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Topic # 96389 26-Jan-2012 12:37
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From Stuff.co.nz:

 The announcement of a Government funding scheme to help elderly switch from analogue television to digital next year has thrilled Blenheim's Grey Power and Age Concern.Minister of Broadcasting Craig Foss said on Monday that financial and technical assistance would be offered to people aged 75 and over for the transition to digital television, set to happen in Marlborough in April 2013.

To qualify for the Targeted Assistance Package, viewers must watch analogue television and hold a community services card to be eligible for the Targeted Assistance Package, Mr Foss said.

The scheme provides equipment, pays for installation, provides training and gives access to a technical support line.

Marlborough Age Concern community support worker Helen North, of Blenheim, said the announcement was great news for the elderly community and their families.

"There has always been a concern about the cost, so anything that the Government can do to relieve financial pressures for them (the elderly) is a big help.

"Cost is a big issue with most when it comes to switching off the analogue signal. A lot of elderly residents are on extremely limited incomes and have to count their pennies ... It's going to be difficult for some of them to adapt."

Marlborough Grey Power president Tony Preston said it was too early to say what Grey Power members thought about the deal, but he had no doubt it would help ease concerns.

"I think the perception is people think they need to get a new TV and all the equipment when this change happens.

"We've been told that's not the case and you will only need to get a set-top box (Freeview/Sky/Telstraclear), an aerial or a dish if you haven't already.

"I think it's important residents accept the change is going to happen and save up for it the best they can," Mr Preston said.

People who receive a veterans' pension, formerly received a pension or an invalid's benefit, but have switched to New Zealand superannuation, are also eligible.

Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said the package was intended to support those who were likely to face the greatest combination of technical, financial and physical barriers to going digital.

"Nearly eight out of 10 households throughout New Zealand have already gone digital – and viewers in Marlborough who are not already watching digital TV have over 14 months to obtain the necessary equipment," he said.

"There is a range of purchase and rental options available, and Going Digital recommends that viewers shop around for the best deal to suit their needs and consult with retailers in their region.

Visit goingdigital.co.nz, for more information.

- The Marlborough Express


What do you guys think about help only being available for the elderly? 
Good that igloo isn't involved too. 




Morgan French-Stagg

 

morgan.french.net.nz

 

 


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gzt

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  Reply # 573586 26-Jan-2012 13:43
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Set top boxes can be a really, really, bad idea for many in this group. A set top box adds complexity & another remote into the mix.

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  Reply # 573589 26-Jan-2012 13:47
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Fantastic. They would most likely have been confused and ripped off otherwise.

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  Reply # 573590 26-Jan-2012 13:47
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On the West Coast though they are turning off the analogue and not bothering at all with terrestrial. In that case a set top box is the only way really, be it freeview or Sky.

Agreed though the built in freeview decoder is a much better way to go if possible.

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  Reply # 573596 26-Jan-2012 13:54
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gzt: Set top boxes can be a really, really, bad idea for many in this group. A set top box adds complexity & another remote into the mix.


Yes they can be, so should be carefully selected, with a very simple UI. They should be set up so that the analog TV remote is not used ever. Like with a TiVo, the STB remote will control TV on/off and volume.

The STB should not be a PVR unless the elderly person can demonstrate they understand how to use it. Even a TiVo, with in my opinion the best (non-PC) UI, would be too complicated for most.

Any one seen any candidates, with a simple, big-button remote that can also control the TV?

gzt

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  Reply # 573629 26-Jan-2012 14:37
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It would also need to control the television TV/AV1/AV2/AV3 input, preferably automatically. Accidental activation is often a source of problems.

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  Reply # 573639 26-Jan-2012 14:54
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gzt: It would also need to control the television TV/AV1/AV2/AV3 input, preferably automatically. Accidental activation is often a source of problems.
  As discussed elsewhere, the Samsung TV's skip inputs with nothing attached, however they still allow you to toggle/select analogue TV input which can result in a screen of snow.

