guardian. They are focusing on direct sales and working with large ministry partners. Ministry partners will be able to share the product with their supporters. I personally believe most if not all of those supporters will see the true value in this product.
During the initial product launch there may be some delay as production ramps up. The good news is by late summer / early fall the product should ship with no delay.
When asked what he personally does to protect his family from the immorality in media, Brit said “I limit the amount of TV my children watch. The TV Guardian provides an extra level of protection as well. Britt shares a story of a visit to a hotel while traveling. The first thing that kids typically do is jump on the beds and flip on the TV. However, once on the bed, Britt’s kids begin reading or writing. I’m sure that’s quite refreshing. Reading feeds the mind and opens up the imagination tremendously.
Many believers in the business world focus on meetings, money, position, and self-exaltation. They want God to bless their own plans. Britt offers the following advice for those believers looking to start a business. Simply make sure God is in it and that he leads it. It was during his many years in business, that this insight was gained. If he had to do it over again, he would follow that same advice. He has an upcoming book called the Christian Millionaire. This book should help us to discover how to put that advice to use in business. It sounds like it could be a great resource to Christian entrepreneurs. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when it’s available.
Britt started his overseas adventures at 17 with a year abroad in Japan. Since then he went on to acquire a degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii, become fluent in four languages, and travel to 38 countries of the world as a student, missionary and businessman. He currently serves as President of Worldwind and President of TV Guardian. He is an elder at Spiritual Life Church in Durango, Colorado (TheSpiritualLifeChurch.org). He is married and has three children, ages 8, 12 and 15. The Bennett family divides their time between homes in Colorado and Mexico.
Thanks to flexibility in his position, Britt is able to pursue ministry opportunities with his organization Faith Expeditions.
Faith Expeditions is a division of Worldwind, a non-profit 501(c)3 group whose goal is to:
Bring the good news of Jesus overseas.
Transform regions of this world with the life-changing message of Jesus.
To transform the American Church by bringing its members to the far corners of the world and putting their faith into practice.
For more information about the TV Guardian go to www.tvguardian.com
For more information about Faith Expeditions go to www.faithexpeditions.org