Date Set For Parental Lock

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the date for a technical standard to make parental locks a required feature of digital television receivers sold in Australia as 4 February 2011. Parental lock is a feature of digital television receivers which allows controlled access to programs based on their classification, for example, G, PG, M or MA.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the date for a technical standard to make parental locks a required feature of digital television receivers sold in Australia as 4 February 2011. Parental lock is a feature of digital television receivers which allows controlled access to programs based on their classification, for example, G, PG, M or MA.

‘Mandating the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers supports parents and guardians in protecting their children from content on television which they might consider inappropriate or harmful,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

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. People who do not wish to use the feature will not be affected.

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.

‘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,’ Chapman said.

A huge proportion of domestic reception equipment currently available includes the parental lock feature. People 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.

The Broadcasting and Datacasting Services (Parental Lock) Technical Standard 2010, together with a range of background information and information to assist equipment suppliers to comply with the standard, is available on the ACMA website.

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