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Chapter 4: TV Features and Menus
Chapter 4 37
How V-Chip Works
V-Chip reads the program’s age-based rating (TV-MA, TV-14, etc.) and content themes [(Violence (V), Adult
Language (L), etc.)]. If you have blocked the rating and/or content themes that the program contains, you will
receive a message that it is not available.
Broadcasters are not required to provide content themes, so programs received with no content themes will only be
blocked if you block their age-based rating. You can also block out programs that have been given a rating of Not
Rated, and programs that are considered unrated. The TV age-based ratings and content themes you can block
USA V-Chip Rating System
TV-MA (Mature Audience Only) Specifically designed to be viewed by adults and may be unsuitable for children
under 17. It contains one or more of the following content themes: crude indecent language (L), explicit sexual
activity (S), or graphic violence (V).
TV-14 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) Contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for
children under 14. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are
cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program contains one or more of
the following content themes: intensely suggestive dialogue (D), strong coarse language (L), intense sexual
situations (S), or intense violence (V).
TV-PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) Contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.
Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The program contains one or more of the
following content themes: some suggestive dialogue (D), infrequent coarse language (L), some sexual situations
(S), or moderate violence (V).
TV-G (General Audience) Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. It contains little or no
sexual dialogue (D) or situations (S), no strong language (L), and little or no violence (V).
TV-Y7 (Directed to Children 7 years and older) Designed for children ages 7 and above. It may be more
appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe
and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy violence (FV) or comedic violence, or
may frighten children under the age of 7.
TV-Y (All Children) Themes and elements in this program are designed for a young audience, including children
from ages 2-6. It is not expected to frighten younger children.
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