About a year ago, our 10 year old Sony TV was laid to rest. It was a sad day, for me, since I knew that new TVs cost money. But it was a joyous day for my husband who could stop coveting and start shopping. Our budget kept his selection limited, so no 54" wide-screen and no plasma.
But the new TV came with a feature I really liked: the V chip. It's not a sure-fire way to keep your kids from seeing objectionable things (for one thing, the news isn't blocked, and that can be pretty objectionable for kids), but it does help with the random surfing that my son, then not yet 7, was beginning to do (I think it's pre-programmed into males, or has something to do with short attention spans). Now, Dr. Phil is blocked, soap operas are blocked and (thank goodness) country music videos are blocked too.
Last night we finally got all of our modern utilities: phone, cable and internet. These are all through one company and are provided through a fiber optic line in our new house. After the kids were in bed, I was asking Bill about manually blocking out Cartoon Network which is right next to Nickelodeon and Disney. We did that successfully, but then I noticed the next channel, BET, was not being blocked automatically. Bill was suggesting that it had a low rating until out came guns and threats and finally shooting, so that wasn't the case. We spent 15 frustrating minutes working the V chip menu, and blocking out all sorts of new options that I didn't know were there before (I had to block TV, then movies, then Canadian movies, then Canadian TV). But even after all that, we realized that some channels were blocked fairly quickly (after about 2 seconds), but many channels took a long time to block (more than 15 seconds). So we watched quite a bit of the WWF (nice cleavage on the leather-clad girlfriend) before the chip decided that perhaps our delicate eyes might be offended.
And just now, Billy has come in and informed me that they saw "half of Teen Titans" which I thinks means that they saw about 15 seconds of the show before that annoying block kicked in. Grrr. I'll have to see if there's a way to fix this.