Programming the V-chip
Tv-Ratings System



TV 14


News Release - TV Set Requirements and Ratings

V-Chip Task Force Updates V-Chip Encoding Survey
FCC V-Chip Survey

V-Chip Task Force Commissioned

V-Chip Technical Requirements

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V-Chip Information

For the first 15 seconds of every rated program lasting a half-hour or less, a large rating icon appears in the upper-left hand corner of the TV screen. For every rated program running an hour or longer, a rating appears in the upper-left hand corner of the TV screen at the beginning of each half hour.

Starting in mid 2005, many networks display the icons after every commercial break. ABC was one of the first television networks to display the program's rating after every commercial break in addition to at the beginning of the program.

Many networks have also introduced their own flair to the icons:

ABC's ratings icons do not use the regular Helvetica font, instead going with a Bank Gothic typeface, with black type on a white background, and are larger than the voluntary specifications. However, normal Helvetica ratings icons are shown on the network's HDTV feed and in promos.
CBS and The CW only show the icon at the start of the program, and use the original smaller icons.
Fox networks ratings icons are colored blue with white type, use a clockwise transition animation, and are larger than the voluntary specifications, appearing at the start of any live action program and, as of April 9, 2007, after every commercial break (the complete 15 seconds of the icon is shown as close to the half-hour as possible during an at least hour-long program; 5 seconds of the icon, without the clockwise transition, is shown after every other commercial break). Black and white icons are retained for animated programs on the network and the 4Kids TV weekend children's block. The clockwise animation is in use with these as well. In the late 1990s, when the ratings system was first introduced, 4Kids TV predecessor Fox Kids aired brief notices before a particular show containing the rating and informing the viewer that it's there "so you can have Fox Kids family fun!"
NBC's ratings icons are translucent, and have the yellow feather in the NBC Peacock logo "click and feather in" the icon like a mouse cursor clicking an icon to go with that network's current image branding. NBC and their related cable networks did not use the D-L-S-V subratings until 2005. [1] [2].
PBS' ratings icons vary by each program's producers, though usually the default icons are used, with black Helvetica type on a white background. PBS and the network's digital cable networks/digital broadcast subchannels also opted out of the D-L-S-V subratings until 2005.
Syndicated programming often will show ratings icons drastically different from the original icons, in a different font (such as Tahoma), with a translucent or no background, letters with drop shadowing, or which match up with the title card or closing credits font for the program. This owes to the fact that the individual programs' production companies, not the broadcasting stations, apply the ratings.
Both NBC and MyNetworkTV show the icon within the video area instead of the normal placement on a 4:3 scale whenever letterboxed programs are aired.
Turner Classic Movies uses the television ratings system to rate films not covered by the MPAA's film ratings system, which went into effect for films released after October 1968. As the network or the film's distributor rates the film on the TV ratings system instead of the MPAA's, some conflicts occur between the two ratings systems, such as a film that might rate a MPAA G earning a TV-PG, and some cases of a MPAA PG-like movie earning a TV-14 rating on TCM. Some MPAA rated films may also have a separate TV rating from TCM to clairfy content further within the D-L-S-V subratings.
Compare hotels in Amsterdam. It's easy to find cheap hotels in Amsterdam. Try to book Amsterdam Hotels cheap in advance. The cable network TBS airs the ratings icons after each commercial break, with a larger version of the icon at the top of the program. The rating icons are black lettering on a translucent white background.
Locally-produced programming may not show any kind of icon or indicator for a rating, and it is extremely rare for public access cable channels to have any ratings. News and sports channels (such as CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, ESPN, and Fox Sports Net), and broadcast news and sports shows have never used the ratings system, as live and taped sports and news events are excluded from having to be rated, though the commitments by the networks to edit out any live profanity and obscenity does remain.

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The ratings can be detected by a television set device known as a V-chip. V-chips are built into all television receivers manufactured since 2000. Older sets can be retrofitted with external set-top boxes. However, the V-chips have to be activated by the set's owner, and provide only a blanket blocking for programs displaying the owner-selected primary rating(s): subratings cannot usually be selected for exemption from V-chip blockage (there are some television sets which can block subratings, however). In order for the V-chip to detect the rating, the rating code must be embedded into the TV signal by the program's creator (in the same way closed captioning is embedded in the signal). Shows that simply display a rating on the screen but do not contain this embedded code will not interact with the V-chip and not be prevented from showing regardless of the displayed rating.

[edit] Content Advisory System
In addition to the TV Parental Guidelines, there is a content advisory system which preexists the implementation of the TV Parental Guidelines. This content system was proposed in the United States in 1994 by the cable television industry and went into effect by early 1995 on most major pay cable networks (such as HBO, Showtime, etc.) to identify if a program has explicit sexual content, graphic violence and strong profanity. Pay-per-view services began using the system in 1998.

Adult pay networks like Playboy TV and Spice Networks do not use this system instead generally describing content in their films and series as containing "nudity, people having sex and language."

The system consists of a code depicting the content described alongside the code. This system is accompanied by one of the following subratings:

V (Violence): for programs containing intense violence
MV (Mild Violence): for programs containing mild dramatic or comedic violence
AC (Adult Content): for programs containing highly suggestive dialogue
AL (Adult Language): for programs containing coarse language
GL (Graphic Language): for programs containing intense foul language
BN (Brief Nudity): for programs containing scenes of nudity usually lasting two minutes or less
N (Nudity): for programs containing scenes of full-frontal nudity shown for long durations
SSC (Strong Sexual Content): for programs that contain a few or several scenes featuring sometimes graphic sexual acts
RP (Rape): for programs that contain intense depiction of rape
The later two subratings are more commonly used for R and TV-MA rated programs. However, some PG-13 and TV-14 rated programs use the SSC and RP subratings. The RP subrating is the least used subrating in the system, while it is typical for the SSC subrating to be used on adult programming.

Pay-cable networks display the icons during the ratings bumpers, after the rating and special features (Stereo, Closed Captioning, etc.) bumper card.

HBO and Cinemax's content advisory icons do not use the regular Sans Serif font, instead going with a bold Trebuchet typeface, with white type on a black circle background, and are smaller than the voluntary specifications.
Showtime, The Movie Channel, Sundance Channel and Flix use the larger default icons.
Starz and Encore's content advisory icons are colored blue with white Arial Bold type, in a square background, and are slightly smaller than the voluntary specifications.
Pay-per-view networks' content advisory icons are circular, and are colored black with white outline with white Arial Bold type.
Despite formerly having been a premium channel, never used the content advisory subratings and also does not currently use the subratings that accompany the TV Parental Guidelines. This is likely because of the Channel's family-friendly nature as non-Original programming is usually edited for adult content.

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A new V-chip for web browsers? The product of the 21st century would definitely be a tool for restricting or at minimum alerting viewers to staged content all the way down to the web site hosting level. Poor content is delivered daily and by the giga-ton from shady site owners looking to cash in on their search engine marketing and affiliate advertising.

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