Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


mdf



1713 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 481

Trusted
Subscriber

Topic # 150319 18-Jul-2014 14:04
Send private message

My grandfather was particularly technically challenged, even by grandparent standards. Some health issues have made this even worse. I'm trying to help him watch TV and DVDs, but even that is proving to be a challenge.

Currently he has a TV with a Freeview terrestrial box and DVD player, both connected by AV. The TV has HDMI in (x2), but neither the DVD player nor the STB has HDMI out (the STB does have DVI out). 

No matter how many times you explain it to him, he can't seem to get his head around pressing the source/AV button on the TV remote to select the DVD or STB, then switching remotes to play a DVD or change channels on the STB.

I'm looking for advice/views on the best option to help him out.

Universal remote - I believe the Logitech Harmony remotes have one-click activity buttons that you can program to turn on TV --> select DVD source --> play with one key press. All these remotes are way too complicated for grandad though, so I'm not sure this would be a perfect option. Similarly, you can get simple universal remotes with just a few buttons, but I haven't been able to find one that you can program to take several actions.

All-in-one TV - modern TVs have freeview built in, and I think I've even seen one with a built in DVD player. Anyone have any experience of these? Do the bits actually play together nicely, or are they just Frankensteins mashed together (a la VCR-DVD combo units)?

New HDMI boxes - my TV will auto-switch to the relevant source when it detects a box switching on. Is this a feature of HDMI connections? Would buying a new DVD and STB connected by HDMI auto select the right source for him, or is this just a feature of some TVs?

Any other thoughts?

Cheers,

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3
2583 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 594

Trusted

  Reply # 1091434 18-Jul-2014 14:31
One person supports this post
Send private message

While I'm a huge fan of the Harmony remotes, I'm not sure they're the perfect solution for those less technically inclined. When they work, they work well. But because they can't determine state of the components they control, and instead simply toggle power on and off, you can end up in a position where something isn't turned on, but the remote thinks it is. Or the remote reboots itself (it happens), and loses all state, but all components are turned on. 

It does have guided steps you can follow on the remote to help resolve this, but they're not foolproof. They also, for some inexplicable reason, always result in my PS3 being turned on, even if it is an activity that doesn't use the PS3. But the main sticking point here is that this does NOT pass the WAF test. Whenever our remote gets into this state, I'm the only one that seems able to resolve it. This would have me concerned that your grandfather may struggle with it at times.

921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 39


  Reply # 1091437 18-Jul-2014 14:35
Send private message

No matter how many times you explain it to him, he can't seem to get his head around pressing the source/AV button on the TV remote to select the DVD or STB, then switching remotes to play a DVD or change channels on the STB.


This is normal in the elderly and there is nothing you can do that will stop them doing what they've always done and pressing the channel numbers on the TV remote to change channels.

Why not replace the TV with a TV with Freeview built in. Make sure it's one that always changes to the TV channels when the number button is pressed as some brands won't automatically change over when an external input is selected.

There aren't many TVs with DVDs built in and I doubt many of them are user friendly as they would be "frankenstein" units made by minor companies.

It was easier in the analogue era when you could use RF modulation to have the VHS or DVD on a channel like 0.

 
 
 
 


Try Wrike: fast, easy, and efficient project collaboration software
2101 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 524


  Reply # 1091438 18-Jul-2014 14:35
Send private message

A TV with built in freeview, and perhaps one with a button on the remote that goes directly to HDMI1 or whatever the dvd is on.

 

Some newer blueray players automatically switch the tv input when they are turned on

5575 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1627

Trusted

  Reply # 1091440 18-Jul-2014 14:38
Send private message

Have a look at some of these.
Maybe the Simple variants would be good. They are pretty programmable so might be OK for this case.
http://www.oneforall.com/remotes.html




Steam: Coil (Same photos as profile here)
Origin: Scranax
Currently playing on PC: Rust, Subnautica, CS:GO, AOE2 HD, BeamNG Drive, BF1.


672 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 67


  Reply # 1091445 18-Jul-2014 14:47
One person supports this post
Send private message

Tricky... my Dad had a stroke 3-4 years ago now and has similar issues. Fortunately for him though, mum is still there to unravel some of the random or frustrated button pushings, or she calls me for assistance. 

I have no real alternatives I'm afraid, but what I can add is a universal remote may not be any better, in fact may make things worse in my experience. I have a Logitech Harmony One remote with one touch buttons set up for all activities which I have trialed with dad. If it misses a power toggle command or source change for any reason (usually due to excessive movement of the remote or being held at an obtuse angle with dad) while sending the commands, you can end up in a right pickle not knowing exactly how far through the sequence you are, what state devices are in etc etc.


Edit: what dclegg said :-) 






Banana?
4259 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 972

Subscriber

  Reply # 1091474 18-Jul-2014 15:19
Send private message

Agreed with the Harmony issues (with them not knowing the state of the devices), but it may be the best of a bad bunch.

Another option may be looking at something like a Panasonic DVD Recorder, which has Freeview built in. That way, you can probably program the Panasonic remote to turn the TV on/off and adjust volume (not sure if they do this) and use the Freeview tuner and DVD player in the recorder (do not have to use the recording feature).

