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parental controls on amazon instant video

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Showing 1-25 of 236 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 7, 2011 2:04:41 PM PST
J. Whalen says:
you have to use a password to purchase a video, but if you have Prime, you don't need a password to view instant video. this means unless i'm sitting in the room with the TV, my kids can access anything available via instant video, including a lot of inappropriate content. anyone figure out a way to implement parental controls on this material?

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 4:44:39 PM PST

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 5:20:03 PM PST
J. Whalen says:
I'm waiting for the bloggers to get ahold of this - "AMAZON gives away X rated content to children". . . .

i just heard back from amazon's customer service who told me they don't have a solution to this issue. AMAZING to me. This has to be an issue for ANY AMAZON PRIME customer who has children under the age of 17 - that's got to be a lot of people - and you'd think the PRIME customers would be among the best customers, so you'd want to take good care of them! Yes, free video is a nice perk, but it BECOMES A PROBLEM IF YOU CANT BLOCK X, NR, and R rated content from your young children! Seems like there is a simple solution - keep the purchase PIN on the free videos. Or make it optional . . . As it is, I will have to turn off the service.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2011 12:17:24 AM PST
R. Bunton says:
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Posted on Mar 11, 2011 6:38:45 AM PST
DanG says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2011 11:58:51 AM PST
J. Whalen says:
wow. OK. i only thought i was asking, as a customer, for a feature i would like in a service, which any competing service that i know of offers - Netflix, my Verizon cable service, etc. to help me manage the flood of adult oriented media that my kids are exposed to. Thanks for the parenting advice, though. I never would have thought of spending time with my kids, I'll really have to think about that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2011 4:47:07 PM PST
R. Bunton says:
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Posted on Mar 13, 2011 9:23:11 AM PDT
Book Addict says:
As a parent of a 12 year old, I would still like a means to control content just as the other video providers offer. Kids can change the channel or start a movie while I'm making dinner in the next room.... that does not make me a bad parent... we cannot supervise 24/7 much as we might prefer to.... and my son does not have a TV or computer in his room. Please don't presume to tell us how to parent our children... we are just looking for a solution to a common problem. I personally am not ready for my son to watch R or X rated material. And I do occasionally have to leave the room to pay bills, make meals or use the bathroom.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2011 2:16:31 PM PDT
R. Bunton says:
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Posted on Mar 14, 2011 8:32:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2011 9:07:52 PM PDT
J. Bice says:
The solution to your problem is contained within your question. Password protection. As the parent you need to create a user log-in name on the family computer for each child who uses it and assign each thier own password (which YOU keep track of.) Keep yours to yourself. Their user account will not have any knowledge of your private settings. Your are your family's "Administrator" and there is NO reason for your children to have any of your passwords. At bedtime, check to see if you can log into thier account. If they have changed thier password, go to YOUR log-in account and delete them as a user and let them know why they don't have access. Change your Amazon Password and see to it that ALL online transactions are in the form of request which YOU fulfill. This way you will know what is being ordered and downloaded. IF you think the movies are a bad influence you should hear the music they are listening to. Remember this... While children are easier to make than raise, you have to think ahead of them, not for them. As an added precaution, why not spend an extra minute here and buy an external USB hard drive to save your movies on? Your library would not be attached to the computer when you are not there and the files would not be left where the kids could get to them. You could also take the precaution of saving the files to a folder that you have...PASSWORD PROTECTED. You see.. You had the answer and the control all along.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 4:03:24 AM PDT
J. Whalen says:
I have done all that my problem is not with computers but with the roku box. No password is required to access it

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2011 8:50:39 AM PDT
J. Bice says:
I have a roku box as well and this makes your problem all the easier. Simply disconnect it from the TV and keep it in a secured place when you are not home as you would a gun. Your kids may play the guilt card but at certain ages they CANNOT be trusted to halt their natural curiosity. This also safe guards against the possibility that they have friends over to watch offensive material. Other parents will thank you for the extra time and thought you into not contributing totparenting issues. For total control, change the password to your router and use the settings on the roku box to disconect it from your network. Make sure the "Hide Password" is engaged. When they are ready to watch a movie you can llear the room for a minute, log in and call them back in.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2011 3:15:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2011 3:48:10 PM PDT
Daniel says:
It's simple. Just log out of your account when you leave your computer. You can't view anything if you aren't signed in. If it's the roku box that's a problem just disconnect it from the internet straight from the source...your router.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2011 1:14:12 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 7, 2011 1:16:32 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 7, 2011 1:44:12 PM PDT
J. Bice says:
ACtually, amazon is just feeding into the roku. Fortunately it takes about 15 seconds to disconnect/reconnect your roku player. By putting the box in a safe place when not in use you BECOME the parental lock and no corporate measures would be as secure. However, if you don't want to have to physically remove the component, open the network settings on the roku and type in a fake password. You can change it back when you go to use it. This is what you would have to do if you had parental block on it and wanted to watch something on your own anyway. I'm sure you bought the Roku for NETFLIX.. THEY have a greater selection and much greater temptation for younger viewers to get an early education. As long as this thread has been running I am guessing some of them should be heading to college by now ;) Really.. Your simplest solution is to store the roku when you're away.. Despite the level of precosciousness, a locked liquor cabinet keeps kids sober (at least at home.)

