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Smart TVs

Smart or connected TVs are televisions with integrated internet capabilities. Smart TVs allow you to watch TV, as well as being able to browse the internet and watch TV on catch-up. If a television is connected to the internet it means you can access and watch Youtube on your TV, Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc. As of 2015, most TVs in the shops nowadays are smart TVs. 

Three steps for parents

  1. For your home internet: All home internet providers offer free parental controls tools that can help reduce the chances of your child coming across something inappropriate while browsing the web. If you are worried about the type of content your child might search for on your smart TV, if you have parental controls put in place on your WiFi router, these parental controls will also be applied to the browser of your smart TV. 
  2. On all your TV on demand apps: If you would like to restrict your children from watching certain TV programmes that you find unsuitable, you can see the parental controls on TV on demand services which allows you to restrict certain apps or programmes and put in place a pin code to ensure your children aren’t watching inappropriate content.   
  3. For faster streaming, ensure your TV isn't placed too far away from your router. 

Buying a smart TV? Questions to ask in the shop

If you are thinking about buying a smart TV for your home, why not print out our Shopper’s Checklist and ask these important questions in the shop?

Internet access

  • Is it possible to disable the internet browser on the smart TV to prevent my child from surfing the web?
  • How can this TV be used to watch or download films and TV or listen to music? Can I restrict access to content based on age ratings?

Communication

  • What are the ways this device can be used to communicate with people?
  • Can this device be used to play games? Are there any settings to prevent multiplayer gaming?

Apps

  • Can I prevent my child from downloading apps which are not age appropriate?
  • How can I report an app?
  • Are there any apps which might help protect my child?

Parental controls

  • What parental controls are available on this smart TV?
  • Can I create user profiles for the TV to ensure I can set up a child account?

Protecting personal information

  • Does this TV have any location services?

Costs

  • Can my child run up a bill using this smart TV by spending money on in-app content? Are there parental controls or ways of restricting spending?