Other than that though - getting a TV with built in Freeview (and you can get them now with both Sat and Terrestrial tuners) and a basic harmony may be the go. You should look for a TV that has distinct TV On/OFF remote commands available (my 2 Samsung's do) so that you can program the remote to use the On or Off instead of the power toggle. That way, just pressing the off button on the remote should fix most issues (then start again by pressing the activity you want).

2583 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 594

Trusted

  Reply # 1091476 18-Jul-2014 15:22
Send private message

Of course there's always this option :-)


672 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 67


  Reply # 1091490 18-Jul-2014 15:40
Send private message

dclegg: Of course there's always this option :-)



Nah that wouldn't work with my folks, there's no 0, 1, 4 or 7 button there ;-) 

3220 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 510

Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1091506 18-Jul-2014 15:55
2 people support this post
Send private message

As someone who has just been through the trials of a family member with undiagnosed Alzheimer's one of the classic symptoms is the button confusion you describe. In my family member's case this progressed to the point where he couldn't get the hang of operating a touch lamp.
Can save a lot of heart ache if it is diagnosed and allowed for while the person still had their marbles.

This week is Alzheimer's awareness week.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

318 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 77

Trusted

  Reply # 1091527 18-Jul-2014 16:22
One person supports this post
Send private message

Remotes suck, for some reason they all have 100 buttons

Best remote I ever found for grandparents was one that was florescent green with a bottle opener (which wasn’t needed ;) ) on it and exactly 6 buttons (channel up/down, volume up/down, power ant mute) and was programmable

I'd get a tv with freeware built in and one of these, remove the bottle opener and your good to go

http://www.play.com/stores/DDLDirect/listing/254267513







lemontv.co.nz | Search NZ streaming sites

5575 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1627

Trusted

  Reply # 1091532 18-Jul-2014 16:27
Send private message

This is better..




Steam: Coil (Same photos as profile here)
Origin: Scranax
Currently playing on PC: Rust, Subnautica, CS:GO, AOE2 HD, BeamNG Drive, BF1.


mdf



1713 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 481

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1091584 18-Jul-2014 17:04
Send private message

Thanks all. Appreciate the help. Sounds like a TV with built in Freeview is the way to go. With the price of DVD players these days, I will see if I can get one that has a combined remote. And I will try it in store for ease of use. dclegg's cardboard sleeve could well be deployed.

5575 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1627

Trusted

  Reply # 1091587 18-Jul-2014 17:07
Send private message

You could mold a latex case for the current remote and cut out the buttons they want and label them (more advanced way than the cardboard)




Steam: Coil (Same photos as profile here)
Origin: Scranax
Currently playing on PC: Rust, Subnautica, CS:GO, AOE2 HD, BeamNG Drive, BF1.


Awesome
4786 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1059

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1091599 18-Jul-2014 17:24
Send private message

Get a DVD player that has HDMI and CEC but of the same brand as the TV. Each brand calls CEC something different (LG Simplink, Sony Bravialink, Samsung Anynet, Vieralink etc),

That way, you can program the DVD player to come on when the input is switched there (Or the input to switch there when the DVD is turned on), and/or use the control buttons on the TV remote for the DVD player.




Twitter: ajobbins


921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 39


  Reply # 1091607 18-Jul-2014 17:36
Send private message

Some brands allow you to set their DVD/Blu-ray player remotes to control other brands' TVs and will have a section in the manual telling you how to.

You'rebetter off buying a Blu-ray player as they're inexpensive now and it should be able to play both the traditional and "blue DVDs" too. Sony ones should be region-free for DVDs out of the box while Panasonic ones you can have region freed with receipt and visit to the service centre. 

 1 | 2 | 3
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Opera launches new mobile browser: Opera Touch
Posted 25-Apr-2018 20:45


TCF and Telcos Toughen Up on Scam Callers
Posted 23-Apr-2018 09:39


Amazon launches the International Shopping Experience in the Amazon Shopping App
Posted 19-Apr-2018 08:38


Spark New Zealand and TVNZ to bring coverage of Rugby World Cup 2019
Posted 16-Apr-2018 06:55


How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown
Posted 14-Apr-2018 11:08


How back office transformation drives IRD efficiency
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:15


iPod laws in a smartphone world: will we ever get copyright right?
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:13


Lightbox service using big data and analytics to learn more about customers
Posted 9-Apr-2018 12:11


111 mobile caller location extended to iOS
Posted 6-Apr-2018 13:50


Huawei announces the HUAWEI P20 series
Posted 29-Mar-2018 11:41


Symantec Internet Security Threat Report shows increased endpoint technology risks
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:29


Spark switches on long-range IoT network across New Zealand
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:22


Stuff Pix enters streaming video market
Posted 21-Mar-2018 09:18


Windows no longer Microsoft’s main focus
Posted 13-Mar-2018 07:47


Why phone makers are obsessed with cameras
Posted 11-Mar-2018 12:25



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.