DVD video discs equipped with the parental management function are rated according
to their contents. The contents allowed by a parental level and the way a DVD is
played back can be controlled by setting the appropriate Parental Management
All or part of a DVD disc can be encoded with a PML numbered from one
to eight. Eight is the most restrictive level (adults only) and one is the least
restrictive (all ages). The idea is to prevent children from watching adult contents
without parental consent, while allowing adults to watch child-safe content.
In the United States and Canada, the levels usually map to the rating system of the
MPAA (1- Kid Safe, 2- G, 3- PG, 4- PG-13, 5- Unrated, 6- R, 7- NC-17, and 8- Adult),
but this is not the case in other countries or parts of the world.
Many DVD movie titles available on the market today, have an Audience Rating
(see the chart below), which indicates the particular group of audience suitable
for viewing the movie.
||PML Level 1
||Suitable for general audiences
||Parental guidance suggested
||Parental guidance suggested,
unsuitable for children under 13
||PML Level 5
||Restricted, violence, adult language and
situation unsuitable for young viewers
||Adult theme or content,
not suitable for children under 17
||Adult contents, hardcore sex
The DVD specifications support temporary PML (with the VM command SetTmpPML
). If the
DVD disc has an audience rating, scenes which are unsuitable for children are
usually replaced with more suitable scenes, or the playback of the disc is completely
prohibited. A DVD disc authored to support temporary PML usually provides two
versions (video angles) of the same chapter in a title, each assigned a different PML.
For example, a DVD player is set up to allow PML level 4 rating (PG-13). If a DVD
disc with a PML level 5 rating (R) is inserted, the following or similar screen is
displayed to allow the viewer to proceed or not.
If the viewer selects NO, the disc is locked out and the following or similar screen
If the viewer selects Yes to proceed, a DVD player with proper PML setting will
prompt for a password (most DVD players use a 4-digit code which the viewer can
enter through the keypad of the remote control). If the viewer enters the password
correctly, the version at PML level 4 rating is shown (instead of the version at
PML level 5). Otherwise, the disc is locked out again.