you have small
children, keeping them from watching TV
shows you don't want them to see is not easy. There are several
ways to try and block channels, including the V-Chip (which
has yet to catch on) and lock-out features on standard cable
boxes. Most of these seem punitive and are not really good
for positive reinforcement. I would rather use technology
to let children watch "good" programming, rather
than spending my energy trying to look out for the "bad"
the Weemote, a purple, kid-friendly device with nice big buttons
-- just right for kids ages 3 to 8. You train the Weemote
to tune five channels and then it becomes your child's own
the brainchild of John Stephen who wanted something that his
real child could use. His small Florida-based firm, Fobis
Technologies, launched the Weemote in March 2000 and more
than 80,000 of these have been sold nationwide, though the
major rollout has just begun.
works well, giving children a sense of control and parents
peace of mind. Most kids in the age group will welcome a chance
not to have to deal with the big black remotes with the myriad
buttons that even some parents can't figure out.
of the useful features is the volume disabler. It comes with
standard volume controls, but younger kids can drive parents
crazy by running the sound up and down. Until they can handle
it responsibily, you can cut out the volume controls.
as the child grows older, you can tune in five additional
channels, giving you 10 in all.
list price is $29.95, but Target is currently selling it for
$19.95. The Weemote site offers details about where you can
is some prep work you need to do to set it up and it require
reading through the manual. But it isn't as complicated as
programming your VCR and, hopefully, you won't need your child's
help to set it up. Be sure to program it before you announce
your purchase to the kids. Otherwise, they will be disappointed
about waiting as you figure it all out.
the months ahead, we will look at other options for dealing
with TV programming.
Send your feedback -- and ideas for coverage: firstname.lastname@example.org