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Universal Remote for Senior Citizens

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My dad is 88 years old and always has trouble controlling the TV and FIOS DVR in my home theater setup. I have instructed him many times in the use of the FIOS controller. The only three buttons that he needs are the TV, STB (Set top Box) and Power.

He constantly gets confused and tries to used the TV or STB button as the power and finally gives up when he cannot get both device on at the same time.

The other problem he has is the size of the buttons. I have looked at several jumbo button controllers but most of them are still overly complex in that they control 4 to 8 devices and there are too many buttons. In addition, none of the controllers do not list the Motorola 6400 series DVR as one of their Code options.

What would be most desirable is a programmable large button controller with only
1) Power - programmed to turn on the TV (leaving the STB on all the time)
2) Channel +/- Programmed to the STB
3) Volume +/- Programmed to the TV
4) Large Numbers for changing channels

I cannot find any controller that will meet this minmal requirement. They all seem to want to control all devices with no regard to what the senior citizen really needs.
post #2 of 9
Hi Ken,

I agree, this is a daunting problem. The standard large button remotes don't really simplify things for seniors. The closest thing I've found to what you need is this.



I've never tried one, but it looks like it has the features you want.

post #3 of 9


I don't know anything about either of them, but I have seen a similar one in a gag gift store, that they used to control their CD player/radio and TV. Also they are inexpensive. There are others if you search for "giant remote control" or something along those lines. Most are very similar to the ones above.
post #4 of 9
I know it is expensive, but I would look at a Harmony One. It has a decent size touch screen with pictures, ie., "Watch TV", "Watch DVD", "Watch Cable"...

The buttons are large compared to other remotes, and it is easy to navigate. I have two of them along with two Harmony 550's, which would just drive your dad crazy as the buttons are to small even for me. I wish I would have bought two more Harmony Ones, as does my near blind wife.
post #5 of 9
My 88 year old mom uses a Sony RM-EZ4. Large buttons and easy to use.
post #6 of 9
I'll add this One For All remote. http://www.oneforall.com/product/ind.../18/sub_title/ I gave this remote to my 90 year old great aunt to control her over the air D/A converter box.
I took the remote apart and taped over the device buttons that are not used, it comes apart fairly easy. It does power macro, to turn on/off several devices at once. It can be setup to do other macros (on other buttons), even though it is not documented in the owners manual !!
It also has volume punch through.
post #7 of 9
Do you mean that you put tape between the button sheet and the printed circuit board so that the keys don't make contact?

Another way to disable the device buttons is to assign a setup code for a component that she doesn't have to the undesired device buttons. Or, it may make sense to use Volume Punch Through and Channel Lock, using the 993 and 973 commands, so that volume and channel keys respond no matter which device button has been made active. If you want a more cusomized operation, you can also do keymoves. For example, if it is desired to disable certain keys, you can use the 994 command to assign an EFC to which the component doesn't respond. Or, you can copy a button from one device to another.

Here's a summary of 99x commands.
post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Another option. Rather than taking the remote apart just get a tube of glue with a thin applicator and squirt a drop or two under each of the non essential buttons on the remote. They can hammer away all they want but only the useful buttons will work.
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