Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

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surfinagin
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Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

Tech-averse elderly relative 3HR away has very bad cable TV reception-
Based on recommendations from some of their neighbors, setting them up with Fire Stick and YouTube TV, and have related Qs:
Main TV = 12yr old Sony Bravia 1080p 40" screen. Another smaller TV in BR.
Q1: Make sense to buy (2) 2nd Gen (2018) 4K Fire TV Sticks for $20 more, to avoid upgrading when a new TV (pro 4K) needed? If a new 4K TV isn't needed for 5-10 years, does it still make sense to buy the 4K Sticks now -or expect that a newer Gen Stick would be needed by then?
Q2: The 3rd Gen Fire Stick will be released 4/28/21. Important to have latest Gen? Does Fire Stick software get updated?
Q3: The Fire TV Cube appears to be an option vs buying a Fire TV Stick and Echo/Alexa? If yes, is one a better option?
Q4: Correct to assume the Fire TV Cube or an Echo/Alexa allowing TV voice commands without pushing buttons is easiest for a tech-phobic senior?

I don't do streaming, so learning as I go to get them set up.
Any advice/recommendations to create a smooth transition to FIre TV Stick and YouTube TV for a tech-phobic senior appreciated!
Thanks for your time.
ballons
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by ballons »

Amazon just updated the OS and IMHO is horrible because the redesign is ramming more Amazon content down user's throats. Those tiny boxes are the non-amazon apps:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/9/2216 ... r-profiles

Buy the amazon 4K stick. Always pick the 4K version as the hardware will be better (faster UI nav, faster video loading, etc) even with old 1080p sets. AFAIK, that newer one doesn't update the hardware, just remote.

Alternatives without Amazon:
https://store.google.com/us/product/chr ... v?hl=en-US
Any Roku device that supports 4K.
bluebolt
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by bluebolt »

The 4K stick is regularly reduced to $30 and sometimes less. Check out camelcamelcamel.com:

https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B079QHML21

Fire Stick software does get updated. I have a first gen Fire Stick that was upgraded and I was able to load Disney+.

I don't mind the new interface since I just put my favorite apps at the front of the list and navigate directly to them quickly.

Don't know whether voice will be easier, but the remote and nav are pretty straightforward.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

Thanks for your replies-
More I think about it, Alexa could be great for a senior living alone.
Checked out the Fire TV Stick and Echo products at Target today.

As of now, the plan:
(2) Fire TV Stick 4K ($50 ea, frequently on sale for $40)
Echo 4th Gen for main living area ($100, currently on sale for $80)
Echo Dot with Clock 4th Gen for BR ($60, frequently on sale for $45)
YouTube TV subscription ($65/mo)

Have 1-2wks max to buy, so hope for sale prices in that timeline.
dukeblue219
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by dukeblue219 »

You can find the Fire Stick 4K as low as $25-$30 if you're in no rush. Amazon discounts their own products frequently. Not that it's a big difference in the grand scheme.

I'm happy with both of mine. I do think Roku has a much better and simpler interface, but Fire Stick 4K is more powerful and extensible for a given price point.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

dukeblue219 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:11 pm You can find the Fire Stick 4K as low as $25-$30 if you're in no rush. Amazon discounts their own products frequently. Not that it's a big difference in the grand scheme.

I'm happy with both of mine. I do think Roku has a much better and simpler interface, but Fire Stick 4K is more powerful and extensible for a given price point.
Thanks-
Expect benefit/convenience to them having the exact same setup as their neighbors. I'm 3HR away, so they can help with tech-phobia if needed.
Have 2wks max -can't wait longer for Amazon's deep discounts. Maybe Prime Day will make a quick return! :wink:
dukeblue219
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by dukeblue219 »

So, the underlying issue is bad cable reception? How's their internet connection?

This is all moot if they have 20 mbps downstream that regularly degrades to 2 or drops out for 30 seconds.
michaeljc70
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by michaeljc70 »

I have 3 of the 4k Firesticks and no 4k Tvs. The difference in price is small and it is about more than just 4k. They are faster, have more memory (RAM) and have better wifi (reportedly).
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

dukeblue219 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:00 pm So, the underlying issue is bad cable reception? How's their internet connection?

This is all moot if they have 20 mbps downstream that regularly degrades to 2 or drops out for 30 seconds.
High speed internet works fine. Neighbors who switched from cable to streaming YouTube TV have no prob.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by JoeRetire »

surfinagin wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:57 am Tech-averse elderly relative 3HR away has very bad cable TV reception-
Based on recommendations from some of their neighbors, setting them up with Fire Stick and YouTube TV, and have related Qs:
Main TV = 12yr old Sony Bravia 1080p 40" screen. Another smaller TV in BR.
Q1: Make sense to buy (2) 2nd Gen (2018) 4K Fire TV Sticks for $20 more, to avoid upgrading when a new TV (pro 4K) needed? If a new 4K TV isn't needed for 5-10 years, does it still make sense to buy the 4K Sticks now -or expect that a newer Gen Stick would be needed by then?
Q2: The 3rd Gen Fire Stick will be released 4/28/21. Important to have latest Gen? Does Fire Stick software get updated?
Q3: The Fire TV Cube appears to be an option vs buying a Fire TV Stick and Echo/Alexa? If yes, is one a better option?
Q4: Correct to assume the Fire TV Cube or an Echo/Alexa allowing TV voice commands without pushing buttons is easiest for a tech-phobic senior?

I don't do streaming, so learning as I go to get them set up.
Any advice/recommendations to create a smooth transition to FIre TV Stick and YouTube TV for a tech-phobic senior appreciated!
Thanks for your time.
Unless someone will be there to hold their hand (at least initially) don't bother.
The devices work great. I have both Fire Sticks and Echos and love them. Unless you are Amazon-phobic, the Amazon parts don't really get in the way. But folks that aren't used to them may have trouble adjusting.

