Netflix Canada – Multiple Users & Parental Control

On October 4, 2010, in Movies, Technology, by ComputerAbuser

While waiting for my Wii Netflix application disc, I thought I would post about something that has been a bit of a problem regarding Netflix.

That problem, is the inability to have multiple users configured and as an extension of that, parental control of those users.

The issue presented itself almost immediately.

The first night while browsing my list of recommendations and previously rated movies, my wife expressed her disappointment that since it was under my name, she can’t rate movies or get recommendations.

Despite the fact that I believe my taste in movies to be exceptional, my wife does not agree.

In fact, our combined taste in movies could easily be shown using a Venn diagram.  My movies on the left, hers on the right with a small selection of movies in the middle that we can watch together.

So far I have rated around 600 movies and TV shows.  The recommendations that have come up as a result are reasonable choices that I might enjoy, but these don’t apply to my wife.

It’s not a big deal, at least for me, that she doesn’t get a personalized list of recommended movies, but it would make the user experience that much better and shouldn’t be very difficult to employ.

A much bigger issue is the limited parental control.

The selection of kids movies and TV shows, so far, is pretty good.  My kids love iCarly and seasons 1 and 2 are currently available for viewing.

My daughter also loves the Hilary Duff movie “Raise Your Voice“, but a search of the movie title also brings up “Who’s Your Daddy (Unrated)” and “I Love You Beth Cooper“.  Neither terribly graphic, but not appropriate for an 8 year old.

In addition to that, recently viewed titles appear on the home page with the option to watch or resume directly from there.

I appreciate  the option to resume previously watched films, but I don’t want my kids to unknowingly resume “American Psycho“.

Parental control does exist, but it is a global setting.

( see /Your Account & Help/Change parental control setting)

Since you only have a single account to access the service, enabling parental control of all films above PG means that nothing above PG will show up.  That’s great when the kids are around, but what about when it is time to watch something good?  Does Netflix expect me to enable and disable parental control every time I want to use the service?  Seriously?

I initially assumed it would have parental control similar to what we have with cable.  I restrict shows above a certain rating and if you want to watch something above that, you need to enter a PIN number/password.  Seems pretty simple and straight forward to me.

This all ties back to multiple users.  Everyone in our house has a computer.  Since Netflix allows you to connect up to 6 devices, it makes sense to have multiple user accounts.  As the master account holder, I could set specific parental controls for the kids and my wife would be able to have her own ratings and recommendations.

This way my wife can get recommendations on new crap that she hasn’t seen and I don’t have to worry about  my kids growing up to be serial killers.  😉


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3 Responses to Netflix Canada – Multiple Users & Parental Control

  1. Erin T says:

    While Im not in Canada, I agree with the parental control issue. Its nice that I can make it so my kids cant watch anything above pg during the day, but at night my husband and I want to switch it back to all movie ratings Problem with this is it says it can take up to 8 hours to change it! Just found this out when i tried to switch it tonight. I too figured it would be like cable and require a pin number, very disappointing.

  2. Nick says:

    I’m in Canada and the problem I’m having is there’s not really any difference between the teen setting and adult, my young lads 13 but I don’t want to set him up with cartoon on the 12 and under setting but teen has tv shows like breaking bad and weeds which I think is way wrong for a teen setting.

    • Ya, I don’t think Weeds or Breaking Bad would be appropriate for my 13 year old daughter either, but my son is almost 16 and I think he could handle it. 13 is a tough age where they don’t want to watch “kids” shows, but they don’t need to be watching graphic violence either.

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