TiVo to Offer Tighter Rein on Children’s Viewing – New York Times

kid tivos

TiVo to Offer Tighter Rein on Children’s Viewing – New York Times Well tomorrow’s big announcement from TiVo is more than likely to be, as Gear Live scooped, a new initiative towards a concept known as kidzone, a service that, according to the New York Times, lets its video recorders limit children to watching shows approved by one of two groups promoting family programming.

From the New York Times:

“Under the TiVo plan, parents will be able to designate ratings issued by one of two groups Common Sense Media or the Parents Television Council.

Common Sense Media was formed in 2003 with backers including Charles R. Schwab, the brokerage company executive, and Philip F. Anschutz, the billionaire investor; the Parents Television Council, formed in 1995, is headed by L. Brent Bozell III, a conservative commentator.

The new TiVo service will let children watch only programs the designated group deems appropriate for the age range specified by the parent. In addition, parents can automatically record programs designated by the groups as especially worthwhile.”

TiVo’s software, called KidZone, will be made available without additional charge in June to the 1.4 million users of TiVo’s stand-alone set-top boxes.

Although this in some ways is a let down to those of us who were hoping for bigger news (TiVo Series 3, subscription only pricing model, Netflix deal, major partnership, etc.), it is still really important. As a father of four kids, what they watch has increasingly been on my mind lately. Personally I try to limit much of what they watch to PBS (my little sproutlets) but inevitably the Cartoon Network ends up on and I find myself questioning what they are watching.

Having a kidzone filtered lineup of programming seems to make sense. And although it’s not as sexy as high definition TV, what our kids end up watching and filling their minds with very much could be far, far more important. If this is, as the New York Times is reporting, tomorrow’s big announcement, I’m looking forward to hearing more about it and as much as I was looking for something more tech centered, I may find myself, as a father, just as excited about their new technology.

My more thought out response to this new announcement today can be read here.