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TV PARENTAL CONTROLS

INTRODUCTION
In 1996, the television industry created TV Parental Controls a voluntary rating system designed to give parents information about the content of television programs. This system provides parents with information about the content and age-appropriateness of television programs. These ratings can be used in conjunction with the V-Chip blocking device contained in many television sets to automatically filter out unwanted programs. The TV Parental Controls Monitoring Board makes sure that the rating guidelines are applied accurately and consistently to television programming.

More information can be found at http://www.thetvboss.org/.
EXPLANATION OF TV RATINGS
The following ratings were created to help parents make intelligent choices about which programs are suitable viewing for their children. Each rating corresponds to the degree, if any, of the following content contained in the designated program: Violence (V), Fantasy Violence (FV), Sexual Situations (S), Coarse Language (L), Suggestive Dialogue (D).
TV-Y: All Children
TV-Y: All Children
This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2 - 6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.
TV - Y7: Directed to Older Children
TV-Y7: Directed to Older Children
This program is designed for children age 7 and above. It may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy violence or comedic violence, or may frighten children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children.
TV - Y7 FV: Directed to Older Children - Fantasy Violence
TV-Y7 FV: Directed to Older Children - Fantasy Violence
For those programs where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than other programs in this category, such programs will be designated TV-Y7-FV.
TV - G: General Audience
TV-G: General Audience
Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.
TV  PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
TV-PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program contains one or more of the following: moderate violence (V), some sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D).
TV  14: Parents Strongly Cautioned
TV-14: Parents Strongly Cautioned
This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program contains one or more of the following: intense violence (V), intense sexual situations (S), strong coarse language (L), or intensely suggestive dialogue (D).
TV  MA: Mature Audience Only
TV-MA: Mature Audience Only
This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program contains one or more of the following: graphic violence (V), explicit sexual activity (S), or crude indecent language (L).
This material comes from the TV Controls Website (http://www.thetvboss.org/), a good source for TV ratings background and information.
V-CHIP & LOCKBOX
V-Chip
The V-Chip is built into a television set to work in conjunction with the TV Parental Controls. It electronically reads television programming ratings and allows parents to block programs they believe are unsuitable for their children. There is a V-Chip in every television set 13 inches or larger manufactured after January 2000 and some sets sold after July 1, 1999. More information can be found at http://www.thetvboss.org/.

Cable 'Lockbox'
Cable subscribers may request a "lockbox" from cable operators to prevent viewing of any channel on which objectionable programming may appear. Cable operators are required to make lockboxes available for sale or lease to customers who request them. Lockboxes can also be purchased from other commercial distributors. More information can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/csgen.html.
RELATED LINKS
TV PARENTAL CONTROLS
Guide to ratings, FAQs, and additional resources about children and TV viewing

CONTROL YOUR TV
Instructions for using the V-Chip and tips on managing TV viewing in your home

FCC PARENTS' PLACE
Ratings and explanations, V-chip and lockbox info, and a history of cable TV from the Federal Communications Commission

NCTA - PARENTAL CONTROLS
Parental controls from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association
NCTA - TV VIEWING TIPS FOR PARENTS
TV viewing tips for parents from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association
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