What is the TalkTalk Kids TV Remote, what does it actually do and how do I get one here in the UK? Here's our explainer guide for TalkTalk's new mini remote control made especially for children, including a run-down of the excellent parental controls.
This next generation of mini humans is clearly switched on when it comes to tech, but are they clever enough to design our gadgets? TalkTalk seems to think so as it's used a bunch of lovable moppets to develop the new TalkTalk Kids TV remote control, which is aimed at giving them a better TV experience. Not to mention some peace of mind for us parents.
The result is a remote that’s so much more than a simple controller. This new device allows your child to enjoy their favourite TV shows from within a Kids Zone, which is curated and controlled by their guardians. The result is some smart monitoring, a nifty bedtime sleep mode and loads more smart features that should make prying the little ones away from the big screen much easier.
TalkTalk Kids TV Remote is made for younger users in every way
Since this remote was designed with the help of children, all of whom have their own personal tastes, you can expect a colourful and customisable construction. That vibrant paint job will make it more appealing to sprogs (and hopefully make it easier to find when it inevitably ends up down the back of the sofa). TalkTalk is also apparently adding stickers to its remotes some time in the future, so kids can customise the look to suit their own personal tastes.
Of course, that compact, rounded design is also made to perfectly suit tiny hands, so it's more likely to be loved. Any gadget being handled by a kid has to be pretty robust, of course, so here's hoping that plastic finish can withstand some pummelling.
Navigation is kept nice and simple, with a left or right swipe on the touch control to flit between shows. A quick click will select something to view, giving the kind of intuitive user experience that even very young viewers should manage without difficulty.
This remote is smart too, with sensors dedicated to understanding what the child wants, no matter how the remote is being held. Just how well that works with sticky fingers and spilled drinks remains to be seen.
TalkTalk Kids TV Remote gives parental peace of mind
The idea behind the TalkTalk Kids TV Remote is to offer your little bundles of delight the illusion of full control, without actually letting them have free reign over your telly. Using the adult’s master remote, the new Kids Zone section can be programmed fully before the child gets involved using the Kids TV Remote.
So how does the TalkTalk Kids TV Remote work? Well, you just activate the Kids Zone on your television, and then hand over the Kids remote to your offspring. You can rest safe knowing that the child can’t exit that safe zone using the Kids remote, meaning they don’t have access to the normal EPG of shows. Instead, they can only watch those shows that you've already given the thumbs up to inside the Kids Zone.
Even within the Kids Zone, parents can hide certain shows if their little one has been watching the same thing on repeat too much; or if it’s simply time to learn something new.
TalkTalk Kids TV Remote is bedtime friendly
When a parent sets up the Kids Zone, they can pick the 'opening hours'. In other words, TalkTalk's new childrens interface can help to ease the child into bedtime. That sleep time can be set at any time by the parent, using the master remote, and changed as needed.
This feature works by popping up a sleepy head icon in the corner, five minutes before the device automatically shuts off into sleep mode. The idea being that the child knows the end is coming and won’t get upset when the fun is over.
Whether that actually works to avoid any tantrums will of course very much depend on the kid in question.
What’s really smart here is that the finish time is fully adaptive. For instance, if shutdown is set for five minutes' time, but the show currently being watched goes on for another seven, the Kids Zone will adapt to stay on for those extra two minutes, so the child sees the end of the programme. Another great way to keep the little one happy and ultimately avoid tears before bedtime.
If the child tries to turn the TV on using the Kids TV Remote after this time, they’ll be met with a bedtime screen - letting mum and dad blame the gadget rather than being the bad guys. Result.
Of course, if you have two or more children with separate bedtimes, things will get a little more complicated.
What’s on in the Kids Zone?
The TalkTalk Kids Zone offers plenty of child-friendly content that can be customised by mum and dad, depending on what they want their little one to watch.
Some choice shows include Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam. So basically, all of the popular stuff that our little treasures love to binge on.
How much does the TalkTalk Kids TV Remote cost and what is its release date?
The TalkTalk Kids TV Remote will only set you back £5. Yup, five English pounds for something that could make your life that little bit more bearable. So what’s the catch? Well, for the full experience you need to pay out monthly for the Kids TV Boost with all the content. This will cost you a further £5 per month.
The TalkTalk Kids TV Remote and the Kids TV Boost are available to buy now.