ACMA wants more parental control but suppliers don’t agree

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is planning on introducing mandatory parental locks for all digital TV receivers. One supplier has stated that this would not be a feature he would promote to the market.

This morning, the ACMA announced that it intends to make it compulsory for all digital TV receivers to include locking mechanisms, allowing users to control access to programs for other viewers. This would be based on programs’ classifications.

Robert Bonano, marketing manager at Topfield, was not enthusiastic about this change.

“To be honest I am a bit indifferent to it, this feature has been included in PVRs for a long time now, but I didn’t think it would be made mandatory for all receivers,” he said.

“A parental lock would not be something I would openly promote to the market as a feature of our products. I don’t think it is a selling point for consumers.”

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman voiced a very different opinion on the matter. He said introducing a technical standard is something consumers want as it will help parents protect their children from watching inappropriate programming.

“Mandating the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers will support parents and guardians in protecting their children from inappropriate or harmful content on television,” he said.

“The ACMA will determine a technical standard in the second quarter of this year that will require domestic reception equipment for receiving digital television services to have a parental lock capability.”

ACMA has released a discussion paper and is calling for public responses. The discussion paper can be found at www.acma.gov.au. To learn more about Topfield, visit www.topfield.com.au.

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