You may not realize it, but today’s growingly powerful HDTVs, Ultra HD TVs, 3D TVs and so-called Smart TVs (read: Internet-connected sets) can also provide kids with extensive ways to connect online. And as every parent knows, more connectivity means more safety concerns, as discussed in our recent bestselling book Parenting High-Tech Kids: The Ultimate Internet, Web, and Online Safety Guide. Here’s what you need to know about them – and how to make sure kids use them in the most effective and uplifting way.
With regard to modern-day TV sets, many models offer online capabilities or provide access to downloadable apps offering social networking, media sharing, gaming or videoconferencing features. Photos, videos and status updates can all be exchanged and consumed through such devices, and pay-per-view, rental, or permanent purchases made as well. From YouTube to Skype, eBay and Facebook, countless services can be accessed from the living room, with numbers growing every day.
Other home audio and video devices may also offer similar features, such as Blu-ray players that include or provide online access to apps such as Netflix and Pandora for streaming movies and music, respectively. Even without fully tapping into such offerings or your TV’s online capabilities directly, many cable and satellite boxes offer added access to video recording on on-demand content streaming features, putting them at kids’ fingertips the second they enter the home.
From digital video recorders (DVRs), which let you tape shows to on-demand movie rentals and purchases, or streaming access to adult channels, the high-tech age has ushered in a wealth of new ways for kids to consume content. It’s important to be cognizant of all. With the US Bureau of Labor reporting that watching TV is the most popular leisure activity time-wise amongst families, who watch an average of 2.7 hours a day, as crucial as monitoring access to on-demand media is making sure that children consume age-appropriate content.
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