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  Reply # 1091615 18-Jul-2014 17:50
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The biggest issue with the Harmony's is that you can stuff things up by moving the remote around while using it (and missing some of the infrared commands that are part of the chosen activity).
The Harmony Ultimate and its RF/Infrared blaster fixed this issue though, meaning it all just seems to work now.
I'd suggest a Samsung TV too, due to the discrete on/off commands.
Having to charge a remote is painful though, something I wouldn't want older people to have to deal with though.

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  Reply # 1091622 18-Jul-2014 18:13
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I've had a similar challenge.  The TV with the built in digital decoder is going to be better than adding extra boxes or remotes.  I've never been that impressed with smart-remotes.  Often they create more problems.  I second the using the bluray and tv from the same manufacturer.  If possible get the store let you to test them together.  Milage varies with.  Some of the protocols / device networking options turn out to be a pain in the arse and are better turned off.

I solved a lot of the issues by blacking out buttons not to use with a sharpie.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1091627 18-Jul-2014 18:21
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ajobbins: 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.


This^

We have a Samsung LED TV with freeview built in, and a Samsung Bluray player. Plays all region DVDs and even turns on the TV and selects the right HDMI port when you load a disk.

My 3yr old now gets up and pushes the eject, loads a disk and closes the player and it all magically works to play the disk straight off.

Samsung "anynet" also let's either remote control both devices, so either remote can do channel and volume. Only some specialist functions are remote specific (eg EPG on TV remote, and title menu on disk remote.

Hard to beat for ease of use (unfortunately, said 3 yr old also found volume controls recently too!)

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  Reply # 1091628 18-Jul-2014 18:28
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ajobbins: 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.


We have a Panasonic LCD and Panasonic Home Theatre with Vieralink. It also uses ARC to ensure the TV sound is output via the Home Theatre. But if you don't turn on the components in the correct order (TV must be turned on first), you get no sound until the Home Theatre is powered down and then up. This (and related issues) may be worth keeping an eye out for. 

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  Reply # 1091671 18-Jul-2014 19:08
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You could get him a Panasonic recorder to replace the STB. They come with a remote that controls Channel, Volume, Input and On/Off for the TV as well as all the usual Recorder/Player controls. Connect to TV via HDMI and if its
s a Panasonic TV then Viera Link will simplify things further i.e the TV will turn on when you turn on the Recorder etc. The remote can be coded for many different brands of TV.

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  Reply # 1091939 19-Jul-2014 11:37
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If you replace the TV and narrow the choices down to a couple of options, one thing to consider is the ability to disable inputs.

Our current LG TV when you press the Input button only cycles through inputs that are currently have an incoming signal.  I have seen on another brand a couple of years ago (can't remember which brand) the ability to disable certain inputs so they can't be selected.  If you explain why, I would like to think a retailer would let you have a play with the display equipment.

B1GGLZ thought above about getting a DVR (ideally with a built in DVD player) isn't a bad one.  The TV would presumably always be on the HDMI input for that device and the remote would need to be programmed to turn the TV on and off.  Volume would likely be controlled by the DVR remote.

Here is the most inexpensive option I could find DishTV 




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  Reply # 1092000 19-Jul-2014 14:00
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Dunnersfella: The biggest issue with the Harmony's is that you can stuff things up by moving the remote around while using it (and missing some of the infrared commands that are part of the chosen activity).
The Harmony Ultimate and its RF/Infrared blaster fixed this issue though, meaning it all just seems to work now.
I'd suggest a Samsung TV too, due to the discrete on/off commands.
Having to charge a remote is painful though, something I wouldn't want older people to have to deal with though.


YES !
i set up a multi-unit system with single remote for my old man and at least once a week would get a call saying the tv was broken.
turns out he would push the macro button and then sort of wave the remote around instead of keeping it pointed at the one spot, resulting in a component not getting its instructions.
fixed by getting him a new panasonic tv and bdp which can be run off a single remote - no macros involved !

highly recommend getting the same brand tv/bdp.

samsungs appear to have more senior friendly remotes with nice big buttons.



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  Reply # 1092072 19-Jul-2014 17:21
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More importantly... why do we put up with this nonsense?

How about applying some of the millions of dollars of development to some basic simple useability design.


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  Reply # 1092092 19-Jul-2014 17:55
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Because as soon as you get something brilliantly simple, a bunch of geeks whinge about the lack of functionality so much, the companies 'innovate' and make it needlessly complicated.

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  Reply # 1092124 19-Jul-2014 18:50
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Dunnersfella: Because as soon as you get something brilliantly simple, a bunch of geeks whinge about the lack of functionality so much, the companies 'innovate' and make it needlessly complicated.


I wanted to press the +1 button on your post around 100 times but it only lets you do it once... :-)




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  Reply # 1092142 19-Jul-2014 20:04
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B1GGLZ: You could get him a Panasonic recorder to replace the STB. They come with a remote that controls Channel, Volume, Input and On/Off for the TV as well as all the usual Recorder/Player controls. Connect to TV via HDMI and if its
s a Panasonic TV then Viera Link will simplify things further i.e the TV will turn on when you turn on the Recorder etc. The remote can be coded for many different brands of TV.


