Parental Lock Feature Soon to be Mandatory on all Australian Digital Televisions Receivers
Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) February 01, 2011
All new models of digital television receivers sold in Australia from 4 February 2011 must offer a parental lock feature under a technical standard determined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
The technical standard, determined in August 2010, mandates the inclusion of a parental lock feature in new domestic reception equipment used for viewing free-to-air services such as integrated digital televisions, set-top boxes and personal video recorders.
‘The parental lock feature allows parents and guardians to protect their children from content on television they may consider inappropriate or harmful,’ said ACMA Acting Chairman, Mr Richard Bean.
‘While a significant proportion of equipment currently available in the market already includes parental lock, the technical standard makes it a required feature in new models sold from 4 February,’ he said. ‘However, some models offered for sale prior to this date, and still in stock, may not include the feature.
‘If parental lock is desirable, you should discuss this with the retailer, or ask for a demonstration’
Parental lock is a feature of digital television receivers allowing parents and guardians to control their child’s access to program content based on the program’s classification, for example, G, PG, M or MA.
When activating parental lock, users are prompted to select a program classification level and a personal identification number (PIN). The parental lock feature will then prevent any program classified at or above the selected level from being shown unless the PIN number is entered.
Parental lock will not block programs that are not subject to classification, such as news, current affairs and sports programs.
Over the past 12 months the ACMA has worked closely with equipment manufacturers and broadcasters to ensure parental lock will operate effectively from 4 February 2011. Broadcasters have committed to have timely and accurate information about program classification on their electronic program guides (EPGs).
The technical standard requires that parental lock be available in domestic reception equipment for those who wish to use it. People who do not wish to use the feature will not be affected.
The Broadcasting and Datacasting Services (Parental Lock) Technical Standard 2010, together with a range of information to assist consumers and equipment suppliers to comply with the standard, is available on the ACMA website.
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