NOW TV filters and parental controls
By Claire Nottage | Friday, January 22nd 2021
For parents, the ever-present fear of what their children might be looking at online is an ongoing worry, so it is a relief to know that popular streaming service NOW TV has a parental control system for ensuring the kids are only watching age-appropriate content.
Operated by Sky, NOW TV offers the Sky Cinema, along with a huge range of Entertainment, Sports and Kids channels and is available to watch on a large number of devices. In this guide we look at how to set up parental controls within NOW TV so you can relax in the knowledge that your kids are not watching anything unsuitable.
The NOW TV Parental PIN
You can get NOW TV on almost any device you can think of, from TV boxes and games consoles to tablets and mobile phones, which means that kids can potentially watch what they want even when you’re not in the room with them. As a result, NOW TV created the Parental PIN control system.
Even if you don’t want to set up a Parental PIN, in order to watch any Sky Cinema channel live or certain Entertainment channels live, the Parental PIN is mandatory between 5.30am and 9pm. If you only watch shows on demand, and you do not have children, you can simply turn the PIN off.
How to set up your NOW TV Parental PIN
To set up your NOW TV Parental PIN, you will need to log in to your NOW TV account online and visit the Settings & PINs area. Follow the instructions under Parental PIN to choose and set up your PIN. By default, all age-rating certificates will be included, but you can change this in accordance with the age of your children. The options are All Certificates (age four and above), PG and above, 12 and above, 12A and above, 15 and above, 18 (for adults only) and R18 (explicit material for adults only).
Once you have switched your PIN on, it will be required for watching any films or TV shows that have an age limit above that which you have set up in your online account. This PIN will apply to any device on which you have downloaded the app and is logged in under your NOW TV account. You can download the app onto a maximum of six devices with one account, so if you have allowed your child to download it onto their device and you have logged in, then the controls you have set up will apply on that device.
How to set up your NOW TV payment PIN
By default, the NOW TV payment PIN is switched off, so you can choose to add Passes whenever you want. However, if you have children that use the app, you may want to set up the payment PIN as well as the Parental PIN in order to stop them signing up for other NOW TV Passes without your permission. You can do this in your NOW TV online account at the same time as creating your Parental PIN.
Using the Parental PIN on NOW TV compatible devices
NOW TV is available on a whole host of devices, and regardless of the device or your chosen settings, the Parental PIN will be required for viewing live Sky Cinema channels and certain Entertainment channels before the 9pm watershed – and in the case of EE TV and Apple TV – at any time of day. For watching NOW TV on demand, the age limits you have set up will apply to every device at all times.
The NOW TV Smart Stick
If you watch NOW TV on a smart TV or by using the NOW TV Smart Stick (powered by Roku) plugged into your TV, then you will need to go online to set up the Parental PIN in your NOW TV account. Your account settings will apply to any device on which you are signed in to NOW TV.
NOW TV on a mobile device
If you want to stop your kids from downloading NOW TV in the first place, you will have to set up parental controls on their device that require them to ask before being able to download the app. If you permit them to download it from Google Play or the App Store and then sign in as yourself, the parental settings you have chosen on your NOW TV account will apply and they won’t be able to watch anything above that age rating without entering the Parental PIN.
NOW TV on YouView
If you are watching NOW TV on YouView will not need a NOW TV Parental PIN to access NOW TV content; you can just use your YouView PIN instead. If you don’t have a PIN or cannot remember it, you can visit the YouView website for help setting it up.
If you are a BT TV customer and watch NOW TV on your BT YouView box, you can use your BT PIN. If you want to download the app onto your kids’ devices as well, you will need to set up a NOW TV Parental PIN to protect them from watching age-inappropriate content.
NOW TV on Apple TV
The Parental PIN will be required at all times if you are watching live NOW TV channels on Apple TV. If you downloaded the NOW TV app from iTunes, you will need to set up a NOW TV account and create a Parental PIN.
NOW TV on EE TV
The Parental PIN is required at all times if you are watching live NOW TV channels on EE TV, but not for watching on demand, so you should still set up the Parental PIN to protect your youngsters. The age rating limit you set within your NOW TV account will apply to all devices with the NOW TV app as long as you are logged in.
NOW TV on a computer
The Parental PIN will be required at all times if you are watching live NOW TV channels via the NOW TV Player app on Windows 10 on your PC, or if you are watching on an Apple Mac computer via the app downloaded from iTunes. To protect what your child is watching on demand, you will need to activate the Parental PIN within your account.
Frequently asked questions
Can I reset my Parental PIN if I have forgotten it?
Yes. Log in to your NOW TV account online and you will be able to change it.
Do I need to set up the Parental PIN on my child’s device?
As long as your child is logged in using your account, then the Parental PIN will be active on their device.
How do I disable the NOW TV Parental PIN?
You need to log in to your NOW TV account online and go to the Settings & PINS section where you can switch off the Parental PIN. Note however that the PIN is still mandatory for watching certain Sky channels live.
Will the Parental PIN work on my child’s device if they are at a friend’s house?
Yes. The Parental PIN is attached to your account, not to the wifi your child is using, so it will protect them from adult content wherever they are.
Can I filter out certain types of films using the parental controls on NOW TV?>
No. The Parental PIN only allows you to limit what your child can watch by film certification age, not by content.