Parental Controls and Resources

Parental controls do more than just block certain channels. They are meant to help parents make informed decisions about what programs are safe for younger viewers.

As a parent, it falls on you to know what’s on television and, in the end, make a decision about whether or not it’s appropriate for your child. Parental controls come standard with DIRECTV and, through a partnership with Common Sense Media, parents can learn more about what’s on television and whether or not it’s age-appropriate.

We’ve also put together some helpful tools and tips in order to help parents better protect their children from inappropriate content, no matter which provider you have.

Interactive Channel Guide

There are some channels on TV that some parents might not want their children to be able to access. To help you better decide which channels are appropriate for your kids, we’ve put together a handy, interactive channel guide. Use the guide to sort channels based on the ratings we’ve applied.

Most channels feature a variety of programs that all vary in terms of rating and content. Not everything on a channel may be age-appropriate. In order to simplify this, we determined channel ratings based on cumulative ratings of current programming lineups for each channel. Use this guide and your best judgment when determining whether or not a channel is right for your child.

Channel sorting based on criteria established by the American Television Content Rating System:

  • tvy For channels with programs designed to be appropriate for all children including ages 2-6.
  • tvy7 For channels with programs designed to be appropriate for children ages 7 and up.
  • tvy7fv There are programs on this channel featuring fantasy violence.
  • tvg Most parents would find programming on this channel suitable for all ages.
  • tvpg There might be programs parents would not find suitable for younger viewers.
  • tv14 Programs on this channel contain material unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.
  • tvma Programming on this channel is designed specifically for adults.


There are other resources out there for parents concerned about what their children might be watching. Common Sense Media not only reviews shows, movies and games – they provide helpful talking points and topics of discussion so parents can address the subject matter of certain programs with their kids.

Other sites and resources include:

There’s a lot on TV, but that doesn’t mean you have no control when it comes to what your kids see. Take back control of your television and learn how you can protect your children from the kinds of programming they aren’t ready to see.