Commercial Filtering Software


You probably associate adult TV channels with the pay platforms like Sky and Virgin, when in fact you can just as easily access adult services on Freeview, Freesat and YouView. Channels delivered via satellite, cable or via your TV aerial are restricted to offering 'softcore' content. They nevertheless feature content which in inappropriate for children and some operate 24/7.

If you ever leave your kids alone in front of the telly, you probably need to think about hiding the adult channels in the electronic programme guide (EPG) to avoid any chance of your kids stumbling across them. All the major UK TV platforms offer this facility.

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If you want to restrict access to adult channels on your Freeview TV or set-top box, you will need to refer to the instruction manual that came with your device as the parental control settings vary depending on manufacturer.

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Freesat TVs and set-top boxes are manufactured by variety of different providers. The Freesat website offers guidance on hiding the Adult Genre or blocking access to adult channels on Freesat on a device by device basis.

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Sky allows you to hide all adult channels from the electronic programme guide (EPG.) This means that these channels will no longer appear in the on screen listings. You can also block age-rated programmes, lock specific channels, set spending limits and prevent unaccompanied viewing of programmes in your Planner. Don’t forget to change your PIN from the default when setting up parental controls.

Instructions on enabling parental controls on a Sky+ box appear on pages 40-44 of this guide.

Instructions on enabling parental controls on a Sky HD box appear on pages 28-31 of this guide.

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Virgin Media

With Virgin if you’d rather not have any adult channels listed in your on screen TV guide, you can hide them. You’ll find instructions on how to do this up on your V Box, V HD Box or V+ Box here.

Virgin’s TiVo box has a more advanced range of parental controls allowing you to set purchase controls, restrict access to apps and games, lock channels and hide adult content.

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YouView set-top boxes come with integrated parental controls which allow you to customise the level of protection to the extent that you can even hide the Adult On Demand area completely.

Setting parental controls on a YouView box

Setting parental controls on a YouView box from BT Setting parental on a YouView box from TalkTalk

Please note, there are also adult Freeview channels that exist in the YouView guide. These are currently always visible regardless of setting.