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Parental Control - The V-Chip
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Parental Control - The V-Chip

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  • 1. Parental Control - The V-ChipProbably the greatest invention as far as parental control over TV programs was the V-Chip. Thisarticle is going to take a look at how the chip was invented and came to be.The V-chip was invented by Professor Tim Collings. It is patented with US patent number 5,828,204and Canadian patent number 2,178,474.The first testing of this great invention was done in 1991. The technology was originally called theView Control by Professor Collings. Eventually, the name was abbreviated to what we now refer to asthe V-Chip. Ironically, because the chip was originally designed to block shows that containedviolence, people thought the V in V-chip stood for violence. This, of course, was not the case.It wasnt until 1993, however, that the chip itself really got any recognition. At that time the head of theCanadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission, CRTC for short, Keith Spicer, wasso impressed with Collings invention that he met with top US TV executives to express his concernsfor the growing violence on TV. He specifically brought up Collings V-Chip technology and the US TVexecutives were impressed. At this time the only thing that US TV stations were doing was makingannouncements before shows went on that they contained violence. But nothing yet was put in placeto block the viewing of these shows. In spite of the interest, however, nothing was done yet to actuallyuse the invention.Then in 1994 the news of the V-Chip had spread to Europe. In June of that year Collings was invitedto Europe to demonstrate his invention. This was done at a conference on Violence on TV held inParis, France. A year later, he was invited to Belgium to also demonstrate his invention. This is whereUS Vice President Al Gore got his first look at the technology. At the time, however, the technologywas only able to block one program at a time. By 1997, however, he was invited back to Belgiumwhen the technology was now capable of handling multiple informational schemes. At this meetingCollings contributed to discussions about TV rating systems formats and encoding schemes.Finally, on January 14, 1997, Collings gave the exclusive rights to his V-Chip to Tri-Vision ElectronicsInc. The announcement was made at a press conference in Toronto. It was covered by many majorCanadian as well as US TV networks.The next step was to have the V-Chip commercialized. So Tri-Vision and Professor Collings workedtogether to put out the first commercial V-Chip product which was a Set-Top decoder that wascapable of handling multiple informational schemes and also able to operate with existing TVtechnology. The decoder was shown to the public at the Canadian Cable TV Convention inEdmonton, Alberta in 1997. After that it was then shown at the US Cable Convention in Nashville,Tennessee that same year.The V-Chip technology has been in consumer use now since 1999. In North America alone, million ofsets use the V-Chip to block unwanted TV showsClick Here for Free Web Conferencing Software

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