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V-Chips Explained

September 28th, 2011

Recently we explained how to set up DISH Network parental locks, but did you know your TV also offers parental controls?

These controls are based on the FCC regulated V-Chip guidelines, which require all TVs 13-inches and larger to be equipped with technology that allows the blocking of content based upon its rating.

Here are the ratings:


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.


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 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. Note: 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. For programs designed for the entire audience, the general categories are:


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.


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).


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).


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).

If you are having issues with parental controls blocking out certain content and you’ve verified your DISH Network receiver’s locks are not the cause, you may want to refer to your TV’s owner’s manual to ensure the V-Chip settings are correct.

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