I need help making my parents' TV setup easy to use.


Jun 24, 2004
They are getting older and are having trouble remembering how to switch to the various devices they have.

Currently they have the following

DVD/VCR combo
Charter cable


Keep their existing TV
Allow them to use one remote
Not spend a lot of money on this.

I haven't yet actually looked at the back of their TV but I'm guessing that it has RCA and Coax inputs (I'll confirm this weekend.)

My guess is that the DVD/VCR combo might be what's confusing them and that it might be easier for them to have separate devices and a basic universal remote that would allow them to switch between TV, DVD, VCR.

If I get them a universal remote it has to be very simple. Too many buttons will confuse them.

Or is there a better way? (ie, AV receiver that supports this older hardware?)

What I'll do first is to figure out how their current system works (I really haven't looked at it yet) and to write down clear instructions for how to switch between devices.


Feb 13, 2012
I've had to help my parents with this also. They have a TV, digital cable box, VCR, DVD player, and a DVD recorder.

The biggest help was when I did as you have said, create a step-by-step guide for each scenario they might run into.

So, for example, one was entitled, "Recording a show on the VCR while watching a movie on your DVD player"

I wrote down EVERY little step they needed to take; what buttons to push on the remote, how to set the VCR, in the exact order each needed to be done, etc.

VERY time-consuming job! BUT has saved me SO much time and frustration by not getting "those" phone calls!