How to block content using parental controls

Background

In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board administer rating systems that provide parents with guidance about the content and age-appropriateness of movies and TV programs. The term parental controls refers to features that restrict access to movies or TV shows based on the movie or TV show rating.

To learn more about US rating systems definitions, visit:

Similar rating systems exist in other countries.

In recent years, parental controls have been extended on computers and mobile devices to include other features such as limiting screen time, or preventing in-app purchases.

Parental controls for streaming channels

Although many channel providers offer viewing of movies and TV shows that have been rated according to the MPAA and TV Parental Guidelines, many channel providers offer shows that have no rating whatsoever.

Roku does not regulate the type of content offered by each channel provider. It is therefore the responsibility of the channel provider to provide parental controls for their content within their channel.

Many popular Roku channels offer parental controls. Below are links to some of them:

Some providers also offer features and services specifically designed for kids:

How can I tell what kind of content is offered by a channel?

It is the responsibility of each channel provider to indicate how the content within their channel is rated. The rating information for a specific channel is shown in the Roku Channel Store as follows:

  • Rated: All Ages – The channel provider states that the content within their channel is appropriate for all ages.
  • Content Rated – The channel provider states that the content within their channel is rated according to the standard movie and TV show ratings.
  • Content Not Rated – The channel provider states that the content within their channel is not rated according to the standard movie and TV show ratings.

To find the content description described above, use the following steps:

  1. Press home on your remote to go to the main screen.
  2. Scroll up or down and select Streaming Channels.
  3. Browse a category or genre, or search for a specific channel.
  4. When you find a channel that interests you, press OK on your remote to open the details and view the content description.

  • Note: A content description only appears when you access the Roku Channel Store from your Roku device. This information does not appear when you access the channel details from channelstore.roku.com on a computer or smartphone.

Can I control who can add or purchase channels from the Roku Channel Store?

Yes. Roku provides a feature that allows you to control who can add or purchase channels from the Roku Channel Store by requiring a 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number). For more information on creating a PIN, click here.

Other parental control features on Roku players

Parental control features on Roku TV™

Roku TVs offer a broader range of parental controls than Roku® players, mainly because they allow access to broadcast television using an external antenna connected to the Antenna TV input of the Roku TV.

  • Note: For countries other than the United States and Canada, parental controls on the Antenna TV input may not work If the movie or TV show is not rated according to US or Canadian standards.

To access parental controls for your Roku TV:

  1. Press home on your remote to open the main screen.
  2. Scroll up or down and select Settings, then Parental controls.

The first time you access Parental controls you will be required to create a 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) that will be used for enabling and disabling parental controls. DO NOT FORGET YOUR PIN.

  • Note: Your parental controls PIN is different from your Roku account PIN. For help creating a Roku account PIN, click here.

If you already created a parental controls PIN, you must enter it before accessing the Parental controls menu.

From the Parental controls menu, you can:

  • Show or hide items from your main screen

    Provides options for hiding the Movie Store and TV Store on the main screen, and additionally the News option.

    To access these options, select Home Screen.
  • Setup parental controls for the Antenna TV input

    Roku TV’s provide traditional parental controls for restricting access to broadcast content received over-the-air using an external antenna connected to the Antenna TV input of the Roku TV. Note: These options only apply to content received via the Antenna TV input.

    To access the controls, select TV tuner.

    The first time you access the TV tuner menu, your Roku TV will prompt you to scan for channels. Before you begin, make sure an external antenna is connected to the Antenna TV input of the Roku TV. The scan process will take several minutes to complete. After channels are detected, the following options will become available under the TV tuner submenu.

    • Parental control of TV shows: Turn parental controls on/off
    • TV ratings: Set US television rating limit (Y, Y7, G, PG, 14, MA) and set options to block programs by content type (V, S, L, D)
           For more information, click here.
    • Movie ratings: Set US movie rating limit (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17)
           For more information, click here.
    • Canadian English ratings: Set Canadian English rating limit (C, C8, G, PG, 14+, 18+)
           For more information, click here.
    • Canadian French ratings: Set Canadian French rating limit (G, 8+, 13+, 16+, 18+)
           For more information, click here.
    • Block all unrated programs: Set option to block/unblock unrated programs

    As you watch programs on the Antenna TV input, or tune to different channels, the current program will be blocked from viewing if the rating of the program falls outside the specified rating limits or if the program is unrated and you have elected to block all unrated programs. If a program is blocked, then the video is obscured and the audio is muted. You will be required to enter your 4-digit PIN to unblock and access the program.
  • Reset all parental control settings

    Clears all parental control settings, including the PIN.

    To reset, highlight Reset parental controls and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Change your 4-digit PIN

    Allows you to change the 4-digit PIN used to access the Parental controls menu.

    To make this change, select Change PIN and enter a new PIN.
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