V-Chip FAQ - Canada
Q: Why don't ratings apply to all programs?
A: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission concluded that four types of programming should be rated.
Children's, drama, feature films and reality-based programming needed to be rated.
Q: Does the V-Chip block violent images shown on news programs?
A: News programs are exempt from classification.
Q: Can the V-chip in my set be activated to use more than one rating system at a time?
A: Yes. The V-chip can interpret the signal encoded in the broadcast and compare it to the correct rating system setting. When tuned into a Canadian English-language station or network, the chip will find rating codes used for that system. The V-Chip can also interpret parental guidelines for American programs and block them accordingly if activated.
Q: What if I want to watch an American show on a Canadian station? What rating does the system use?
A: Canadian television broadcasters are required to rate programs broadcast on Canadian TV according to Canadian criteron.
Q: How do I find out in advance what rating has been assigned to a program?
A: If you want to find out what rating a show has, we recommend contacting that particular broadcaster.
Q: If I have a complaint about how a program is rated, what do I do?
A: Contact the broadcaster directly as a first step. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can take your concerns to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC). The Council is the broadcasters' independent, self-regulatory organization responsible for ensuring compliance with industry codes and standards, including the classification system.
Q: Will the on-screen icons still be used even though the broadcasters are now encoding for the V-chip?
A: Yes, the industry has agreed to continue using the on-screen classification icons.
Q: I have an older set in the basement rec room, which my kids use all the time. Can I get a V-chip installed in that set?
A: At the moment, V-chips are only installed in television sets at the factory, and older sets cannot be retro-fitted.
However, now that Canadian broadcasters are encoding their programs for V-chip technology, some companies are developing a stand-alone box which could be hooked into older tv sets. Information on one such provider can be found at www.vchipdirect.com