Parental controls for streaming services

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) is growing rapidly in Australia as a popular way to watch video content. SVOD users simply need a device with an internet connection and pay a monthly fee in order to gain unlimited, ad-free access to a range of video content on demand.

In 2015, Australians saw an explosion of online video content viewing options with the launch of three new SVOD services: Netflix, Presto TV and Stan.

Research conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows a rapid take-up of these services by Australians, with an estimated 3.2 million adult Australians (17 per cent) watching video content via SVOD in the six months to June 2015.

All major SVOD services offer some form of parental controls for families to ensure children at various stages of development do not access inappropriate material.

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Apple TVApple TV

Apple TV is a popular digital media player that allows users to access and stream video content from SVOD services, as well as stream video content and music from other Apple devices to their TV.Apple TV allows you to use parental controls, known as ‘Restrictions’, to block or limit certain features and services on your Apple TV.

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Netflix has proven to be by far the most popular SVOD service amongst users in Australia, with ACMA research finding an estimated 78 per cent of SVOD users—2.5 million adult Australians—using Netflix to stream video content in the six months to June 2015.

Netflix offers parental controls which are customised to corresponding maturity levels for children at different stages of development, including Little Kids, Older Kids and Teens.

Presto logo


Presto’s parental controls allow you to select which level of content classification is appropriate for everyone in your home to watch. If anyone wants to watch content with a higher classification, they will need to enter a PIN.

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Quickflix’s parental controls let you set a minimum classification for content that will require a PIN to be entered in order to view, e.g. if you set the level at M, any movies or TV shows classified as M or higher will require a PIN.

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Stan's parental controls allow you to set up customised profiles which can be restricted for different members of the family. A profile can be restricted to content Stan thinks is appropriate for children, or restricted to certain classifications. Different profiles can also be protected with a PIN to make sure someone doesn't log in as the wrong user.

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The YouTube Safety Centre provides safety tips, including advice on keeping personal videos private, cyberbullying, spam and phishing; as well as information about how to protect identity and appropriately manage interactions with other users, tips on how to be a responsible digital citizen and how to use the community flagging system.

YouTube kids

YouTube Kids and YouTube Red

YouTube Kids offers family friendly content along with parental controls that can set time limits on apps and turn off search functionality. See the YouTube Kids Parental Guide for more information. Families can also watch YouTube Kids free of paid ads by subscribing to YouTube Red.

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