Plus oned this as well. Just got one from JB Hifi today with DVD, Blu ray etc and was amazed to find a basic universal control for nearly any tv on the top. The remote does have a lot of buttons though so possibly would need to blank them somehow or make a laminated guide with directions for which buttons to press.
Otherwise, built in freeview TV and one of the super basic all in ones mentioned above. 




Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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  Reply # 1092152 19-Jul-2014 20:20
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Gaah, just lost my post! Try again from memory.

Thanks again, everyone.

I was in JB Hifi today (thanks to Rob in the Wellington Willis St branch - extremely helpful!) and was all set to buy a Panasonic TV + DVD/bluray combo with Freeview built in - $400 for the lot on sale, but perhaps more importantly, included all the stuff he needs and little of the stuff he doesn't.

That of course would have been way to easy. Was just about to sign on the dotted line when I got a last minute flip-flop text from another relative telling me sorry, what she said before was wrong, it's a satellite dish not an aerial on grandad's roof, but that won't make a difference, will it?

JBHifi had a Samsung TV + DVD/bluray combo with Freeview satellite, but was more like $700 and with *waaay* more features he doesn't need (and more things to go wrong).

I'm very interested in the DVD/Freeview STB combo idea, and DishTV do seem to do a satellite equivalent. But I can't find anywhere in Wellington that seems to stock this particular model and I'd want to check it for grandparent-ability first.

So I think the $700-odd Samsung combo is probably the best approach.

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  Reply # 1092225 19-Jul-2014 23:49
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the thing about the logitech is you could  make up a custom activity that has most of the buttons do nothing and ONLY the ones that you need do something. that way there wont be any pushing of the program or setup or whatever buttons by mistake.
its like my mum...i call her the clicky clicker. she manages to mess up her PC at least once a fortninght by clicking on pop up boxes or whatever without actually reading them...i swear you could write one that said "do you want to wipe everything off this computor and blow up your fridge" and she'd click "ok". she even entered the wrong password into several websites and ticked the "remember password" in firefox...so now firefox has remembered the wrong passwords...and she cant remember what they are...

i gave her a smart phone and within 7 seconds she managed to find the network settings and was about to delete them because "I didnt want to be on that page so i'll delete it" AAAARRRRGGGGH   i swear that even if I tried , i could not navigate to that page as fast as she did....

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  Reply # 1092318 20-Jul-2014 09:44
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mdf: Gaah, just lost my post! Try again from memory.



That of course would have been way to easy. Was just about to sign on the dotted line when I got a last minute flip-flop text from another relative telling me sorry, what she said before was wrong, it's a satellite dish not an aerial on grandad's roof, but that won't make a difference, will it?


Yes it will as you can't connect a freeview TV to satellite dish unless it is one of the latest ones with a satellite tuner. You would still need to use the current STB if its satellite. which means 2 remotes. Before buying anything, double check yourself what STB he has and what antenna he has. Do it once, do it right.
Where does he live. If he's in a freeview terrestrial area then install a UHF antenna as well as the picture quality is far superior to satellite.

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  Reply # 1093233 21-Jul-2014 19:43
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B1GGLZ:
mdf:

That of course would have been way to easy. Was just about to sign on the dotted line when I got a last minute flip-flop text from another relative telling me sorry, what she said before was wrong, it's a satellite dish not an aerial on grandad's roof, but that won't make a difference, will it?


Yes it will as you can't connect a freeview TV to satellite dish unless it is one of the latest ones with a satellite tuner. You would still need to use the current STB if its satellite. which means 2 remotes. Before buying anything, double check yourself what STB he has and what antenna he has. Do it once, do it right.
Where does he live. If he's in a freeview terrestrial area then install a UHF antenna as well as the picture quality is far superior to satellite.


Sorry, that was me being facetious about the technical ability of my relatives.

Have just got back from installing a new Samsung TV (UH5500, with inbuilt freeview satellite) and DVD/Bluray. The TV's satellite tuner was surprisingly fiddly to set up, but Justin at Samsung New Zealand knew just the setting that I was missing (it turns out that to tune into a satellite, don't select the satellite option - go figure...).

The Samsung combo had something called CEC-Activesync+ or similar. It's clever enough to switch to the DVD HDMI input when the DVD powers on, but perhaps more importantly, switch back to TV when the DVD powers off. It also seems to switch over the remote so the common buttons (mainly the directional arrows) control the DVD, not the TV.

That plus some masking tape to (1) label the very sleek, but very-hard-to-see-for-80-year-old-eyes touch buttons on the DVD and (2) cover up anything on the remote that he shouldn't touch means he's got a single remote to drive a TV that should put itself on the right input source to watch whatever he wants to. What could go wrong?

I give it a week until I am back up there fixing something.



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