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Christmas and Tech:
What Parents Need To Know –
Part III Streaming TV

Girl TV Cropped MediumHave you cut your Cable, yet?

Lot of folks are doing that these days since there are so many options for getting the content you want.  Not only do we have the old standbys like  NetFlix, Hulu+, VUDU, SHO, Max GO, and Amazon Prime, but more and more networks and premium services are starting their own streaming services.

Plus, there are many ways to gain access to these services:  Computers, tablets, phones, Blu-Ray/DVD players, Smart TVs, game consoles, and Set Top Boxes (STBs) like ROKU and AppleTV.

The problem is that having a variety of sources complicates parenting!

(Don’t forget to read Part I and Part II, also!)

With CableTV you could set controls one time and you were done.  Depending on your provider, even the titles of objectionable shows might not even appear!  Good deal!
But, moving from CableTV to “ala carte” entertainment notches up the complexity of the parental controls problem.   For every service you have you will need to ask the following questions:

  1. Smiley QuestionDo parental controls exist for this service?  Many will have some form of controls, but some (like HULU+) may not.
  2. Are the controls account-based or device-based? (Can you set controls for all devices at the account level or do you have to set controls on each device that you use used, separately)?
  3. Are there limitations on the controls based on what device or system you are using? (i.e.NETFLIX controls can’t be accessed in “apps” and must be set via a web browser.)
  4. Is the hardware my child (or the entire family) is receiving as a gift going to provide access to any of this content?

Over the years I’ve posted articles on many of these services.  So, instead of “reinventing the wheel” here are links to those articles:

More articles, including the new ones for AppleTV and Amazon FIRE,  will be coming out over the next few weeks, so make sure you subscribe to the blog.

In addition, here are some additional articles that might be helpful:

Well, that ends this 3-part series.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that you make it through BLACK FRIDAY in good shape!

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