Need help with a project--controlling TV access for son

so my son cant manage to keep from turning off the tv in the morning when its time to get ready for school. I have locked all of the cable boxes with parental controls but its a pain in the ass.

my next idea was to put smart outlets on them all and control them in smartthings, but I dont want him to be able to turn them on with alexa.

should I just get 5 or 6 cheaper smart outlets that can work with smartthings without being glitchy? or does someone have another solution they have used.

im not home in the morning to make sure he doesnt turn the tv on, and my wife is usually getting ready and he goes downstairs to “eat breakfast” and turns it on…

in the old days, my momma would told me to go get a switch, but that dont work these days.

How old is he? Most kids eight and up figure out very quickly that they can just unplug the device from the smart plug and plug it back in without the smart plug and avoid any parental controls that way. So then you have to put a lock box on the outlet. Which can be done, but it’s another level of annoyance.

Your local Home Depot will have some of these, they are commonly used on outdoor receptacles.

There are also some made for indoor use for childproofing or in homes with a family member that has Alzheimer’s, but those typically cost more although they may look a lot nicer. And you may have to get them from specialty retailers.

Smart Outlet that monitors energy. Have it so that the cable going to the powerstrip which the TV is connected to cant be tampered with easily.

Set up a rule in webCoRE that if outlets rises above a certain wattage then send you a notification, blink the lights and turn off the TV.

Has worked in my house!

1 Like

hes 10, so that sounds like a good one. although hes smart as hell so he might figure out that one if im not careful.

I still have not used webCoRE, I guess this will be my excuse. I have let my smart home get dumb over the last 2 years with other projects. I usually only mess with something if something stops working like it should.

1 Like

I know you said this was a pita, but who is your provider?

With DirecTV its a pretty simple process. You can setup viewing hours for let’s say starting 9am (after he is off to school) with a duration of 15 hours. The TV is accessible from 9am to midnight without a pincode. If it’s between midnight and 8:59am, a 4 digit pincode is required.

Just a thought before going gadget happy. Kids as you know, figure things out, hehe.

1 Like

What?:rofl: No, not us!


We get so creative sometimes, that the end result defeated the whole purpose of what we we’re trying to accomplish by trying to simplify it.

Bought a cookie jar.
Filled it with cookies.
Hmmmm, who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
Let me put a camera right there.
Damn, thief was too fast, image capture was too late.
Let me put an acceleration sensor on the lid and set off alarm.
Damn, cookie jar is gone.
Cookie jar returned to kitchen with no cookies.
Let me put a gps device at the bottom of cookie jar. Presence detection doesn’t work.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Cookie jar now filled with flour. :sunglasses:

1 Like

We have Verizon Fios and each box has to be individually locked.

I agree. Their Parental Controls suck. You have to manually lock everything each and every day manually on each device. That is a PITA!

Well if you were to install an in wall z-wave outlet versus a smart plug outlet, you could then write Pistons that between the hours of xx xx and xx xx, that outlet remains off. You could even add a virtual switch that if it has been turned on, it acts as a bypass that allows the outlet to turn on (for those special days when he has no school) without having to modify your Piston. A simple widget on your phone that runs a routine to turn that virtual switch on and he can turn the TV on without issue. Just a thought before you go proofing the house with lock boxes. Another thought. If the TV is turned on before you goto school, and if you celebrate Christmas, simply tell him that Santa won’t be showing up this year and he will be the only kid that Santa skips.

1 Like

Unfortunately, almost all of the In wall Z wave outlets have one controlled socket and one uncontrolled always on socket. So all the kid has to do is unplug the TV from the controlled socket and put it into the uncontrolled socket and then there will be no rules on it at all. So you still need the lock box or something similar.

I know there are some dual control outlets in development, but I just don’t remember if any of them have been released yet. This is something that became easier to do with Z wave plus because of the smaller size.

1 Like

Ya, something I have been on waiting for a while.

1 Like