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TV and Parental Controls

With so many channels and programs to choose from these days, many parents are increasingly concerned about children finding unwanted content. Below are some tools and resources to help you navigate TV programming, and keep unwanted content out of your home.

Find Educational Programming for your Kids

It's easy to find educational programming for your children. The FCC maintains a list of educational and instructional programming which you can explore with our KidVid tool. It can show you channels, schedules, and websites for programs from commercial broadcast television stations in your area.



Block your child from watching violent, sexual or other inappropriate TV programs

All televisions larger than 13 inches and made since January 1st, 2000 are required to contain a "V-Chip," which parents can use to block inappropriate programming. Because TV and cable boxes vary, we can't give you exact instructions for every model. Generally, use your remote control to click on the menu. Look for the "set up" or "main" settings and then follow the prompts to words such as "parental controls" or "V-Chip". Once there, you will need to enter a password. After that you will be able to block TV programs using ratings, times, or specific shows. Read more… about how the V-Chip works and how to set it up.

You can also learn about TV Ratings to help you decide which programs are appropriate base on your child's age.

Many cable or satellite providers will block entire channels if you ask them to. Check with your local provider to see if they offer this service.

Read more about the history of the V-Chip.

Protect Your Child from Obscene, Indecent, and Profane Programming

It is the FCC's responsibility to make sure that children and parents can avoid obscene or indecent programming. To help protect families the FCC requires that indecent programming and profane speech on broadcast TV or radio are only allowed between 10 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., when it is unlikely that children are watching television. Content considered "obscene" is never permitted on TV or radio. Learn More…

File a Complaint about Obscene, Indecent, or Profane TV Programs

if you believe a TV program violated the rules about obscene, indecent or profane programming, file a complaint with us . The FCC vigorously enforces the law where we find violations. Learn more about programming laws.