Parental Control

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Re: Parental Control

Postby Village Idiot » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:41 pm

Gonz but how is that going to work if you have it in blocks ?
You set it for say PG13 but what if the kids are in bed and you want to what a R movie ?
Are you going to have different accounts ?
Wouldn't this be easier on the Netflix or AOD side instead of roku side ?
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Re: Parental Control

Postby TexGuy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:00 am

There could be a simple fix for this issue if someone came up with a password protected screen saver.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby renojim » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:01 pm

Good idea, but not really possible. Pressing any button on the remote kills the screensaver app.

-JT
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Re: Parental Control

Postby TexGuy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:43 pm

renojim wrote:Good idea, but not really possible. Pressing any button on the remote kills the screensaver app.

-JT


A password protected screensaver means you have to enter a password to get pass it.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby renojim » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:02 pm

I know exactly what you mean. It's just not possible with the current way screensavers are implemented on the box, period.

-JT
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Re: Parental Control

Postby mjn » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:48 am

Thank you Roku for the recent version of Ruko and its parental control features. Your customers do notice and appreciate the hard work Roku and Netflix are putting into this amazing and needed feature.

1. Thank you for keeping the netflix instant queue the same.
2. Thank you for allowing the option to turn on or turn off the search feature on Netflix.
3. Thank you for checking films against a user's rating selection for the search feature, and not displaying the video choices. Eg. Rating set to PG-13 and displaying or returning search results for rating "R" -- on Netflix.
4. Thank you for making sure that users can override the rating selection in their Netflix account, and still display preapproved movies on the instant queue -- Netflix.

I approve of the parental controls available with the Netflix / Roku combination. Keep up the good work.

As for the other channels, I have not looked into these features. I am going to guess that the most controversial channels will require subscriptions (eg. porn). As for the free ones ... up to now, I have not seen anything controversial. Although, as more and more channels area added, this will change.

Roku should copy Netflix's model. Allow the users to have an account on the computer. Then treat the channels the same as one would treat Netflix's TV shows and movies. The user has an "instant queue" that they can add and remove channels. Then on the Roku box, allow the ability to only display the "Roku instant queue" or allow the ability to do searches directly from Roku for new channels.

Side Note:

"Village Idiot" ... I read a lot of your posts concern this topic, and I wanted to reply. Your biggest gripe seems to be that you don't want to see your subscription costs increase. Your argument is that Roku/Netflix will definitely pass the cost of development onto the consumer, while the other side claims that will not happen due, that it is just part of doing business for Roku/Netflix.

Roku/Netflix are in the business to make money. Every feature that they add is based on either one, customers being added if they add a feature. Two, customers leaving if they don't add a feature. Three, government regulations that require it. Or four, fear of competition taking away market share.

Different people have different views on parenting, TV, and the internet. Some people have the view that everything should be open, and if the child sees something use it as a teachable moment. Other people have the opposite view that completely blocks all TV and internet. Most people tend to fall in the middle. Some fall more to the teachable moment direction while others lean more towards the blocking direction.

As for my family, when my kids were really little we only had DVDs and videos (no OTA TV and no cable TV), because it allowed us to only bring into our house what we pre-approved. When Roku and Netflix came out, and allowed the instant queue option, we brought a subscription to Netflix. Roku had the whitelist parental controls that we desired.

Recently Netflix has added the ability to do searches directly from Roku and Wii. From a programming perspective, I definitely see that is needed. And I am glad that Netflix understood that some parents did not want that and allowed us turn that feature off. Even better that they do allow filtering based on ratings.

Some parents want more filtering than Netflix / Roku provide, but realistically that is not Netflix's target market. There are companies out there that specialize in that target market, and a parent where that level of parental control is desired should contact those companies and convince them to partner with Roku. An example company is Family Safe Media. Maybe even Netflix can partner with them as a sub-division company.

The bottom line is that there is a certain level of parental controls that a majority of parents want and expect. Then there is another level of parental controls that only a small segment of the population wants, and they should pay more for it by either paying more or subscribing to a service that specializes in that area.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby jplehmann » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:02 pm

mjn: what version are you referring to? I just got my Roku today, and it obtained 2.6 b693. From the looks of posts on this board, this version has been out for many months. The only PC's I can see is a PIN to add a channel. (aside: I'd love to see a page with a version history of firmware version & changes).

My two cents: if an option can require a PIN to add a channel, why can't an option require that same PIN to access a channel (or to even access ANY channel)? That would be enough for me. It would at least be better than hiding the remote. This is the situation we have with my son's WII/Netflix (a PIN is required to even connect). I understand that wouldn't address everyone's needs, but a) seems like an easy option to implement, b) would benefit all channels and not just netflix, and c) wouldn't bother most people at all.

