Setting up a budget home cinema for elderly relative?

Wulbert

Active Member
My 90yr old dad was so impressed with our big screen set up on a recent visit that he wants something similar for himself. He has poor eyesight due to cataracts and found the big screen easier to watch than his 27" telly.

He's asked if I can help him get a projector and screen set up in his home on a tight budget. As it happens, I am selling my PJ and have some old A/V bits and pieces that could be useful. Essentially what he wants is a big telly to watch. He like football and those dreadful antique hunt programmes.
I am a bit clueless about digiboxes, TV streamers etc, however I imagine that there are "one box" solutions that will plug into the PJ, connect to wi-fi, and produce TV content? I'm familiar with Apple TVs.

Here's the kit I have available:
Epson TW3200 projector
Samsung A/V amp ( from early 2000's) SCART, RCA and optical inputs. No HDMI
Bose Acoustimass Series 5, 5.1 speaker system
Sapphire 50 inch pull-down screen
Apple TV 3rd Gen.

So my question is; How can I turn this pile of gear into a big TV home cinema set up? My main question is how to get "TV" content into the PJ with the minimum of fuss and cost? He'd probably want BBC iPlayer. I would also like to avoid any subscription costs, so a one-off paid device is best. Budget would be about £150 max for a gadget to stream the telly stuff. Any ideas?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
It's probably easier to get a big TV and sell the projector and screen. I would imagine £150 plus the funds raised would be enough to buy a 50 inch TV that has the functionality/tuner built in.
 

AmericanAudio

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I agree with PW1.

The faff of setting it all up, getting calls when it doesn't work, frustrations of having to use 3 or 4 different remotes and potentially communicating that all with him could be more of a headache than spending £500 sometime in November on a good tv deal with it all built in.

To give you an example, I had a call out this week to a block of apartments I provide IT/TV/AV support to in London (paid), one of the two visits I had to make were, walk in, no tv signal just analogue snow, pressed TV/DTV button, Channels all came back! (and a site engineer had visited the apartment already!)

For me, giving advise & selling stuff isn't about selling the latest bit of kit and all the toys, its listening to the needs and use cases and advising accordingly. Even if that means not getting a sale, but the customer gets what they need.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I think I agree and although it will look exciting when operational, if it proves to complicated, then it'll never get used whereas using something like our ex-demo 58" Panasonic TV which has smart features and using your AVR and Bose speakers via an optical cable will be perfect (although it will require two remote controls. If you wish to reduce that, then many soundbars with HDMI features will allow volume control from the Panasonic remote making it even simpler.

To give you an idea how silly it can get. My Grandad had a TV and DVD recorder and was having issues with changing channel. I spent at least 15 mins over the telephone going through everything only to find he had the wrong Panasonic remote control in his hand which was changing the channels for the DVD recorder and not the TV. I only twigged when I started asking what buttons (as both remotes had dual features for both products) were on the remote control as everything should have been working and when I asked, did you have the Panasonic TV remote in your hand and not the DVD recorder, my Grandad obviously said yes as he was well with it and rather tech savvy yet for his age as it said Panasonic on the bottom. Obviously he'd just picked up the wrong remote and just got lost as they looked similar and both said Panasonic on them. At least we both laughed once I called him a clot for picking up the wrong remote :laugh: happily he never did it again :rolleyes:
 

Wulbert

Active Member
"....getting calls when it doesn't work..."

Yup! That does worry me a LOT. The thought that if I install it, I will be the first port of call for any of the multiple things that could go wrong. Thank you Shane & AA for reminding me of this pit-fall!

Been thinking it over today and started to think about maybe just buying him a big (maybe second hand) TV. He may be slipping into dementia, I suspect, so lots of remotes and components could be confusing.

The screen he was watching at my house was 100 inch, no way we can buy him a TV that size but a 50 inch TV is do-able.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
A TV with an auto timer (say 3 - 4 hours) that is activated by default every time the TV is switched on might be useful.

In case he forgets to turn the TV off or falls asleep.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
A TV with an auto timer (say 3 - 4 hours) that is activated by default every time the TV is switched on might be useful.

In case he forgets to turn the TV off or falls asleep.
I think that's a default setting now with you having to switch the feature off. It really only becomes a problem if you use the TV as a monitor like many do with sky, virgin, or other types of set-top-boxes, but if you are using it as a TV, then it should switch off when the user hasn't interacted with it for a couple of hours.

When using it as a monitor, you don't even use the volume once its powered on and it catches me out every time I get a new TV with a phone call from her who must be obeyed saying I can hear the TV but the pictures gone, what a shame :laugh:
 

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