Remote Media Player - Call for Ideas

brightspark

Swinger
Forgive the sob story, I know some people here will likely have/had the same sort of problem I've got, and there is techie ask coming, really.
My dad has dementia for a few years and now just vegitates at home, and my mum will do f-all to help him. He used to like listening to/watching news, current affairs, snooker, the Sweeny/Dirty Harry type films etc etc. Anything with a bit of sex and violence and a reasonable story line. Now she controls the TV & radio and makes him listen to dirge like sh*t on Classic FM FFS - music to hang urself by - (it's alwys dirge like shit when I listen, swear it's some kind of wierd revenge).
Anyhow I'm looking for some sort of setup, OTS or custom, that I can set up in maybe a couple of days, to let me control/ play TV/streaming/radio similar, to my dad, on some sort of device with sound and screen at his home , from my home (or ideally wherever I am). It would have to be powered up and down remotely.
Ideally it would also have two way audio so we could have a conversation, through the same device. I don't have time to spend weeks on f-ing Professor Google, I've already had a good look on Instructables and similar, but there are so many ways of doing this my brain is fried.
It would have to be totally remote controllable, as he can't manage even the TV remote these days, and she can't/won't help with this. He does still enjoy stuff on TV and radio when I put on something he likes, but my m*ther won't do that. I've got remote cameras in the house already, with one way audio so I can see when he's up and ready to hear/watch stuff.
I'll spend dosh but I can't spend weeks of time hacking, a couple of days, tops, and it would need to be reliable, as I can only get down there once a week. They have broadband/wi-fi/router, I have set up POE stuff for them in the past, am fairly tech literate, inc very simple programming/network/pc/server setup.
ARRSErs strike me as a practical bunch - any helpful techie solutions/suggestions? Maybe something based on a wall mounted tablet/iPad or similar with the power can be fixed to the device? Anything mobile is out as it will get lost/left to run out of juice. Anyone done something similar for a relative in a care home?
 

theinventor

War Hero
Can it be as simple as a Google Home / Alexa in his house with the controls on your phone? You choose the music and stream it at him.
If you set up a tablet for movies you can log in remotely with something like Teamviewer and pick the movies for him.
 
Alexa is pretty simple, follow the included instructions then connect to the wireless and simply tell it to play whatever song they like
 

brightspark

Swinger
Believe it or not he already has an Alexa device(the one that is the shape of a kitchen towel roll), bought as a prezzie by my sister so he could just say the programmes he wants, but he's now beyond speaking to it himself without someone prompting him, and anyhow muvver took against it a while ago, as my bruvver from up the road has filled her head with sh*t about it being a police state device, big brother etc.etc. He is a fully paid up tin hat brigade member.
I really need one device with both audio and video, that I can make hard wired to a power supply. I could do that with the Alexa, (assuming he could make use of that) but I want to keep the disruption/fannying around just to fitting one device (minimising the power routing/wall attachment and protests from muvver & bruvver).
 

Vortex-G

Clanker
You could us a Broadlink RM4 Pro to control TVs, smart sockets, media players etc from anywhere with your phone via an Amazon Echo.
 
