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Senior friendly Comcast remote control for HD box

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#1 Ira


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Posted 22 August 2011 - 01:40 PM

My 88 year old mom got caught by the Comcast digital switchover recently. Until now, she had basic+extended analog service, and there was no need for a STB. Since I'm a long time DirecTV customer, and haven't had cable in probably 20 years, I wasn't aware of the ramifications or solutions. Not knowing any better, I bought her a LG LED HDTV, thinking I could simply connect the cable to it (without a STB) and everything would be okay. After doing that, I found out that you really can't get by without some type of STB from Comcast. I got a DTA box from Comcast for her other (bedroom) analog TV, and that one is working fine now. The remote that came with the DTA is very simple, and she has no problem using it.

I decided to get the HD STB for the new TV to take advantage of the new LG TV. This is where the problem came in. The remote that came with the HD STB is a learning remote, and I got it to control the LG with no problem. However, there are way too many buttons on the remote, and the buttons are very small. She's very confused by the remote, mainly because it has about ten times as many buttons as she needs to use.

So does anyone know of a senior friendly remote that can learn how to control both the HD STB and the LG TV? A "perfect" remote would have a single on/off button that only turned on/off the TV. The volume up/down buttons would control the TV volume. The numbered buttons and the channel up/down would control the channels on the HD STB. No other buttons needed. Oversized buttons would be a plus. She shouldn't need to press a "component" button before pressing another button, e.g., she should be able to go from changing channels on the STB to changing the volume on the TV without having to press a "TV" button.


#2 pete_c



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Posted 22 August 2011 - 03:06 PM


I wrote an FAQ for my folks (in their 80's). Initially I wrote one for the wife when she called me one day while I was in the EU and she was crying about not being able to turn on the TV. My wife took the one I wrote for her, simplied it a bit and used large print fonts. She also mentioned only the buttons on the remote necessary for basic stuff; not any of the configuration menu stuff. A couple of years ago switched folks from DirectTV (years of being a customer) which originally was Comcast to FIOS and the learning process started again.

My wife prefers to have a multitude of remotes and will not use the multiuse Logitech. I programmed the STB remote to work with the LCD TV for my folks and just hid the legacy remotes. My dad had a habit of just pushing the buttons with no rhyme or reason until he would make the remote not useful. The FAQ has helped. I added a MM receiver and wireless headphone set which my mother knows how to use know. The volume level because of her hearing has to be pretty high these days. So I didn't replace the remote with an elderly friendly one; just documented the STB one.

#3 drvnbysound



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Posted 19 September 2011 - 05:26 PM

I have to do similar 'tutorials' for every computer based function you can think of for my parents as well as my in-laws. I have instructions for them on how to download images from their digital cameras, how to sync music from iTunes to iPods, etc. While I don't mind talking to them, this keeps them from calling me every time they forget how to do something ;)

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