Sky TV update brings new feature designed to improve your movie nights

Making sure all the family enjoys the film

Sky Q Update TV
(Image credit: Sky)

Sky has started to roll-out a new update to its flagship Sky Q hardware designed to help parents and guardians choose an ideal for the next family movie night that is appropriate for everyone watching.

Dubbed Parents' Guide, the new menu is packed with in-depth ratings that provide information on the content of more than 3,500 films available on Sky Q. The system is designed to help you select a movie that is a good fit for everyone in the room – even if you haven't had a chance to watch it beforehand yourself to check.

Sky created the new Parents’ Guide in partnership with Common Sense Media, which is a non-profit dedicated to promoting and improving safe technology use and media consumption for children in the UK.

As well as providing a deep-dive into the content of a feature films, Parents’ Guide will also highlight any educational benefits to help with the decision.

Following the update, which has started to roll-out now but won't be available on every Sky Q box nationwide until the end of next month, whenever customers pick a movie on Sky – whether from Sky Cinema, Sky Store, or one of the partner movie channels, they will be able to access Parents’ Guide via the Sky Q sidebar menu. 

The guide then presents a rating from 0 to 5 across seven different categories:

• Violence & Scariness
• Positive Messages
• Consumerism
• 'Sexy Stuff'
• Positive Role Models & Representation
• Language
• Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
• Educational Value

Sky Q Update TV

(Image credit: Sky)

Every film with a rating in the Parents’ Guide has been personally viewed by one of the Common Sense Media researchers. The ratings are created based on the target audience for the film, with the classification of the movie taken into account, too.

For example, a 12- rated film will be assessed with a pre-teen audience in mind – if it’s awarded five stars for violence, then it’s a film that 12-year olds could find especially violent, even though adults will likely think it's pretty mild. Likewise, a PG-rated film with five stars for violence will have comparatively less than one rated 12.

Sky UK and Ireland CEO Stephen van Rooyen said "The New Parents’ Guide, which provides expert guidance on everything from the educational value of a movie through to the violence it contains, adds to the wide range of products we offer to safety-conscious parents.

"From toddlers to teens, it is our responsibility to keep families safe on Sky – we’ve launched Broadband Buddy so families can manage their internet access, while kids can safely watch their favourite characters on the Sky Kids app."

Parents’ Guide joins Sky's suite of existing services designed to ensure children’s safety online and when watching TV. This includes Sky Broadband Buddy, which lets families manage each screen for every device in the home using an app, as well as Kids Safe Mode for Sky Q, which creates a protective walled, age-appropriate viewing environment designed to give parents peace of mind when their children are left alone with the remote control.

The Parents’ Guide will roll out to Sky Q customers from today and will be in all Sky Q homes by the end of August.

Aaron Brown

As a former Staff Writer for T3, Aaron writes about almost anything shiny and techie. When he’s not barking orders at Alexa-powered microwaves or gawping at 5G speed tests, Aaron covers everything from smartphones, tablets and laptops, to speakers, TVs and smart home gadgets. Prior to joining T3, Aaron worked at the Daily Express and and MailOnline.