Forgive the sob story, I know some people here will likely have/had the same sort of problem I've got, and there is techie ask coming, really.
My dad has dementia for a few years and now just vegitates at home, and my mum will do f-all to help him. He used to like listening to/watching news, current affairs, snooker, the Sweeny/Dirty Harry type films etc etc. Anything with a bit of sex and violence and a reasonable story line. Now she controls the TV & radio and makes him listen to dirge like sh*t on Classic FM FFS - music to hang urself by - (it's alwys dirge like shit when I listen, swear it's some kind of wierd revenge).
Anyhow I'm looking for some sort of setup, OTS or custom, that I can set up in maybe a couple of days, to let me control/ play TV/streaming/radio similar, to my dad, on some sort of device with sound and screen at his home , from my home (or ideally wherever I am). It would have to be powered up and down remotely.
Ideally it would also have two way audio so we could have a conversation, through the same device. I don't have time to spend weeks on f-ing Professor Google, I've already had a good look on Instructables and similar, but there are so many ways of doing this my brain is fried.
It would have to be totally remote controllable, as he can't manage even the TV remote these days, and she can't/won't help with this. He does still enjoy stuff on TV and radio when I put on something he likes, but my m*ther won't do that. I've got remote cameras in the house already, with one way audio so I can see when he's up and ready to hear/watch stuff.
I'll spend dosh but I can't spend weeks of time hacking, a couple of days, tops, and it would need to be reliable, as I can only get down there once a week. They have broadband/wi-fi/router, I have set up POE stuff for them in the past, am fairly tech literate, inc very simple programming/network/pc/server setup.
ARRSErs strike me as a practical bunch - any helpful techie solutions/suggestions? Maybe something based on a wall mounted tablet/iPad or similar with the power can be fixed to the device? Anything mobile is out as it will get lost/left to run out of juice. Anyone done something similar for a relative in a care home?

Here's an idea - keep yer sneck out.
 

brightspark

Swinger
Plus 2 on the Alexa solution. Looks fairly simple to control it remotely.
Have a look at Echo & Alexa Devices - Amazon.co.uk for sound only or video enabled Echo devices.
All of those except the sneck worth a look into and appeciated... someone has to keep their sneck in so the old fella has some sort of a life.
 
Forgive the sob story, I know some people here will likely have/had the same sort of problem I've got, and there is techie ask coming, really.
My dad has dementia for a few years and now just vegitates at home, and my mum will do f-all to help him. He used to like listening to/watching news, current affairs, snooker, the Sweeny/Dirty Harry type films etc etc. Anything with a bit of sex and violence and a reasonable story line. Now she controls the TV & radio and makes him listen to dirge like sh*t on Classic FM FFS - music to hang urself by - (it's alwys dirge like shit when I listen, swear it's some kind of wierd revenge).
Anyhow I'm looking for some sort of setup, OTS or custom, that I can set up in maybe a couple of days, to let me control/ play TV/streaming/radio similar, to my dad, on some sort of device with sound and screen at his home , from my home (or ideally wherever I am). It would have to be powered up and down remotely.
Ideally it would also have two way audio so we could have a conversation, through the same device. I don't have time to spend weeks on f-ing Professor Google, I've already had a good look on Instructables and similar, but there are so many ways of doing this my brain is fried.
It would have to be totally remote controllable, as he can't manage even the TV remote these days, and she can't/won't help with this. He does still enjoy stuff on TV and radio when I put on something he likes, but my m*ther won't do that. I've got remote cameras in the house already, with one way audio so I can see when he's up and ready to hear/watch stuff.
I'll spend dosh but I can't spend weeks of time hacking, a couple of days, tops, and it would need to be reliable, as I can only get down there once a week. They have broadband/wi-fi/router, I have set up POE stuff for them in the past, am fairly tech literate, inc very simple programming/network/pc/server setup.
ARRSErs strike me as a practical bunch - any helpful techie solutions/suggestions? Maybe something based on a wall mounted tablet/iPad or similar with the power can be fixed to the device? Anything mobile is out as it will get lost/left to run out of juice. Anyone done something similar for a relative in a care home?
I did some googling and there appear to be a number of other people asking more or less the same question as you. One answer seems to get some sort of home automation hub that has a TV remote option (i.e. emulates a TV remote control, not one that takes input from a remote control). You then control it through a phone app from wherever you are provided the house has an internet connection.

A number of products were mentioned, but I didn't bother making note of them as I don't have any experience with them and so don't want to pass on the name of something which may not work as well as someone on the Internet claimed it did.

I would recommend talking to someone at a place that sells home automation kit. Tell them that you are looking for something fairly basic rather than automating the whole house. You may consider being able to control the lights in his room while you're at it.