I have tried to get up to speed on the status of the parental controls, which is also very important to my family. Appreciate any pointers to relevant information I've missed.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby kc8pql » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:19 pm

jplehmann wrote:mjn: what version are you referring to? I just got my Roku today, and it obtained 2.6 b693. From the looks of posts on this board, this version has been out for many months.

Actually, 2.6 b.693 is a new build, released a week ago Friday. Roku updates firmware frequently. See the release notes at the top of the forum page.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby Village Idiot » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:41 am

jplehmann wrote:mjn:My two cents: if an option can require a PIN to add a channel, why can't an option require that same PIN to access a channel (or to even access ANY channel)? That would be enough for me. I understand that wouldn't address everyone's needs, but a) seems like an easy option to implement, b) would benefit all channels and not just netflix, and c) wouldn't bother most people at all.Appreciate any pointers to relevant information I've missed.


Please don't assume most people wouldn't be bothered.
I sure would be bothered if i had to keep using a pin for every channel when viewing.
I like to serf around before i decide what channel to watch.
Clicking in a pin each time would be a pain-in-the-donkey.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby Robert99 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:12 am

Village Idiot wrote:
jplehmann wrote:mjn:My two cents: if an option can require a PIN to add a channel, why can't an option require that same PIN to access a channel (or to even access ANY channel)? That would be enough for me. I understand that wouldn't address everyone's needs, but a) seems like an easy option to implement, b) would benefit all channels and not just netflix, and c) wouldn't bother most people at all.Appreciate any pointers to relevant information I've missed.


Please don't assume most people wouldn't be bothered.
I sure would be bothered if i had to keep using a pin for every channel when viewing.
I like to serf around before i decide what channel to watch.
Clicking in a pin each time would be a pain-in-the-donkey.

I think you miss Village Idiot's point.

If I'm understanding correctly, he is not saying that everyone wouldn't be bothered by having to enter a PIN to enter a channel. Clearly some of us (who don't want/need that feature) would find it an extra hassle to have to constantly enter a PIN. However, having the OPTION to enable/disable such a feature should be simple for ROKU (the company) to implement, and would likely be acceptable to both camps (helping the "parental control" camp, while not harming the "no need for this" group you are in). And FWIW I personally agree with his reasoning.

With such an option, those who feel they really need "parental controls" (as to which channel to watch) could easily enable the feature. Yes, those people would have the inconvenience of having to constantly enter PINs to change channels, but that is what that crowd was asking for (controls on where "little ones" are allowed to go on the ROKU).

However, those (such as yourself, and myself) who don't care about these controls can just as easily leave that option off, and the ROKU will continue to function as it currently does. Since simply turning that OPTION off will cause the ROKU box to function the same (if ROKU, the company, proceeded with VillageIdiot's suggestion), than those who turn the option off essentially are no worse off than if (as is the current case) the option didn't exist at all.

So the only thing that you or I would "lose" by that option, is the time ROKU engineers have diverted (from other projects which you or I may care about) by adding this option to the box. However, beyond that diversion of ROKU resources, this option costs us nothing if we don't want to turn it on and use it (but does greatly help the "parental control" crowd get what they want/need in the device)! And due to the nature of the request, where you simply want to have the firmware optionally (only when the feature is turned on) pop up a PIN dialog box before allowing entry into a channel, this really sounds like it is a feature that should be trivial to code on ROKU's end (and therefore likely shouldn't take a lot of developer time to implement in a future version of the ROKU firmware).

Of course, to be effective as a "parental control", the end user (who you are trying to "control") shouldn't be able to simple turn that feature on/off at will (or it defeats the point if anyone can turn off those controls to just watch what they want). However, that could easily be handled by any valid mechanism to restrict who can toggle that option on/off. For example, one simple option would be to not put this "parental control" on/off option on the "settings" tab, but instead require the "parent" to log into the ROKU web site (linked to the box) to change these settings. Or, another option (that would also work) would be to have the parental control on/off setting available from the ROKU box, BUT require a PIN code to be entered if/when you are trying to toggle/change that setting on the box.
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Re: Parental Control

Postby Village Idiot » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:43 am

Robert99 that would be a reasonable solution IF its an option.
IF that was something in the SETTINGS that someone who wanted PC ( parental control )
would select for themselves.
And IF those who didn't want or need PC would not have to worry about selecting it or having it selected for them.
Maybe roku can set that up.
But so far roku has not done that. Maybe its something they can't do.
It would be nice if some serious engineers, developers, ROKUmoderators could weigh in on it.
Instead of debating whether we should or shouldn't
they should be suggesting ways that could work where everyone would be happy.
Lets keep this on a tech level not a personal level.
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