New television sets, set-top boxes and PVRs will be required to have a Parental Lock from February 2011.
The mandatory lock will give parents the option of limiting access to television shows in their homes based on a show’s classification (PG, MA etc).
Viewers who don’t wish to utilise it will not be affected.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority announced the decision following a review of parental lock systems with industry and parental groups.
“Mandating the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers supports parents and guardians in protecting their children from content on television which they might consider inappropriate or harmful,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
“The standard ensures that certain equipment supplied to the market meets consumer needs for an appropriate and effective protection mechanism for children. The ACMA has worked to ensure the standard is clear and unambiguous so as to assist industry in meeting its obligations.”
Some equipment on sale already offers a Parental Lock, including Foxtel’s iQ.
People considering the purchase of new equipment during the lead up to the change should seek advice from retailers.
The ruling takes effect from 4 February 2011.