[mythtv] TV Parental Controls - Is it this simple?

Doug Young goofdad at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 20:41:18 UTC 2007

On 9/13/07, Sarat Vemuri <sarat at svemuri.com> wrote:
>  Hello All,
> I've played around with Myth a year ago but went to SageTV at that time.
> It appears that Myth has matured since then and I am thinking of switching
> to Myth.  One of the features that I need is Parental Controls for TV.
> Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think there is any thing
> available currently (even in SVN).
> So I started diving in to the code.  It appears that program ratings are
> already available from Schedules Direct.  So, all that is missing is
> actually using them.  I've played around with this a bit and here is what I
> think would work.
> 1. Store the following keys and values in the "Settings" table (one per
> host) (UI to set these)
>     PC.RatingSystem.Password.Rating - (example VCHIP.Password.TV-G = 1234)
>     PC.RatingSystem.Timeout.Rating - (example VCHIP.Timeout.TV-G = 120 for
> 2 hours )
>     PC.RatingSystem.LastEntry.Rating - (example VCHP.LastEntry.TV-G =
> yyyy:mm:dd:hh:mm)
> 2. In playback.cpp (mythfrontend) before playing a recording/list (haven't
> checked LiveTV yet)
>     - Get the Ratings from recordedratings table
>     - See if there is a password key for the rating. If not play it
>     - See if the timeout didn't expire since last entry for a rating. If
> not play it
>     - Ask for password and. Record Last Entry time. Play it
>     - Don't play if nothing matched.
> Seems pretty simple to me. Please correct me if I am on the wrong track.
> I'll go ahead start coding (may be not the UI for settings - can use DB to
> set them) if this approach seems reasonable.
> Sarat.

This looks very similar to the parental controls I just implemented for
mythvideo (ie, for DVD's), for which the code will be submitted this week.
See http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/dev/288155.   I'd suggest
going ahead and attempting the UI part because a: it will make the usability
skyrocket , thus b: better chance of your code making the mainline (big
assumption here, but hey), and c: it's just not that hard.

As a parent, however, what I'd really like to see is a way to override shows
to either a: allow my kids to see things that would normally be beyond them,
or b: bump a show to a higher level so they -can't- watch it.  I find that I
often don't agree with the ratings boards ;-)  If you had a handy way to do
that, I'd be totally sold.  If not, this is at least a good start.

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