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  Reply # 573666 26-Jan-2012 15:34
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gzt: Set top boxes can be a really, really, bad idea for many in this group. A set top box adds complexity & another remote into the mix.


sounds like a low opinion of elderly's abilities.  let's see, my 75 year old father can use without a second thought the satellite freeview set top box, he can use the tivo.  he's recently for the first time in his life been using a computer without problems.  elderly have more brains than you give them credit and pick up technology relatively fast. 

gzt

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  Reply # 573725 26-Jan-2012 17:09
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alienwithin:
gzt: Set top boxes can be a really, really, bad idea for many in this group. A set top box adds complexity & another remote into the mix.


sounds like a low opinion of elderly's abilities.  let's see, my 75 year old father can use without a second thought the satellite freeview set top box, he can use the tivo.  he's recently for the first time in his life been using a computer without problems.  elderly have more brains than you give them credit and pick up technology relatively fast. 


It is a bad idea for many, but certainly not all. You have misinterpreted my comment.

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  Reply # 573738 26-Jan-2012 17:24
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gzt: Set top boxes can be a really, really, bad idea for many in this group. A set top box adds complexity & another remote into the mix.


I agree from first hand experience with dealing with the eldery, especally those 80+. Even my dad whose 60ish has trouible with a separate box, and two remotes. Really they need to be provided with a box that will control both the box and the TV from a single remote, like the tivo remote, which is ideal. Having two remotes is the problem. I hope they will be providing that sort of system, Otherwise they would almost be better giving them TVs with a freeview decoded built in, which is a lot easier to control

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  Reply # 573750 26-Jan-2012 17:54
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A simple logitech harmony remote with a 'Watch TV' button. The cheaper harmony's are not horribly priced and do make it easy.

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  Reply # 573753 26-Jan-2012 17:56
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trig42: A simple logitech harmony remote with a 'Watch TV' button. The cheaper harmony's are not horribly priced and do make it easy.


They are still quite complex, and they have to be programmed via computer first, at least the one I have does. Plus quite expensive too, and another device to be purchased. I would have thought that a system like that used by tivo would be possible, where you just enter in the code of the TV.

Just hope that they will also be providing support when tuners need re-tuning when they make changes to the frequencies

gzt

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  Reply # 573762 26-Jan-2012 18:23
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Yeah. There is a gap in the market for this kind of remote.

The purpose built ones are either still too complex (in that they permit functions which can be difficult to recover from) or the ergonomic layout is just thoughtless.

Also - ideally there would be common layout plates available which would somewhat mimic the layout of the existing device that is being replaced.

I just did a quick search - the commercial efforts were terrible. One guy hacked one together which is far from ideal but still the best of the bunch:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Senior-Remote/

A keen geek could do something similar with a low end programmable Harmony.

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  Reply # 573901 26-Jan-2012 23:27
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gzt:
I just did a quick search - the commercial efforts were terrible. One guy hacked one together which is far from ideal but still the best of the bunch:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Senior-Remote/


The Flipper Remote was linked to in the comments of that article. It looks perfect.

I emailed Going Digital, Procurement and Contracts Manager, Mark Whitaker with our suggestions. I thought I'd get in early before they get too far into selecting a device (perhaps they have already).

gzt

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  Reply # 574044 27-Jan-2012 12:40
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Skolink:
gzt:
I just did a quick search - the commercial efforts were terrible. One guy hacked one together which is far from ideal but still the best of the bunch:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Senior-Remote/

The Flipper Remote was linked to in the comments of that article. It looks perfect.

I emailed Going Digital, Procurement and Contracts Manager, Mark Whitaker with our suggestions. I thought I'd get in early before they get too far into selecting a device (perhaps they have already).

That looks like a good start, but it is only part of a whole solution.

For instance, 'Set Top Box' is a bit of a misnomer in that an STB is hardly ever mounted on top of the TV.

For a combination remote control application the ideal mount is a position where the STB IR sensor is as close as possible to (this will usually be directly underneath) the TV IR sensor, of course with no potential for obstruction. Anything else may create problems. Installation is very important.

In the satellite only case, there are TV's available with built in decoders so that is one way to go. They are rare-ish in NZ, so the price is a bit high for what you get.

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  Reply # 574245 27-Jan-2012 22:47
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gzt: In the satellite only case, there are TV's available with built in decoders so that is one way to go.
Not for $300 it isn't.

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