Streaming services have a lot of great family friendly content to offer. For parents, it’s important to be sure that kids are safe while enjoying that content.
In this post, we’re taking a look at the parental controls on some of the most popular streaming devices.
Roku devices have several features that work well for parents who want to limit what kids can do with the family streaming devices. First, there’s PIN authorization. With this feature, you can control which apps are purchased or added by requiring a four digit PIN.
To further control what shows up on your home screen, go to your settings from the home screen. There, you can choose to hide the Movie Store, TV Store, and Featured Free sections that will sometimes show content that isn’t geared toward a younger audience.
You can also easily check on the rating of individual channels before giving your kids the go ahead to tune in. Just go to the home screen, select streaming channels, and choose the channel you want to see. In the description, many channels will have an age rating.
Keep in mind that while not all streaming devices will allow you to restrict content based on ratings, many streaming services will let you set up those restrictions within the app, either through the settings or by creating a kid friendly profile.
On Android TVs, family members can have separate profiles, making it easier for parents to control what apps their kids are able to access. To start, set up a restricted profile for anyone that you want to have limited access to apps. With a restricted profile, the user cannot access the Google Play Store, make purchases, or use third party apps.
After setting up a restricted profile, you can go to the settings and change those setting one app at a time. Go through the list of apps available on your Android TV and choose either Allowed or Not Allowed for each.
On Amazon Fire TVs, you can set up parental controls to help determine what can be purchased, viewed, and listened to with the device. The Prime Video PIN controls it all, starting with protecting purchases. You can require that your four digit number be entered before any content is purchased through Amazon.
Your PIN can also help determine which apps can be opened on your Fire TV. After installing apps, your settings will allow you to browse the apps you’ve purchased but will require that the PIN be entered before that app can be opened.
One feature that sets the Fire TV apart from Roku is the ability to set up viewing restrictions. You can change your settings to prevent playback of any movies or TV shows based on their ratings category. You can also prevent playing songs that contain explicit lyrics.
Apple TV calls their parental controls Restrictions. The controls work by restricting specific types of content from playing on the streaming device. Once again, it starts with creating a four digit PIN.
To set up your restrictions, go to your Apple TV menu and navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions. There, you’ll be able to customize your controls. Choosing Allow means no PIN will be required to view the app or use the feature. Restricting the app or feature means you’ll need to enter your PIN to use it. You can also choose Block to make the app or feature unavailable, and you can even Show or Hide the app completely.
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