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Help for elderly relative - recordable freeview


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Old 22-09-2013, 18:39
kazziecon
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Please could some one recommend an easy to use recordable set top box for my mum in law (89 years young) to use? Preferably Freeview!

She disposed of her VHS years ago and, now that winter is coming, there are lots of tv programmes she would love to see but they are all on at the same time! She doesn't want to get into a contract with BT or Virgin - she just wants to see a drama on BBC which is on at the same time as something on another channel.

I only have Sky So don't know much about other systems! 😕

Thanks 😊
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Old 22-09-2013, 20:24
niall campbell
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any Freeview + / PLUS box

you might want to consider one that has BBC iplayer built in.

However , you might want to consider Freesat + as well . Sky as well

By the time you pay for a box , you may be a cheap to take out sky.

Maybe some other folk in here have a differing view
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Old 23-09-2013, 19:49
technologist
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Mist important ... It should be a freeview + HD box .. Because this has a number if useful features like handling retunes itself and generally being future proof never mind any thing to do with HD ...

Look at this site http://www.ricability-digitaltv.org....-recorders.htm
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Old 23-09-2013, 22:17
iangrad
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Mist important ... It should be a freeview + HD box .. Because this has a number if useful features like handling retunes itself and generally being future proof never mind any thing to do with HD ...

Look at this site http://www.ricability-digitaltv.org....-recorders.htm
Handling re tunes its self ? never seen that before -- how would that work ?

All the panasonic recorder are very easy for the elderly to operate -- big green button to bring up the guide to record & one press of the "direct navigator" button to look at your recordings . H max are horrible with there complex remote and lack of rf signal feed through unless you delve deep into the settings ( this forces you to watch everything through a slow dim witted box )
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Old 23-09-2013, 23:05
Winston_1
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any Freeview + / PLUS box

you might want to consider one that has BBC iplayer built in.

However , you might want to consider Freesat + as well . Sky as well

By the time you pay for a box , you may be a cheap to take out sky.

Maybe some other folk in here have a differing view
Defiantly. With Sky you NEVER stop paying.
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Old 24-09-2013, 06:16
niall campbell
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I prefer satellite stuff myself , I don't really mind paying Sky for its service.

I just feel satellite is the way forward , just food for thought
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Old 24-09-2013, 09:56
iangrad
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I prefer satellite stuff myself , I don't really mind paying Sky for its service.

I just feel satellite is the way forward , just food for thought
Maybe if you are a sports viewer or like the movies but the OP's mil is 89 , I would love to be a fly on the wall when you mention (a) change & (b) paying !!
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Old 24-09-2013, 10:01
Tassium
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I would say the most important thing is reliability. In terms of recording a programme or series that is.

Automatic re-tunes are not essential, I doubt high def is either. Freeview+ allows for a whole series to be recorded by just seeing one episode to record, quite important.

One thing to consider is the remote control, it isn't essential that any included remote be easy to use since it's always possible to buy a learning remote that is easy to use.

-----------------------------
Not that I can recommend anything!

But in looking at reviews for particular HDD set-top boxes be aware that the "firmware" (controlling software) often goes through several versions before it's stable. Early comments on a particular model might no longer apply.

I don't think you will be able to find anything suitable. Either these things are hopelessly unreliable or very very complicated
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Old 24-09-2013, 12:09
technologist
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Retuning is one thing that really confuses people (old or not) and hence the Freeview + HD box is a good move ....as well as being future proof!
Riceabalaity test specifically for useability a- not only of TV Sets but other things and I always have a look at their site before buying things for my elderly relatives...
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:01
alan1302
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I prefer satellite stuff myself , I don't really mind paying Sky for its service.

I just feel satellite is the way forward , just food for thought
If anything online is the way forward
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:22
diablo
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Handling re tunes its self ? never seen that before -- how would that work ?

All the panasonic recorder are very easy for the elderly to operate -- big green button to bring up the guide to record & one press of the "direct navigator" button to look at your recordings . Humax are horrible with there complex remote and lack of rf signal feed through unless you delve deep into the settings ( this forces you to watch everything through a slow dim witted box )
I got a Humax for my owd dad and he found it difficult to use. They may have improved since the 9200 model though, I haven't looked.