As for radio, I stopped listening to that decades ago so I don't know how that's done. I assume you can get one which uses a TV compatible remote control.

For two-way conversations, see about setting his TV so you can use Skype, Zoom, or whatever over it. There are add-ons which allow this, assuming the TV doesn't have it built in (as a Smart TV).
9 ways to make video calls on your TV

19 Things You Didn't Know Your Google Chromecast Could Do

There is apparently a standard for having various gadgets attached to the TV cooperate with each other via the HDMI port.
How to Enable HDMI-CEC on Your TV, and Why You Should

So, also talk to someone at a place that sells media gadgets such as Google Chromecast. Make sure that you are clear that you have very specific uses and don't want to buy a package that he won't get any use out of (e.g. media subscriptions that he won't watch).

What these seem to have in common is that you control them through a phone app on your phone. You of course want to make sure that the security features aren't such that your phone has to be physically present, but can do it all remotely.

I don't have an exact answer but I'm 90 per cent sure that what you want to do can be done through either a home automation gadget, a media gadget, or a combination of the two. I think you would have to talk to someone who actually sells this kit though in order to ask them "will 'x' work with both 'y' and 'z'" in order to get an exact answer.
 

brightspark

Swinger
You mention 'his home' then a 'care home' Are you thinking that he will soon go into a care home?
I think it's 50/50 really, if anything happens to my mum we could get then carers in to the house, but he's probably at the stage where a good care home might be better for him, if he got to see more people and have more coversations etc. Dreaded Social Services might decide he's at too much risk left as he is, and drag him off to a care home leaving mum on her own, which just creates another problem.
If he was in a decent home, we could get the care staff to put on the tv/radio/iPad for him which would solve most of the problem.
 

brightspark

Swinger
I did some googling and there appear to be a number of other people asking more or less the same question as you. One answer seems to get some sort of home automation hub that has a TV remote option (i.e. emulates a TV remote control, not one that takes input from a remote control). You then control it through a phone app from wherever you are provided the house has an internet connection.

A number of products were mentioned, but I didn't bother making note of them as I don't have any experience with them and so don't want to pass on the name of something which may not work as well as someone on the Internet claimed it did.

I would recommend talking to someone at a place that sells home automation kit. Tell them that you are looking for something fairly basic rather than automating the whole house. You may consider being able to control the lights in his room while you're at it.

As for radio, I stopped listening to that decades ago so I don't know how that's done. I assume you can get one which uses a TV compatible remote control.

For two-way conversations, see about setting his TV so you can use Skype, Zoom, or whatever over it. There are add-ons which allow this, assuming the TV doesn't have it built in (as a Smart TV).
9 ways to make video calls on your TV

19 Things You Didn't Know Your Google Chromecast Could Do

There is apparently a standard for having various gadgets attached to the TV cooperate with each other via the HDMI port.
How to Enable HDMI-CEC on Your TV, and Why You Should

So, also talk to someone at a place that sells media gadgets such as Google Chromecast. Make sure that you are clear that you have very specific uses and don't want to buy a package that he won't get any use out of (e.g. media subscriptions that he won't watch).

What these seem to have in common is that you control them through a phone app on your phone. You of course want to make sure that the security features aren't such that your phone has to be physically present, but can do it all remotely.

I don't have an exact answer but I'm 90 per cent sure that what you want to do can be done through either a home automation gadget, a media gadget, or a combination of the two. I think you would have to talk to someone who actually sells this kit though in order to ask them "will 'x' work with both 'y' and 'z'" in order to get an exact answer.
Thanks for those suggestions. Your right of course, speaking to people who do this for a living is probably the most straightforward way. He's already got Prime, a smartish tv, FireTV stick, and I'd just got them a set of those Google smoke/fire alarms that I need to set up. So would sense to have a system that lets all those play nicely. He's got a BT router that pretty recent, so I guess that if it needs tweaking it should be configurable enough to make things work.
I know the camera app we use was pretty much plug and play.
 

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