How to Use a V Chip
Have you felt that you need to block a certain channel or rating because it was unsuitable for your children, but you didn't know the process? Thanks to Bill Clinton's Telecommunications Act of 1996, all television sets with a screen larger than 13" made on or after July 1, 1999 have something called a V-Chip installed. The “V” in V-Chip stands for “viewer control.” Parents can use this device to control what type of television shows their children are watching. Follow these steps to find out how to use the V-Chip in your TV.
Get the TV’s user’s manual.Since all models are different, you’ll need to know how to adjust the settings on your V-Chip. It’s usually found in the menu option on the TV’s user interface.
Use your remote control to access your V-Chip.Again, press the "Menu" button and search for something that says “V-Chip” or “parental lock.”
Set a PIN code.You’ll need a 4-digit PIN code to be able to activate and deactivate the V-Chip. For the generic password to access the settings in your specific model, check the user’s manual or go to the manufacturer’s Web site. After you’ve entered the generic password, set your own password and save your settings.
Choose to block shows and/or channels according to your children’s age group.Here is a brief description of what TV ratings mean:
- TV-Y: Designed to be appropriate for all children.
- TV-Y7: Appropriate for children age 7 and above. May contain comedic violence that can frighten smaller children.
- TV-G: Most parents find this suitable for all children. These programs are not usually designed with children in mind.
- TV-PG: This rating suggests having parental guidance. This rating may have capital letters underneath like V, S, L or D. In order, these stand for violence, sexual situations, language, and suggestive dialogue.
- TV-14: Parents may find this unsuitable for children under the age of 14. Violence and sexual content become more extreme.
- TV-MA: Mature audiences only. These programs have very strong language, explicit sexual material, and graphic violence.
Navigate through the V-chip menu to adjust the settings that fit the ages of the children in your home.Once the settings are saved, try to access the channels that you have blocked to make sure that the settings are in effect.
Now you can have peace of mind that your children aren't watching shows that could be bad for them.
- Set a password that you’ll remember but won’t be so easy that your kids can guess it.
- You can always choose to unblock a program if you decide it’s safe for your children to view by entering your password. You don’t have to reset your choice later.
- When choosing to allow your children to watch a specific program you have blocked, don’t give them your password. By putting the password in yourself, you’ll be saving yourself from having to reset it later.
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