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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Remote Controls for the old folk in Technical; Surely I'm not the only one that gets regular phone calls from the aged parents requesting a tutorial on how ...
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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Remote Controls for the old folk

    Surely I'm not the only one that gets regular phone calls from the aged parents requesting a tutorial on how to watch the TV/DVD/whatever? It's been worse since the digital switchover, as they keep forgetting that they need to turn on both the TV and the Freeview/cable.

    I've tried the "labelling the remote" (messy, not enough space for instructions) and the "easy to follow labelled guide to the remote" (gets lost/ignored) options and I'm thinking that a different remote might help. (Unless anyone has any better ideas).

    I'm reasoning is that if there was something that they could just press one labelled button to turn on both the TV and whatever they wanted to watch (Freeview/Cable or DVD or VCR) as well as set the TV to the correct source and set the remote's buttons to control said source it would make things easier. The fewer buttons they have to deal with on the remote, the better. I found a Philips one on Amazon that seemed promising (and cheap!) - has anyone had any experience of it? Or has anyone got any better ideas/suggestions?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Ahh, remote controls and older people, a special kind of hell.

    The issues are manyfold unfortunatlly, there are three main options:

    A fancy universal remote with macro keys that you can program to do multiple tasks with one press like this SLx 8 Way Universal Touch Screen Remote Control with: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo , the biggest flaw with this is that people will often default back to the other controls and mess it up especially if the universal is not very clear.

    Leave the set top box on always so that there is not issue other than changing channels with a different remote. You can even hook this up with a universal remote that does not have the set top box power off programmed into it. Again you will probably have to take the other remotes away to guarentee use.

    Buy a modern TV with a built in tuner and one remote. This is the most expencive but also the most hassel free solution.


    After going through this a couple of times my recomendation would be to try to get them to buy a better TV.

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    LeMarchand (3rd August 2010)

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    It might actualy be counter productive, by the look of that remote you have to switch it between the different functions. When we last used a universal remote my folks could never understand that the remote needed to be switched from controling the VCR to controlling the TV.

    Logitech do some remotes where one button can be programmed to perform several actions.

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    LeMarchand (3rd August 2010)

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Logitech do some nice programmable remotes, expensive, but nice.

    My mum is the same way whenever she gets a new mobile

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    LeMarchand (3rd August 2010)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Here is one of the nicer/pricier logitech ones Harmony® One Advanced Universal Remote

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    LeMarchand (3rd August 2010)

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Buy a modern TV with a built in tuner and one remote. This is the most expencive but also the most hassel free solution.


    After going through this a couple of times my recomendation would be to try to get them to buy a better TV.
    Unfortunately, they just bought a flat screen (against my advice) so that's out. I do agree that it would be the simplest option as it's mainly the TV they watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    It might actualy be counter productive, by the look of that remote you have to switch it between the different functions. When we last used a universal remote my folks could never understand that the remote needed to be switched from controling the VCR to controlling the TV.
    I knew there would be a flaw in my reasoning! I like the look of that remote because all the buttons that they won't need are hidden.

    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    Logitech do some remotes where one button can be programmed to perform several actions.
    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    Logitech do some nice programmable remotes
    Logitech did seem to come up a lot in my research, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Here is one of the nicer/pricier logitech ones Harmony® One Advanced Universal Remote
    ...they're not cheap! I was hoping for < £30.

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    have a google around. there is one of the harmony remotes, can't remember which model but it is the same as mine in silver and it was going for around £45 which is a very good price. i can tell you, these remotes are the absolute Don. i don't know what i'd do without mine now!! however, a word of warning - test test test. i found a few little niggles with mine when i first set it up such as it not switching inputs properly, or it increasing the volume 2 or 3 clicks at a time rather than one. all of this was fixable with a little tweaking of the software (all PC based and very simple to run through) and it now works absolutely perfectly.

    i also had a problem that logitech released an update for my TV controls on the remote, which then effectively rendered one of my inputs useless as i couldn't select it properly. i spoke with their technical support and they looked at the code and rewrote it as they realised there was a mistake. very very good tech support, cannot fault logitech for that!

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Robbocop (31st August 2010)

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    It's not just oldies who have this problem with remote controls for tv / sat / dvd - my wife does as well despite the fact she has a phd. No matter how many times I show her which buttons to press, I usually find her pointing the sky remote at the xbox, shaking it whilst stabbing at the buttons, exclaiming, 'why isn't the bloody thing working!?' and failing to notice she hasn't turned the sky box on......

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    Logitech Harmony 515 Universal Remote - Electronics at Play.com (UK)

    only replaces 5 remotes, opposed to the 15 that mine did, but within your budget and still has all the functions you would need and many more. it is effectively the same as the one i've got, just the only difference is the number of remotes you can program to it.

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    LeMarchand (20th August 2010)

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    my wife does as well despite the fact she has a phd.
    In my experience (working in a Uni with a majority of staff holding PhDs and dozens of research students working towards a PhD) such a qualification brings no guarantee of any technical ability. Or common sense or ability to read and follow instructions, come to think of it. </wild generalisation>

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