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billspar
Mentor

Big-button remote control for disabled people

A disabled friend has a Now TV box on which he is attempting to watch Sky Sports channels, however he has trouble pressing the correct button of the up, down, left, right, ok cluster.

 

His bad eyesight, as a result of macular degeration, is such that he cannot see small detail and cannot distinguish the cross shape. His sense of touch is also degraded such that he cannot feel the cross shape.

 

  1. Do the manufacturers of the Now TV box make a big-button remote?
  2. Would it be possible to buy a big-button remote that has a built-in emulation mode for the Now TV remote?
  3. Would it be possible to buy a generic big-button remote with a "learn" facility so it could emulate the Now TV remote?
  4. Is a voice-activated remote available for the Now TV box?
  5. Is there another box that can show Sky Sports channels for which one of (1) to (4) above applies?
  6. Does anyone have any lateral-thinking solution to the basic problem?

I've made a fairly exhaustive google search but not come up with any solutions.

 

Any ideas anyone?

 

Bill

 

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4268 Legend 5
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@billspar does your friend have a smart phone. It might be easier for them to use the remote control app.

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billspar
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

Hi mobile is a big-button Doro basic phone and he even has trouble with that.
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Andy Legend 5
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@billspar

 

I think you've probably realised that unfortunately NOW TV don't provide bespoke big-button remotes, voice-recognition etc.

 

I've had similar issues with my mother who is partially sighted as a result of a stroke and struggles with TV remotes etc. In theory you could use a big-button universal remote if it is cable of learning IR transmissions from the host remote, but the NOW TV remote relies on the direction keys for a lot of navigating and the big button remotes tend not to have those keys, or not in suitable arrangements.

 

The Roku remote app on a tablet or phone (tablet makes the buttons even bigger) is a reasonable solution, although it comes with the added annoyance of having to unlock the device/wait for it to connect each time you want to do something. However if your friend has no suitable phone or tablet device then that doesn't help.

 

What does help my mum with locating buttons etc on appliances around the house, and might help your friend if it's primarily a sight issue rather than a dexterity issue, is to get some sheets of those little coloured sticky dots kids like to use (supermarkets, Smiths etc usually have them). You could stick these on the remote keys to improve the contrast and make them easier to see. Some white dots on the up, down, left and right keys with say an orange dot on the OK and a green dot on the NOW TV button (which is a useful way of opening the NOW TV app quickly) might help your friend locate and press the buttons easier than currently.

Andy Legend 5
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@commanda6 Sorry, I should have thought, are there any other ideas you've come across that might help?

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billspar
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

My friend does not have dexterity issues. It's simply that he can't see what he is doing and he can't feel the buttons. It is like trying to operate the remote while wearing an oven mitt.

 

I have stuck a red sticky dot on the "source" button of his TV remote so that he can switch the TV over to the Now TV box. That just about does the job for him. I tried to stick them on the Now TV remote but the rubber seems to be made of Teflon because nothing will stick to the buttons.

 

You have just given me an idea, however.  If I take a white address label and cut out a cross shape, I can put it over the cross-shaped cluster and stick it to the body of the remote. Maybe if he can see the outline of the cluster it would work for him?

 

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billspar
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@Andy I see you appear to have responded to someone called @commanda6 but I don't see the message you responded to. Did it get removed?

Bill

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commanda6 Legend 5
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

no need to apologise @Andy The ideas you came up with are exactly the kind I would have come up with

 

@billspar I found something that might help. Looking at it. I would describe it as possibly a tablet -sized remote and buttons look quite large. But there's no guarantee you will get it to work correctly with NowTV hardware

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X9KM1L2/ref=pd_sbs_107_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=471W3Y7612FNTCTE...

 


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Andy Legend 5
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Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@billspar No don't worry nothing's been deleted, I just mentioned commanda6 so he would notice the thread as he has some experience with these issues. 

 

Actually it would be useful to try the sticky label as a quick experiment to see if it helps at all, you've still got the problem of the remote being pretty small and fiddly, but if it does help your friend then post back and let us know as I reckon I might have a more useful solution in mind.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Big-button remote control for disabled people

@billspar,

 

While we don't supply big-button remotes there maybe something we can do. 

 

@Andy let me know the issue and has made a suggestion. What I'm going to do is send you a quick email with some more info, then you can reply to let me know if it sounds like a plan.

 

Thanks

 

Simon