Television Rating Information
In the mid 1990s, the broadcasting industry created a voluntary ratings system intended to accompany all television programming. This ratings system is known as “TV Parental Guidelines.” A monitoring board exists to ensure that ratings guidelines are applied accurately and consistently across the television programming spectrum.
Rating labels appear in the corner of your television screen during the first 15 seconds of each television program. They are also included in the online TV listings pages of A&E®, HISTORY®, and Lifetime® as well as the television listings of many newspapers. The labels were created to help parents determine which programs provide suitable viewing for their children. Each label corresponds to the degree, if any, of the following content contained in the designated program: Violence (V), Sex (S), coarse Language (L), sexual Dialogue (D).
Ratings are assigned to all television programming on The History Channel. Below is detailed information regarding the different ratings levels.
V-CHIP, CABLE LOCKBOX AND SET-TOP BOXES
The V-chip is a technology that lets parents block television programming they don’t want their children to watch. The V-chip electronically reads television-programming ratings and allows parents to block programs they believe are unsuitable for their children. (Ratings appear in the corner of your television screen during the first 15 seconds of a program and in TV programming guides). This rating is encoded into the program, and the V-chip technology reads the encoded information and blocks shows accordingly. Using the remote control, parents can program the V-chip to block certain shows based on their ratings.
CABLE ‘LOCKBOX’ AND SET-TOP BOXES
Cable subscribers may request a “lockbox” from cable operators to prevent viewing of any channel on which objectionable programming may appear. Cable operators are required to make lockboxes available for sale or lease to customers who request them. Lockboxes can also be purchased from other commercial distributors. The Communications Act includes a provision that is designed to increase control over the programming coming into a subscriber’s home. Section 640 requires a cable operator to fully scramble or block the audio and video portions of programming services not specifically subscribed to by a household. The cable operator must fully scramble or block the programming in question upon the request of the subscriber and at no charge to the subscriber. Some cable analog and advanced analog set-top boxes have the ability to block channels of programming. To block the channel, the viewer enters the correct Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) code using the set-top’s remote control or keypad. Digital set-top boxes provided by cable operators have parental control capabilities that allow customers to block programming based on several criteria. While not all boxes have the same features, a digital box might allow viewers to block programming based on time and date, channel, program title, TV rating and/or motion picture rating.