What is parental control?

What is parental control?

Most Freeview approved products offer a Parental Control feature to help you ensure only appropriate broadcast and recorded content is available for children in the home.

How it works

Parents and guardians can use Parental Controls to set a maximum rating - if a programme on air has an audience rating above your chosen level, a password is needed to view that show.  This password is set by the parent or guardian.

Most devices use former ratings of G, PGR & AO as available settings for Parental Controls.  Under BSA's new classification system, introduced in 2020, AO is split into M, 16 & 18; while G remains unchanged and PGR is updated to PG.

You can still use the available settings on your TV/box to set up Parental Controls and help protect children under your care from inappropriate content.

For example, if you set the maximum rating to G, then a password would need to be entered in order to view any programme rated PG, M, 16 or 18.  Similarly, if you set a maximum rating of PG, then a password must be entered before any programme rated M, 16 or 18 can be viewed.

How to set it

You can usually find Parental Controls, Child Locks or Parental Locks features in the MENU, SETTINGS or ADVANCED SETTINGS of most devices.

If you're asked for a passcode, try the default code.  This varies across devices but is typically one of the following: '0000', '1234', '8888' or '9999'.

Find instructions for your TV or box

As menus and settings vary across device brands and models, it's always best to refer to your Device Manual for detailed instructions on how to set or change Parental Controls on your TV, set-top box or recorder.

To make life a little easier for busy parents, we've compiled a library of device-specific instructions for setting Parental Controls - look for your device here to find the instructions for your TV or box.

If you need more help to set or use Parental Controls on your TV, set-top box or recorder, it's best to contact manufacturer support.

New 2021 TVs

The ‘16’ and ‘18’ Parental Controls setting on your new 2021 TVs won’t work before mid-June 2021, you may like to use 'M' in the meantime to block content rated AO.  Please see here for more information.

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