Parental Locks Coming To Digital TV Receivers

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Parents can soon be able to determine which digital television programs can be watched by their children, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority issuing a technical standard to make parental lock a required feature of digital television receivers sold in Australia from 4 February 2011.According to the ACMA, the technical standard requires the parental lock feature be available in domestic reception equipment, such as integrated digital televisions, set-top boxes and personal video recorders, for those who wish to use it.

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman said that the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers will protect children from inappropriate or harmful content on television.

“I thank the television supply industry for its positive engagement in the development of the standard. Solutions to a number of key issues raised during the consultation process were incorporated within the standard. The standard ensures that certain equipment supplied to the market meets consumer needs for an appropriate and effective protection mechanism for children. The ACMA has worked to ensure the standard is clear and unambiguous so as to assist industry in meeting its obligations,” said Chapman.

The determination of the technical standard follows a consultation process undertaken by the ACMA earlier this year in which members of industry and the wider public were invited to comment on issues concerning the standard.

While a substantial proportion of domestic reception equipment currently available includes the parental lock feature, those considering the purchase of new equipment during the period leading up to the commencement of the standard should seek advice from a retailer about which models contain the feature. 

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