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(Pocket-lint) - Sky has introduced a new parent-friendly rating system to its Sky Q boxes. Parents' Guide for Sky Q offers detailed breakdowns on more than 3,500 movies across Sky Cinema and the Sky Store, which should further help a parent when choosing an age-appropriate film to watch.

Rather than just the BBFC certification, which usually lists movies as U, PG, 12, 15 or 18, the new system is made up of seven specific categories, assigned to each movie: Violence & scariness; positive messages; consumerism; "sexy stuff"; positive role models & representation; language; drinking, drugs & smoking; and education value.


Each of those is given a rating, from zero to five, which should enable a parent to make an informed decision on whether to allow a child to watch a film or not.

The Parents' Guide option will appear on the Sky Q sidebar when any film is selected.

The new feature is rolling out to all Sky Q boxes now and has been developed in partnership with Common Sense Media. The latter company's researchers have personally reviewed every movie in the library (and future titles to be added) in order to assess accurate ratings for each of the categories.

They are also contextual, so each rating out of five is given in respect to the film's age rating. For example, if a film rated 12 is given five stars for "violence & scariness" it means that 12-year-olds and younger might find it excessively violent, whereas an adult might find it mild.

"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," said Sky's CEO, Stephen van Rooyen.

"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."

Writing by Rik Henderson.