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updated 8/24/2006 6:08:11 PM ET 2006-08-24T22:08:11

TiVo is looking to religious leaders to get the word out about a new feature that helps parents control the TV shows their children watch.

TiVo officials discussed its KidZone feature Thursday during a breakfast with religious leaders and handed out digital video recorders to ministers and others to try it out.

"We know that kids are going to be exposed to the media, so why don't we take the media on our own terms?" TiVo Inc. Vice President Joe Miller told the group of about 50. A similar gathering was held earlier this week in Atlanta.

"This is in response to something we heard from our existing customers," Miller said.

TiVo's KidZone, which is a free service, features a menu of shows recommended by nonprofit organizations focused on children and media. Parents also can add or subtract programs or channels available to their kids. Parents can then enter the regular TiVo menu with a password.

TiVo updated the software in its units this summer to include KidZone, and all new devices will carry the feature. It is not available on TiVos built with DirecTV satellite receivers, however.

"I know the parents are concerned about all sorts of media," said Dina Steiner, a minister at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist in Flower Mound, just north of Dallas.

She said that as pastor she will not push a particular product, but the breakfast did give her knowledge to share with parents concerned about controlling what their kids watch.

"The more knowledge I have, the more I can help the families in my church," Steiner said.

There are almost 5 million TiVo households in the U.S., Miller said.

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