Simplicity is probably the main feature I'd be looking for if I were buying for an old person again. So if Panasonic are easy to use then has to be worth a look.
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:34
bobcar
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If anything online is the way forward
Not really, most elderly people who are after something simple are not even online and certainly would not want the extra complications involved in getting online even if the system were itself simple to use.
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:02
jcjeffe
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Keep it simple is the best advice!!

I bought my mother then about 90 a Freeview box several years before DSO as she was worried about loosing TV. It immediately became obvious that she would never be able to use it so removed it from her TV. Just switching the old TV on could be a problem as sometimes she switched it off with the front panel mains switch then was annoyed that she could not switch it back on again with the remote.

She would never have managed a digital remote as even with her old familiar TV remote she often didn't look at which button she was pressing. I seem to remember that there are some ultra simple remote controls available intended for the very old!
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Old 24-09-2013, 16:05
2Bdecided
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Handling re tunes its self ? never seen that before -- how would that work ?

All the panasonic recorder are very easy for the elderly to operate -- big green button to bring up the guide to record & one press of the "direct navigator" button to look at your recordings . H max are horrible with there complex remote and lack of rf signal feed through unless you delve deep into the settings ( this forces you to watch everything through a slow dim witted box )
The best way to avoid confusion IME is to make sure that she's always watching TV through the new box. Don't even connect an aerial to the TV.

Freesat has the benefit of consistent reception and no retunes. Freeview has the benefit of Yesterday and Dave for free, and channels 1-5 on numbers 1-5. Both have a full radio guide as well as a TV guide - you don't get a radio EPG on Sky.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 24-09-2013, 16:29
chrisjr
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I got a Humax for my owd dad and he found it difficult to use. They may have improved since the 9200 model though, I haven't looked.

Simplicity is probably the main feature I'd be looking for if I were buying for an old person again. So if Panasonic are easy to use then has to be worth a look.
I have a Humax 9150 and a Fox-T2. I reckon my 88yr old mum would be able to work the Fox-T2 but the 9150 would frustrate the hell out of her (it does me as well! )

The operation of the 9150 is more annoying than it should be due to Humax burying certain very useful buttons behind a sliding panel on the remote. I mean why on earth would anyone need the button to call up the list of recordings easily to hand? No lets hide it away where you can't see it, no one will care!!

The Fox-T2 is by comparison much more user friendly. The remote is a lot better laid out and simpler for one thing. OK it calls the button to call up the recordings list MEDIA but then it does also access other things like network hard drives and the like. But at least it's all out in the open and not hidden away like on the 9150.
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Old 24-09-2013, 16:31
gomezz
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The best way to avoid confusion IME is to make sure that she's always watching TV through the new box. Don't even connect an aerial to the TV.
Not if there are three different programmes she would like to watch all on at the same time and they are all on different MUXes. And what if the PVR locks up as most tend to do from time to time? At least make sure they can still watch the TV until someone can do the hard yards of power-cycling the PVR who has younger knees.

May be easier to to make sure the PVR and TV turn on/switch in sync and the TV goes back to live in a sensible manner when the PVR is put back into standby. As a former VCR user can we assume the lady is used to using two remote controls?
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:22
2Bdecided
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Not if there are three different programmes she would like to watch all on at the same time and they are all on different MUXes.
The five main HD channels are on one mux, and the OP mentioned BBC (One?) drama, and many older people love ITV, so I'm imagining your example just isn't going to happen.

And what if the PVR locks up as most tend to do from time to time? At least make sure they can still watch the TV until someone can do the hard yards of power-cycling the PVR who has younger knees.
1. Buy a decent PVR.
2. In an emergency: http://www.maplin.co.uk/buy-batterie...rolled-sockets

Also need a TV that always remembers the last used input, and a STB remote that can fully replace the TV remote.

I speak from experience of installing an easy-to-use solution for an elderly relative:
Echostar Freesat box
Sony TV
Only the Echostar remote
Active speakers plugged into TV's headphone output
Auto power on the speakers
Manual remote controlled power on everything in case of reboots needed
An RF modulator to feed the signal to other TVs in the house
The same remote control next to other old TVs in the house with all channels tuned to the modulator's output
Magic eyes to feed controls back to the Freesat box

Result = same channels and recordings in every room, same single remote in every room, no way to be left without a picture, no need to re-tune ever. No complaints

However, BBC One is on 108, ITV1 is on 119, ... but at least it's consistent.


