Blocking features and parental control

Tools to help parents control children's TV viewing

Information about programming is probably your most powerful tool in deciding what your children should watch on TV. You may be concerned about violence, mature themes, sexual content, coarse or offensive language, or other content.

Viewer advisories (the written explanation about the content of a show at the beginning of the program) and on-screen ratings can give you some guidelines about a show’s content. Technology, like blocking features, can help you implement your decisions.

On-screen ratings

Canadian broadcasters give content ratings for children's programming, drama, "reality-based" shows and feature films. English-language broadcasters use the AGVOT classification system. AVGOT stands for Action Group on Violence on Television. Although the name suggests that the ratings are based only on depictions of violence, other elements, such as nudity and language, are included in the classification.

French-language broadcasters use the Régie du Cinéma du Québec’s classification system.

You can use these ratings to help you decide whether you want the program to come into your home.

For more information about ratings, see V-Chip Canada.

Blocking features

If your television has a V-chip, you can use the technology to block programs according to the on-screen ratings. For example, if you don’t want any programs with an “18+” rating in your home, you can set up the V-chip to block all shows with that rating.

If you subscribe to digital broadcasting services (for example, on cable or direct-to-home (DTH) satellite) you can use the blocking features in your set-top box. Check your manual for instructions on how to block a program, or ask your TV service provider for details.

Media literacy

If you want to learn more about how to manage media in your home, the Media Smart (formerly known as Media Awareness Network) offers practical support for the home, school and community.

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