DIRECTV users: Parental Controls and Favorites can set limits for your employees

If you’ve ever used parental controls on a DIRECTV receiver,  then you know it’s easy to set time limits and channel locks . This is an option for parents of small children, but did you ever think of using it in your business?

A quick primer on parental controls

Parental controls on DIRECTV receivers work very simply. As you know, commercial receivers for DIRECTV use the older menu system common in the 2010s, not the newer one used by Genie. A sample screen from that system is shown above.

To get into parental controls, press MENU, arrow down to Settings&Help, and press SELECT. Then arrow over to Parental Controls. Press SELECT and you’ll see the screen above.

From there you can enable ratings limits, lock channels completely, and set viewing hours. Just remember that when you are done, lock everything by going to “Lock Now.” Choose a 4 digit passcode that your employees won’t figure out.

Using parental controls in your business

If you have a bar or restaurant, you can lock out channels that you don’t want your customers to see, and highlight channels that you want to show off. If there’s a TV in the breakroom, you can set it to require a passcode for viewing during work hours, or limit the viewing of anything rated above TV-PG.

This is even more important in places like waiting rooms where you might be tempted to leave the remote out for customers to use. Parental controls will keep your customers from viewing content that might not be appropriate for everyone.

Favorites lists in a business

Setting up a favorites list on your receiver is very easy. There’s a full tutorial here, but really you just go into the menus, into Settings&Help, choose Favorite Channels, and choose which channels you want on that list. Once a list is set up you can add to it or remove a channel from it just by tuning to that channel and pressing INFO. Then arrow over to Favorites and you’ll see the options you need.

Why use a favorites list?

Creative use of a favorites list will also help you as a commercial customer. Because most people don’t memorize channel numbers or know all the inner workings of the receiver, using a favorites list can help you limit viewing. We call this “security through obscurity”… what the average person can’t find isn’t going to hurt him.

Here are some creative suggestions for favorites lists:

  • Sports bars can create a favorites list that only has the sports channels, or even just the sports channels that make sense for the season. In the spring, include the MLB Extra Innings channels and exclude the Sunday Ticket channels.
  • Waiting rooms, especially doctor’s offices, can create a favorites list that shows only family-friendly programs.
  • Restaurants of all kinds can limit access to news channels. Sometimes bad news can dull the appetite.

Remember, the DIRECTV receivers have two favorites lists. You can create two different ones for different times of day if you want. Favorites lists will make you feel more comfortable leaving a remote in the customer’s hands. It will make your staff look more professional, too. No one likes watching an employee paging through thousands of channels.

Looking for more help?

You’ll find tons more articles about using your equipment in business here, and if you’re stumped, call the experts at Solid Signal at 888-233-7563. We have a team that understands the commercial TV experience better than anyone and we can help. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you, usually within 24 hours.

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.