A tv for the elderly

by DannyUK

My OAP mum lives alone, and being her only kid, the responsibility to fix anything that goes wrong in the house falls to me.


Fifteen years ago, I’d have been able to cope with whatever technological failures were occurring, but being in my mid thirties, I find that as each year passes, my knowledge around anything new, technology wise, gets worse.

Almost on a weekly basis I refer to the kids’ iPod as an iPad or an iPhone, only to be corrected by four voices at once, all chastising me for getting it wrong.

So perhaps I’m not the best person to call in when the heating goes wrong, or the computer doesn’t work or – as is so often the case – the TV goes wrong.

Last week I got a phone call from mum telling me that the TV wasn’t working.  I asked if she was using the correct remote control “The grey one, not the black one” and despite initially replying “I’m using this one” as though I could through the phone line, she quickly confirmed that she was using the correct remote.  My efforts to rectify things by phone failed, and so I swung by her house to figure out what had happened.

As it turns out, the TV was working fine, as it always is, but she had somehow managed to flick from Sky to Freeview and was getting confused as to how to change it back.

TVs these days have more options that the vast majority of us use.  As a pensioner, my mum needs a TV that turns on, works immediately, and has very few fancy options.

In fact, if I could find a TV that didn’t offer Freeview, that worked immediately off of a standard Sky remote without having to reprogram the remote with a code, that only allowed certain functions such as volume control and the changing of Sky channels, I’d be tempted to buy it for mum.

Simply plug it in, connect it to Sky (or Freeview, but certainly not both) and that’s it.  Make it have just one channel, which shows the Sky or Freeview that you’re plugged into so that if you turn it off, it automatically turns it back to just the one same channel.

Get rid of any additional features like being able to connect it to a PC, or the internet.

In fact, just make it so that I don’t end up doing this to a remote control.

A tv for the elderly header.

This is merely a prototype, of course.


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