It's not for everyone though.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:43
David (2)
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This is a very difficult issue and I am not aware of any perfect solution.

The old humax 9150 (freeview) is awkward to use + lacks a hdmi port, so being scart only this makes it more awkward to connect to many modern tv's which often only have a single custom mini scart port (with full size dongle adaptor). It's more expensive brother, the 9300 (still freeview) did have a hdmi but I guess is just as awkward to use. Both are limited SD and can't receive freeviewHd.

We Still have a Panasonic combi, this features hard drive, dvd burner, freeview chip + hdmi. This is easier to use and I have recommended this to a few older folks who wanted ease of use freeview recording. But it Rather depends on the ability of the user, you Still need a degree of knowledge to operate one, I wrote down a simple procedure list to follow for recording and playback. The machine in question only has a single freeview chip (tuner). So just as with the days of video recorders you must rely on the tv for live tv viewing when the machine is recording. Also the machine in question didn't have series link either. Panasonic Still make such machines for freeview and freesat, I guess by now they all have series link but I have no idea whether the modern versions have twin tuners. One advantage though is that you get a dvd drive built in which removes the need for yet another device to play dvds.

The humax satellite pvrs are totally different to their freeview models. I can't comment on the very latest youview + freetime models but of their predecessors the freesat machine was far superior but no easier to use.

You may not want to rule out a sky box. You don't have to subscribe to all the channels Eg sports or movies. So you can reduce the monthly subscription cost. As a rule these machines are fairly easy to use but you Still need some knowledge to use it, Eg using the Epg menu which is alien if you have only ever pressed buttons 1-5 on the tv remote. As with all digital kit these can freeze and crash from time to time.

Auto switching to the box on.startup and auto return to tv is a legacy of scart. Hdmi is a different system and auto switching is not supported between all devices as standard. I have not seen a pvr that can do it, but some dvd/bluray players can. The Panasonic combi I mentioned won't switch on hdmi when using the hard disc but will if u switch to dvd mode. The lack of autoswitch is another major barrier.
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Old 24-09-2013, 19:45
niall campbell
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Maybe if you are a sports viewer or like the movies but the OP's mil is 89 , I would love to be a fly on the wall when you mention (a) change & (b) paying !!
Possibly, but what happens if you need another aerial ?

catch up will need broadband ? another cost

damned I you don't I am afraid
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Old 24-09-2013, 19:49
ssr
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There are plenty of Talktalk pvr's on EBay, which are simple and give excellent service. They go for around 60 to 70. Just plug in and do a factory reset. On demand for all main channels if internet is available.
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Old 24-09-2013, 20:21
alan1302
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Not really, most elderly people who are after something simple are not even online and certainly would not want the extra complications involved in getting online even if the system were itself simple to use.
I was replying to the poster who said sattelite was the way forward - they were not really referring to the the ops original question.

I do agree though that online is probably not suitable for the op but overall is probably the way forward for TV.
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Old 25-09-2013, 15:42
Tassium
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The OP does not seem that interested.

Techy questions do need a lot of too-and-fro to get to a solution.
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:31
niall campbell
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what about tv that records to a hard drive ?

that would be the easiest
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:35
alan1302
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what about tv that records to a hard drive ?

that would be the easiest
Why would it be easiest?
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Old 25-09-2013, 21:04
iangrad
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Why would it be easiest?
The op's mil is 89 and recording to a usb hard drive is never going to work - far to complex and hit and miss ( frankly its a flawed idea introduced to sell extreme budget TV in supermarkets ) , the only viable solution to recording for the people who just want it to work whatever there age is one of any one of the Pans twin tuner recorders -- so easy and fantastic results .

If the world were different there would be a market for well designed easy to use products to suit the non technical / elderly . Some of whom cant even get there mind round adjusting the brightness etc . But most manufactures just pile the features in most of the time for very little benefit to picture quality or ease of use .

OP where are you -- reply ??
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