Goto Section: 15.119 | 15.121 | Table of Contents

FCC 15.120
Revised as of January 22, 2019
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 15.120   Program blocking technology requirements for television receivers.

   (a) Effective July 1, 1999, manufacturers of television broadcast
   receivers as defined in section 15.3(w) of this chapter, including
   personal computer systems meeting that definition, must ensure that
   one-half of their product models with picture screens 33 cm (13 in) or
   larger in diameter shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in
   the United States comply with the provisions of paragraphs (c), (d),
   and (e) of this section.

   Note: This paragraph places no restrictions on the shipping or sale of
   television receivers that were manufactured before July 1999.

   (b) All TV broadcast receivers as defined in § 15.3(w), including
   personal computer systems meeting that definition, with picture screens
   33 cm (13 in) or larger, measured diagonally, or with displays in the
   16:9 aspect ratio that are 19.8 cm (7.8 in) or greater in height and
   digital television receivers without an associated display device
   shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the United States
   shall comply with the provisions of paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of
   this section.

   (c) Transmission format. (1) Analog television program rating
   information shall be transmitted on line 21 of field 2 of the vertical
   blanking interval of television signals, in accordance with
   § 73.682(a)(22) of this chapter.

   (2) Digital television program rating information shall be transmitted
   in digital television signals in accordance with § 73.682(d) of this
   chapter.

   (d) Operation. (1) Analog television receivers will receive program
   ratings transmitted pursuant to EIA-744: “Transport of Content Advisory
   Information Using Extended Data Service (XDS)” (incorporated by
   reference, see § 15.38) and EIA-608: “Recommended Practice for Line 21
   Data Service” (incorporated by reference, see § 15.38). Blocking of
   programs shall occur when a program rating is received that meets the
   pre-determined user requirements.

   (2) Digital television receivers shall react in a similar manner as
   analog televisions when programmed to block specific rating categories.
   Digital television receivers will receive program rating descriptors
   transmitted pursuant to industry standard EIA/CEA-766-A “U.S. and
   Canadian Region Rating Tables (RRT) and Content Advisory Descriptors
   for Transport of Content Advisory Information using ATSC A/65-A Program
   and System Information Protocol (PSIP),” 2001 (incorporated by
   reference, see § 15.38). Blocking of programs shall occur when a program
   rating is received that meets the pre-determined user requirements.
   Digital television receivers shall be able to respond to changes in the
   content advisory rating system.

   (e) All television receivers as described in paragraph (a) of this
   section shall block programming as follows:

   (1) Channel Blocking. Channel Blocking should occur as soon as a
   program rating packet with the appropriate Content Advisory or MPAA
   rating level is received. Program blocking is described as a receiver
   performing all of the following:

   •  Muting the program audio.

   •  Rendering the video black or otherwise indecipherable.

   •  Eliminating program-related captions.

   (2) Default State. The default state of a receiver (i.e., as provided
   to the consumer) should not block unrated programs. However, it is
   permissible to include features that allow the user to reprogram the
   receiver to block programs that are not rated.

   (3) Picture-In-Picture (PIP). If a receiver has the ability to decode
   program-related rating information for the Picture-In-Picture (PIP)
   video signal, then it should block the PIP channel in the same manner
   as the main channel. If the receiver does not have the ability to
   decode PIP program-related rating information, then it should block or
   otherwise disable the PIP if the viewer has enabled program blocking.

   (4) Selection of Ratings. Each television receiver, in accordance with
   user input, shall block programming based on the age based ratings, the
   content based ratings, or a combination of the two.

   (i) If the user chooses to block programming according to its age based
   rating level, the receiver must have the ability to automatically block
   programs with a more restrictive age based rating. For example, if all
   shows with an age-based rating of TV-PG have been selected for
   blocking, the user should be able to automatically block programs with
   the more restrictive ratings of TV-14 and TV-MA.

   (ii) If the user chooses to block programming according to a
   combination of age based and content based ratings the receiver must
   have the ability to automatically block programming with a more
   restrictive age rating but a similar content rating. For example, if
   all shows rated TV-PG-V have been selected for blocking, the user
   should be able to block automatically shows with the more restrictive
   ratings of TV-14-V and TV-MA-V.

   (iii) The user should have the capability of overriding the automatic
   blocking described in paragraphs (e)(4)(i) and (4)(ii) of this section.

   [ 63 FR 20133 , Apr. 23, 1998, as amended at  68 FR 68546 , Dec. 9, 2003;
    69 FR 2849 , Jan. 21, 2004;  69 FR 59534 , Oct. 4, 2004;  73 FR 5682 , Jan.
   30, 2008;  74 FR 63079 , Dec. 2, 2009;  77 FR 4913 , Feb. 1, 2012]

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Goto Section: 15.119 | 15.121

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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