The V-chip is a form of censorship promoted by the Clinton Administration as a way to allow parents to control the amount of sexual, violent or other inappropriate material their children may see on television.
The V-Chip was developed by Tim Collings, from Simon Fraser University.
In 2001 the FCC adopted rules requiring all television sets with picture screens 33 centimeters (13 inches) or larger to be equipped with features to block the display of television programming based upon its rating. This technology is known as the "V-Chip." The V-Chip reads information encoded in the rated program and blocks programs from the set based upon the rating selected by the parent.
The industry established a system for rating programming that contains sexual, violent or other material parents may deem inappropriate and committed to voluntarily broadcast signals containing these ratings.
The rating system, also known as "TV Parental Guidelines," was established by the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television Association and the Motion Picture Association of America.
Part of this article is taken from public domain text at http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/