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Saving Your Children from R-Rated Videos: How to Add Parental Controls to Your Roku

May 1, 2014 - 22:46 -- RokuGuide

Roku Parental Controls Although X-rated adult content on Roku is limited to private channels, there is plenty of R-rated content on public channels in the Roku channel store. If you want to keep the kiddies away from risqué content, but still be able to watch it yourself after family hour, your options are limited. Roku doesn't offer any true parental controls, but here is a workaround. Although inconvenient, it's easier than locking your Roku in the liquor cabinet when you're out of the room.

The parental control workaround is actually very simple, despite its inconvenience. First, you'll need to setup your Roku account so that a PIN is required to add any channel from the Channel Store:

  • Log into your Roku account at owner.roku.com
  • Select "Update" next to PIN Preference in the center of the page
  • Select the first option: "A PIN is required when using your Roku account to make purchase or add any item from the Channel Store."
  • Enter a 4-digit PIN that you'll be able to remember, and then save changes.
Now, delete any channels that you don't want your kids to have unrestricted access to:
  • Go to your Roku's home screen and select "My Channels".
  • Use your remote to navigate to the channel you want to remove and then press the * key on your remote.
  • Select the "Remove channel" option and press "OK" on your remote.
  • Select "Remove" and press "OK" again to confirm that you want to remove the channel.

When you're ready to watch the channel, select it from the Channel Store (using the search function on your Roku's home menu may be faster), and enter your PIN when prompted as you install the channel. When you're done watching, delete the channel again.

If you delete a fee-based channel, you won't need to pay again to re-install. But if you deleted a channel that is linked to an account, you will have to relink or login again every time you add the channel back.

Don't forget that a few Roku channels have their own parental controls. Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and Redbox are among these. Set up the channel-specific parental controls on these channels and you won't need to delete them when you're done watching.

No, it's not as simple as a true parental-control option that would let you enter a PIN to watch the channels directly from My Channels, but it's only a couple of extra steps, and you have the peace of mind of knowing your children aren't watching R-rated Roku channels while you're out of the house.