Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Parental Lock?
The Parental Lock is a feature available on most digital televisions and devices which allows you to block access to particular programs or channels. The feature is an important tool for parents and guardians who wish to control their children’s television viewing options.
How do I know if my TV has a Parental Lock?
Most digital televisions, digital set-top-boxes and personal video recorders have a Parental Lock. The Parental Lock is normally accessed via your device’s MENU or SET-UP function that can be accessed via your remote control. If you are unsure whether your particular device has this feature you should refer to your product manual or user guide, or contact the manufacturer. It is now compulsory (from 4 February 2011) for all new models of digital television receivers sold in Australia to include this functionality.
How does the Parental Lock feature work?
Parental Locks allow you to block programs based on their classification (for example G, PG, M or MA) via the use of a PIN (personal identification number). Some devices also allow you to block whole channels. Once the function is activated, only those with access to the PIN can access the blocked content. The PIN is nominated by you at time of set-up.
How do I use the Parental Lock function?
Parental Locks vary between devices, so you should refer to your product manual or user guide for instructions on how to use this functionality. Most manufacturers have information on their websites about where to locate and how to use the Parental Lock feature. Click here for a list of manufacturers.
In most cases you will need to begin by clicking on the MENU or SET UP button on your remote control and then accessing your set-up options which should include a Parental Control or Parental Lock feature.
Most Parental Lock functions require a PIN (personal identification number). When accessing this feature for the first time the PIN will be a default PIN set by your manufacturer. In most instances this will be 0000 or 1234. Once the default PIN is entered, you can then nominate your own PIN. If you change your PIN you must remember to write it down and keep it in a safe place. If you lose or forget your PIN, you may need to reset your device to the default factory settings. You should contact your manufacturer for more information.
Most devices allow you to either block a particular channel or block content based on the classification level. For example, by selecting PG, any program content rated PG or higher (ie. M and MA) will require the use of a PIN to view/access this content. For more information about program classifications, click here.
Once these options are selected, only those who know the PIN code can access or view the blocked content.
Once you have enabled the Parental Lock, you may need to change channels or switch your television off and back on again for the Lock to take effect.
Does the Parental Lock function work on programs I have recorded?
On some digital video recording devices, the Parental Lock function will not apply to recorded content.
What is the PIN?
Most Parental Locks require a PIN (personal identification number). Only those who know the PIN code can access or view the blocked content.
When accessing this feature for the first time, the PIN will be a default PIN set by the manufacturer. In most instances this will be 0000 or 1234.
Once the default PIN is entered, you can then nominate your own PIN. If you change your PIN you must remember to write it down and keep it in a safe place. If you lose or forget your PIN, you may be required you to reset your device to the default factory settings.
You should check your product manual or user guide, or contact the manufacturer, for more information about the PIN, the default PIN, how to change your PIN, or if you have lost or can’t remember your PIN.
What if I can’t find the Parental Lock function?
Some older digital receivers may not have the Parental Lock function. You should consult your product manual or user guide or contact the manufacturer to determine if your particular model has this feature.
What do the classifications mean?
What you watch on commercial television has been classified to comply with a Code of Practice. Programs carry classification information and warnings to help inform your viewing choices.
For a one page Fact Sheet about program classifications, click here.
For more detail on program classifications, click here to download a copy of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.
How can I determine what content is appropriate for children?
Program classifications help inform your viewing choices. Program classification symbols and warnings are usually displayed at the beginning of a program. Information can also be found on most electronic program guides (EPGs) and in TV guides in newspapers, magazines and online. For a one page Fact Sheet about program classifications, click here.
For more detail on program classifications, click here for a copy of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.
What content can't be blocked?
In some instances, the Parental Lock feature will not work on any content or program that has been recorded. This includes any content that has been paused (even if it's for a second or two). Some sporting programs as well as news and current affairs programs are not subject to classification and therefore will not be blocked if the Block by Classification option has been enabled.