Feature request: parental control for home screen access
Here’s my use case: my young kids have learned that if they wake up long before my wife and I, they can get on the Roku and watch whatever they want. Not worried about them seeing inappropriate content because we prepare for this. However, we often find them awake at 3:00 AM watching their shows.
A few features that would help... 1. Add an optional feature to parental controls that asks for a pin on boot up not just to purchase apps
2. Add a “off-time” scheduler feature that won’t allow the Roku to be used based on a schedule. Maybe a pin override to bypass if needed.
Re: Feature request: parental control for home screen access
Absolutely agree with this and have also found my children watching in the early hours. I also found my 7-year-old listening to a podcast on iHeartRadio about the Zodiac Killer - you know, good family content. This was possible despite the usage of all existing parental controls because you can install and launch iHeartRadio and Pandora without a PIN by using voice commands and there is no login required for those apps. I'd prefer my kids not have the ability to peruse all the Settings, browse sleazy wallpapers, read every movie synopsis, and listen to murderous podcasts.
Considering that Roku presumably wishes to be the choice product at the center of family entertainment, I find it unacceptable that they have not prioritized what many would consider a critical family feature. It doesn't have to be sophisticated like Apple ScreenTime, PS4 parental controls, or Microsoft Family. I'd be thrilled if there was just one gate between powering on and having unlimited access to everything.
Re: Feature request: parental control for home screen access
I have a few kids ranging from preschool to high school. I need Roku to do different things depending on who is on. Here is what I would LOVE to see:
Ability to set up different users with different channel access, different times of the day they are allowed to view and different time limits they can watch.
When a user wants to use Roku, they must first enter a PIN or something to identify which user they are. This will activate their profile (assuming it is currently in a time window that they are allowed to watch in) which will determine which channels they have access to and it will start their view timer (to limit the amount of time they can watch TV in a day or week). SUGGESTION: entering a numeric PIN on the screen means any other kids in the room can see what that user's PIN is and "steal" it for use later. It would be better to set up a PIN by pressing a combination of buttons on the remote so that the combination is not visible to others in the room.
When the time is up, Roku logs the user out and the user cannot log back in until the next time period (next day or next week or whatever)
If a user is finished watching and hasn't used up his/her time, then they simply hit the home key to log out. This will stop their watch timer and take them to a lock screen where the next user has to log in with their button-press combination.
As an admin, I need to be able to set up the users with their various limits in some way or another. That can be on the Roku itself (not preferred--it would probably be awkward), in the Roku app, or on Roku's website. These settings would automatically sync to other Rokus on my account. It is also important that the amount of viewing time is shared between devices so a user can't use up their time on 1 Roku and the go to a different TV and start over on that one.
ENVISIONED USE CASE
Assume I have 3 kids, ages 4, 11, and 16 and that I have 2 TVs with a Roku on each.
I set up my Roku account with the 3 kids plus myself and my spouse.
I go to the admin portal for my Roku devices and add the desired channels.
I also add 5 users--one for me, one for my spouse and one for each of my kids.
Roku doesn't need to worry about ages, but to make it easier for me and the other users, I can enter their names
I set the accounts for me, my spouse and my 16 year old to be able to be able to access all channels. I set the account for my 11-year old to only access a few of those channels and the 4 year old has even fewer.
I set the account for my spouse to not have any viewing time limits, but I set my own time limit to 3 hours a week in order to help me achieve a personal goal of watching less TV. The 11 and 16 year old kids get 5 hours a week and the 4 year old gets 45 minutes a day.
Again, to help with my TV goals, my account is only allowed access from 7 AM to 10 PM. My spouse can watch at any time. The 16 year old can only watch from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (between 6 and 7, I want to make sure she isn't watching TV while she eats dinner). The 4 year old can watch from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on week days, but not at all on the weekends. The 11 year old can watch from 3-8 PM except on Friday when they can watch until 9 PM.
I have each user set up their personal "PIN" by choosing their new profile on a Roku device and pressing buttons (example up, up, down, "Netflix", left, "Hulu", "OK")
The users are all now set up. The Roku goes to the "lock screen"
The next user who wants to watch TV selects their name (or picture or whatever) and is asked to enter their "PIN". They must press the same button combination to log in. Their timer starts.
Timer is not visible unless the user presses the * button or something like that
When there is 5 minutes left before their time runs out, a little timer pops up in the corner to let them know. The user can ask me (as the admin) for more time, which I can grant from my Roku app or by entering my "PIN" on the Roku remote
When the timer runs out, the Roku goes back to the lock screen.
A different user can now log in by selecting their name and entering their PIN.
This user only watches 10 minutes before someone comes to the door. If the user just pauses, the timer keeps going, but after hitting pause user can also "lock" which freezes their timer. This way when they come back from talking to the person at the door, they don't have to go back to the channel, find the show and find where they left off--it just picks right back up. In order to un-pause, the user has to enter their "PIN" again to prevent other users from taking their time. (Note that if the first user leaves the Roku in a "pause and lock" state and then leaves, another user can simply log this user out and then enter their own credentials to log into their own account).
User comes back and unlocks their account. After 30 more minutes, they are done and log out.
User goes to the other Roku and logs in. After 5 minutes, their collective time runs out and they are forced out.
Is this going to cause a fair amount of work? Maybe, but I would happily pay 2x as much for a "parental control" version of a Roku that had these features.