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Definition: V-Chip

An electronic circuit in a TV that parents can use to block TV programs they consider objectionable for their children. The FCC mandated that post January 1, 2000, all TVs 13" and larger contain the V-Chip. TV programs are rated, based on violence and sexual content, and this rating is transmitted in the TV's vertical blanking interval (VBI). The V-Chip is a programmable closed-caption controller chip that decodes the signals. For existing TVs, a V-Chip set-top box can be added.