Control Which Channels Your Family Sees

Depending on your cable company, set-top box and television set, there are different alternatives available that let you block out specific programs or entire channels.

Don’t have a set-top box?

You may be able to block programming with your TV’s V-Chip. Your cable company may also be able to install blocking equipment if you don’t have a set-top box.

Contact Your Cable Company

Visit your cable company’s website for more specific information about parental controls.

The V-Chip

If you don’t have a set-top box, your TV set may provide control features. All television sets 13-inches or larger manufactured after January 2000, and some sets sold after July 1, 1999, contain technology called the V-Chip. The V-Chip technology utilizes the industry’s TV ratings system to block programs that may be of concern. If you bought your television in 2000 or later, it is likely to have a V-Chip. This device electronically reads a signal embedded in the programming and enables parents to choose the programs that they deem appropriate for their family.

The V-Chip can block by ratings which are both age- and content-based. You may be familiar with the icons that appear at the beginning of television programs in the upper left-hand corner of the TV screen for the first 15 seconds of the program.

The V-Chip works differently from set to set, depending on the manufacturer. The set-up process for your V-Chip can be found in the on-screen menu options or in the set’s instruction manual. It is controlled through your TV set’s remote.

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