The V-chip is an electrical component in TVs that allows parents to block inappropriate TV shows based on their sexual and violent nature. Since January 1, 2000, all TVs larger than 13 inches are required to have the V-chip by the FCC. TV shows are given ratings that are broadcast during the vertical blanking interval and decoded by the V-chip, which is a programmable closed-caption controller chip. However, due to difficulty in setting up the V-chip and a general lack of understanding, it has not been widely used to date. The V-chip also has no impact on offensive advertisements.
FAQ About the V-Chip in Televisions
The V-chip is an electronic component that has been integrated into all televisions of 13” and above since January 1, 2000. Its purpose is to allow parents to block TV shows that they deem inappropriate for their children. Here are some frequently asked questions about the V-chip:
What Does the V-Chip Do?
The V-chip is a programmable closed-caption controller chip that is capable of decoding impulses during the vertical blanking interval (VBI) of television signals. Based on the impulses it decodes, the V-chip blocks TV shows that have been rated for sexual or violent content.
Why Was the V-Chip Created?
The V-chip was created in response to concerns about the inappropriate content that television shows were displaying to children. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that all televisions of 13” and above must have the V-chip installed to ensure the safety of children who may watch TV without the guidance of parents or guardians.
How Do Parents Use the V-Chip?
Parents can program the V-chip to block TV shows based on the ratings that the shows have been given. When a TV show’s rating matches the one set up in the V-chip, the show will be either blocked completely or will require a password to be viewed. Parents can also select specific channels to be blocked, preventing their children from viewing TV shows that are inappropriate.
Is the V-Chip Widely Used?
Despite its usefulness, the V-chip has not been widely used since its introduction. Parents have found it difficult to set up the V-chip, and the technical nature of the component has left many users confused about how to use it. Additionally, the V-chip only works on television shows and has no power over advertisements that parents may find offensive.
Can the V-Chip Be Added to Existing Televisions?
Yes, a V-chip set-top box can be added to existing televisions. The set-top box integrates with the TV to provide parents with the same control as if the V-chip was already installed. This option is ideal for those who would like to use the V-chip but do not want to replace their current television.
The V-chip is an essential component in today’s televisions, especially for parents who want to protect their kids from inappropriate content. Although it has not been widely used due to difficulties in setting it up and its limited power over advertisements, it is an important feature that every parent should know about. With the availability of set-top boxes, the V-chip can now be added to older televisions, making it accessible to everyone.