Posted on May 23, 2011 9:32:32 AM PDT
The discussion of disconnecting boxes and monitoring your kids every move misses the point. And if you don't agree with the request that's fine. But I'm always amazed that when "parental controls" comes up in any discussion forum, there are those that want to jump on the parents as the problem.

Customers have a right to ask for features. you may not like it, then don't use it. But the feature request is valid.

The best implemented Parental Control I have used to date is TiVo's "Kid Zone". you put what you want in the kid zone. It also allowed channels and individual shows to be filtered by Rating so that even if a channel was allowed, certain programs on that channel might not be. When my kids are allowed to watch TV, they know they can watch anything in the kid zone.

Netflix has a filter that is somewhat useful. But the lack of a separate user account or a "Kid zone" if you will makes it less useful, as it is a global block. And Netflix likes to make suggestions. So if you watch a show that might be appropriate for an adult but you feel is inappropriate for your kids, those suggestions will be there right on top.

Amazon and Hulu are the worst. No filters. And the "popular movie and TV" listings tend to be filled with the most adult themes and shows higher in nude and crude content.

I would welcome a parental filter for Amazon Video on Demand content.

Posted on May 23, 2011 6:45:43 PM PDT
J. Whalen says:
Thank you Joachim, precisely my point and not being a TiVo customer i appreciate your description, their Kid Zone sounds like a nicely implemented feature.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 5:59:15 PM PDT
spookiewon says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 6:01:04 PM PDT
spookiewon says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 7:31:21 AM PDT
J. Whalen says:
On Netflix, click on "Your Account and Help" in the upper right corner of the home page, scroll down to Preferences, and click on "Change Parental Control Setting". Allows you to restrict access by rating. Verizon has a similar feature. Can't speak to Mediacom.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 7:32:45 AM PDT
J. Whalen says:
I don't believe there is X rated material but there is soft core porn with plenty of nudity and sex.

Posted on May 29, 2011 2:08:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2011 2:13:27 AM PDT
J. Webster says:
Just sign out of your amazon account when you are not using it. If you want your kids to be able to use the amazon prime streaming features, you should monitor your kid's watching and talk to them about what is ok and not ok to watch. If you feel that your kids wont follow your rules, don't let them use it.

Posted on Jun 28, 2011 12:56:14 PM PDT
Rick Pingry says:
I am just getting started with the trial of Amazon Prime, and I was hoping for some filters as well. Netflix does have them, but they are problematic. I was sad to see that Amazon Prime has even less control. We will have to see how it works out, maybe it will be ok.

As For me, the biggest issue is not that we are going to watch the content directly, but we are bombarded with the "recommendations" on the home screen for films/tv that I am not in the least bit interested in EVER seeing. *I* don't want to see the stuff (not to mention my children), not even the advertisements for it. I don't want to see the advertisements of these films come up when I am watching it WITH my family in my own home.

As Joachim said, this is a feature request, not a solicitation for parenting advice, moral guidelines, or anything else. Amazon Prime is a service that I pay a subscription fee for and I SHOULD be able to control what it displays in my home. The non-linearity of the medium and the choice is why I prefer it over TV and cable. I am sure they care about what their customers feel, and if enough of us are interested in this feature, they will provide some mechanisms for it. If not, then we all have a choice anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2011 8:34:28 AM PDT

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 11:52:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2011 11:58:49 AM PDT
Gaddio says:
If you want to win the hearts of parents and cause a massive customer shift from Netflix to Amazon Instant Video, add the following features:

1. Give parents a way to restrict the viewing of content (even thumbnails) by rating (e.g. PG-13, R, etc.).
2. Give parents a way to add specific exceptions by movie or show (e.g. BBC dramas are often NR, but are family appropriate). Netflix does not do this, and I would switch in a heartbeat if Amazon did this.
3. Let the community review movies like Netflix does.
4. Let the community quickly rate movies based on content (e.g. nudity, profanity, etc.) and quality (e.g. acting, directing, special effects, etc.) on a scale of 1-10.
5. Let subscribers set tolerance levels based on community ratings (e.g. I only want to have movies appear if a movie has been rated at least 10 times and has a profanity rating of 3 or less, i.e. low profanity).
6. Make sure the settings work with streaming devices (e.g. Roku, Samsung TVs, etc.) and have the ability to update in real time. Currently Netflix makes you wait up to 8 hours for your parental settings changes to propagate to your device. This is insanely dumb.

This will let people make educated decisions and protect their children and themselves from inappropriate content. Do this and you will get a ton of good press and a lot of new customers.
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Initial post:  Mar 7, 2011
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