Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

Tutor

Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

We recently switched our elderly mother to Uverse.  She has some dementia and has been struggling with the standard remote.  She really only needs a very simple remote, TV on/off, STB channel up/down, volume up/up more (she doesn't hear well).  The DVR function is totally out of her comprehension and effectively does not exist.

 

It appears that the Logitech Harmony remotes are the only viable options.  Can anyone tell me if the Harmony remotes can be programmed to do just these tasks, plus maybe simple channel number entry, and nothing else?  Can the extra keys be programmed so that they don't cause any problems if the are pushed accidentally? 

 

What she needs to a remote similar to a basic TV remote from 10-15 years ago.  Any advice?  Thanks.

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Message 1 of 18
Scholar

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

The harmony remotes can be programmed any way you see fit. You can even delete certain buttons if you do not want that function. I have had mine since Christmas and love it.

Message 2 of 18
Tutor

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

That's good to hear.  What model do you have?  Thanks.

Message 3 of 18
Teacher

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony


nern1969 wrote:

The harmony remotes can be programmed any way you see fit. You can even delete certain buttons if you do not want that function. I have had mine since Christmas and love it.


I love my Logitech Harmony One, but I don't think it's what the OP is looking for.  The Harmony remotes have as many buttons as the Uverse remote, and trying to explain the touch-screen functions to an elderly individual with dementia sounds like a daunting challenge.

 

A quick search for simple universal remote for elderly revealed a lot of junk, but also possibly a few good leads.  One possibility is a Sony RM-EZ4.  It has the main buttons the OP is looking for, and in a nice size for less-than-nimble fingers.  The only caveat is I'm not sure it's Uverse compatible (the Sony website didn't indicate codes for a Cisco "cable box", just a Motorola cable box) so be prepared to return the item to point of purchase if you buy it. 

Message 4 of 18
Scholar

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

I have the Hormony 880, but there are a lot of different models to choose from. There are a lot of different features, but make sure you get one that suits what you need and that it is programmable with software.

Message 5 of 18
Expert

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

This was the same problem I ran into when I tried to set my grandmother up with a Harmony.  The idea of the remote taking care of all the component switching is very useful, but the Harmony remotes are not ergonomically designed for this task.

 

My grandmother had a very difficult time with the remote, primarily because the buttons and printing are too small, and the quantity of buttons that were not used was confusing.  She also could not see or read the small display screen.  She eventually called me back over to take it back and set up her original three remotes (cable box, TV, and DVD).  She had written instructions for those that she understood.  The Harmony's also tend to go through batteries faster, and the battery compartment door on this one was too hard for her to open.

 

I wish Logitech would design a new remote around this purpose, with larger buttons and print, reduced button count, and no screen or soft buttons (another concept that confused her), but instead just a bright backlight for the text labels.

 

Message 6 of 18
Guru

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

Might find something here.  Dunno if they work with UVerse tho.

Message 7 of 18
Guru

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

My Father 85 has the same problems with the Harmony/ATT remote...  We need a Gitter bug like remote. Big buttons, glow in dark and a flat bottom (to be used on table)....

Im not Smart! The Voices in my Head are!!
Message 8 of 18
Scholar

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

uverse uses a new IR technology that employs High Data Rate IR Code Formats specifically Philips RCMM Codes.

 

You need to make sure that what ever you buy is capable of reproducing Phillips RCMM Codes.  There are previous posts about Logitech models that CAN'T produce Phillips RCMM Codes.  I'm just guessing but a lot of the after market remotes that offer bigger buttons use older technology that doesn't include Phillips RCMM Codes.

 

Even Logitech isn't very forthcoming on whether it supports Phillips RCMM Codes so unfortunately it could be a trial and error process.

Message 9 of 18
Expert

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

Most of the Harmonys support the Philips RCMM codes, but there is an exception, I believe it's the Harmony 670, that does not.

 

Message 10 of 18

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

I used Flipper Remote for an elderly friend.  Great reviews on Amazon!  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GR1YZ0

Message 11 of 18
ACE - Master

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

Too bad for the OP that we, as subscribers, do not own the UV remotes.  We could then tape off or in some other fashion, disable the uneeded controls.  The On, Channel and Vol up and downs are not bad sized, IMHO.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 18
Tutor

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

I took some red electrical tape and outlined the power, volume, and channel buttons plus printed a picture of the remote and added notes telling her how to use those buttons.  I also hid all but about 15 channels so that she could just rotate through the channel list until she found what she was looking for.  She has had a little success but not too much.

 

I wish that I could log in and change channels for her remotely.  She doesn't watch that much TV but she does like to watch the Atlanta Braves.  That also seems like something that could easily be done.

 

Someone is missing an opportunity to make a programmable remote that is elderly friendly.

Message 13 of 18
Scholar

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony

The U-Verse remote is already a form of programmable universal remote.  It has to operate the set-top box, not just the TV, esp. for channel-changing.  So like others say there are probably few 3rd-party remotes that can do that.

 

Another issue to face is that the dementia will probably only get worse over time so at some point, the elderly person can't be left alone to operate the TV and for other reasons.

Message 14 of 18
ACE - Master

Re: Simplifying the Uverse remote for elderly - Logitech Harmony


brannose wrote:

I took some red electrical tape and outlined the power, volume, and channel buttons plus printed a picture of the remote and added notes telling her how to use those buttons.  I also hid all but about 15 channels so that she could just rotate through the channel list until she found what she was looking for.  She has had a little success but not too much.

 

I wish that I could log in and change channels for her remotely.  She doesn't watch that much TV but she does like to watch the Atlanta Braves.  That also seems like something that could easily be done.

 

Someone is missing an opportunity to make a programmable remote that is elderly friendly.


Too bad Some Joe can't add that feature to his program.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 15 of 18
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