How to use parental controls with your DIRECTV Genie

As a parent, you have the right to control what your children see on the screens they use. It’s hard to do, because there is so much out there. At least, if your children watch DIRECTV, there is a way for you to easily control what they see.

How to do it

Start by pressing the MENU button on your remote. From there, arrow down to “Settings” and then over to “Parental Controls.” Press SELECT.

Ratings blocks

Arrow down to the areas on ratings and you can choose exactly which content you want your kid to see. To change something from “Allow” to “Block” just arrow to it and press SELECT. If you change something to “Block” all the higher ratings below it will also change to “Block.” If you change something to “Allow” all the lower ratings above it will also change to “Allow.” It makes more sense when you’re actually doing it.

Make sure to change all the ratings: Movies, TV, Other, and Adult channels. Each one has its own ratings.

Channel blocks

You can also block whole channels the same way. This can come in handy if you don’t want the kids getting to premium channels.

Viewing hours

As the kids get older you might want to trust them with a little bit more independence. You can set viewing hours for weekdays and weekends if you like.

Lock it all down

When you are all done, choose “Lock Now” and choose a passcode the kids won’t guess. Don’t make it anyone’s birthday or your house number or phone number.

Remember to do this with every client that your kids use. The setting from one client doesn’t carry over to other clients.


Why set parental controls?

Obviously if you have a little kid in the house, that’s an obvious reason. But, it’s not the only reason. You may simply want to block channels because you think they’re annoying. Although, you can create a favorites list for that. Really I find the spending limits really useful. Sure, I generally look at the prices of pay per view events but sometimes I get anxious or excited. Putting a spending limit in place really helps make sure I don’t end up bingeing on sports events. It just helps me stay responsible.

It’s also important to know that when you first get the DIRECTV client, the parental controls may not be set the way you want. For many years, DIRECTV receivers came from the factory with unrated and NC-17 videos blocked. This is a family friendly feature that was widely applauded by the media when it was first rolled out. However, if it’s just you in the house you can take those blocks off.

It’s easier than ever

Using DIRECTV, you really have a lot more power over what your kids can watch. It’s nice to know that there are still some ways you can control things.

If you want to add a Genie client to your existing system, find the one you want at Solid Signal!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.