I'm 67 and have no problem. My 66 year old wife struggles. Before he passed away, I was able to teach my 87 year old father how to use his Echo device to listen to podcasts.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:49 am Unless someone will be there to hold their hand (at least initially) don't bother.
The devices work great. I have both Fire Sticks and Echos and love them. Unless you are Amazon-phobic, the Amazon parts don't really get in the way. But folks that aren't used to them may have trouble adjusting.

I'm 67 and have no problem. My 66 year old wife struggles. Before he passed away, I was able to teach my 87 year old father how to use his Echo device to listen to podcasts.
Cable TV no longer an option -service is terrible, and degrading.
I'm 3HR away and will set up the Echo/Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV streaming, and help them get started with it.
If Q's arise when I'm not there that I can't answer over the phone, they have good neighbors that will help.
Optimistic!
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

The user likes to listen to music stations on their TV-
Assume Alexa can be set up to easily access music, for example say "Play Pandora Classic Country Radio"(?)

Is Amazon Music worth $4/mo for ad-free? (Or Pandora at $5/mo?)

Thanks for your time
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JoeRetire
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by JoeRetire »

surfinagin wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:25 am
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:49 am Unless someone will be there to hold their hand (at least initially) don't bother.
The devices work great. I have both Fire Sticks and Echos and love them. Unless you are Amazon-phobic, the Amazon parts don't really get in the way. But folks that aren't used to them may have trouble adjusting.

I'm 67 and have no problem. My 66 year old wife struggles. Before he passed away, I was able to teach my 87 year old father how to use his Echo device to listen to podcasts.
Cable TV no longer an option -service is terrible, and degrading.
I'm 3HR away and will set up the Echo/Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV streaming, and help them get started with it.
If Q's arise when I'm not there that I can't answer over the phone, they have good neighbors that will help.
Optimistic!
Good luck.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by JoeRetire »

surfinagin wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:36 am The user likes to listen to music stations on their TV-
Assume Alexa can be set up to easily access music, for example say "Play Pandora Classic Country Radio"(?)

Is Amazon Music worth $4/mo for ad-free? (Or Pandora at $5/mo?)

Thanks for your time
You won't need to pay extra to get plenty of music.

"Alexa, play classic country music" works nicely.

If you have Amazon Prime, you won't hear commercials.
see: https://www.smartenlight.com/alexa-music-voice-commands

If you have Amazon Prime, you have Amazon Photos included. An Echo Show can be set up to display any part of your Amazon Photos library you choose. It makes a nice way to have your relative see a pleasant set of family photos.

An Echo Dot with Clock can be used like a clock radio. "Alexa, play [my favorite radio station] for 30 minutes" can be a nice way to fall to sleep.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:59 pm
You won't need to pay extra to get plenty of music.

"Alexa, play classic country music" works nicely.

If you have Amazon Prime, you won't hear commercials.
see: https://www.smartenlight.com/alexa-music-voice-commands

If you have Amazon Prime, you have Amazon Photos included. An Echo Show can be set up to display any part of your Amazon Photos library you choose. It makes a nice way to have your relative see a pleasant set of family photos.

An Echo Dot with Clock can be used like a clock radio. "Alexa, play [my favorite radio station] for 30 minutes" can be a nice way to fall to sleep.
Thanks for your response, and for the link.
Wasn't aware of Echo Dot with Clock until yesterday -agree a perfect replacement for clock radio in the BR. Expanded plan to add that to the Echo in the LR.
Exchme
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by Exchme »

We use Roku streaming sticks and they work great and are very easy, $30-35 each. The home button takes you to the top level menu, select Youtube.tv, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. and the Roku remote controls on/off, volume, FF, RW, etc.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by BuddyJet »

With the Firestick load, is the wifi signal strength and speed enough to support good streaming? Much Firestick unhappiness is caused by slow, weak wifi.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

Exchme wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:39 pm We use Roku streaming sticks and they work great and are very easy, $30-35 each. The home button takes you to the top level menu, select Youtube.tv, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. and the Roku remote controls on/off, volume, FF, RW, etc.
Aware that Roku is a worthy Fire TV Stick competitor.
Buying Fire TV Stick 4K with a YouTube TV subscription to copy neighbors, and make getting help easy if needed.
Spent enough time watching this senior repeatedly poke/swipe their finger in exasperated confusion at their smartphone and tablet screens.
Expect they may find controlling the TV verbally with Alexa much easier -we'll see.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

BuddyJet wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:53 pm With the Firestick load, is the wifi signal strength and speed enough to support good streaming? Much Firestick unhappiness is caused by slow, weak wifi.
We're copying exactly what neighbors are successfully using, so have a reasonable expectation for success.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by lazydavid »

As others have said, always buy the 4k models, as the performance is better. We elected to put Fire Cubes on all the main-room TVs, and Fire Sticks on the occasional-use TVs in bedrooms/office. Remotes are identical between them, so there's no adjustment needed. But the remote-free voice control and better management of other devices is useful for the primary sets.

"Alexa, watch ABC on Youtube TV" Turns on the TV and receiver, sets both to the correct inputs, launches YTTV and tunes to ABC.
"Alexa, switch to Blu-Ray" Turns on the BR player and sets the correct inputs

Note that voice commands still work on the sticks, you just have to push the microphone button on the remote.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:50 am As others have said, always buy the 4k models, as the performance is better. We elected to put Fire Cubes on all the main-room TVs, and Fire Sticks on the occasional-use TVs in bedrooms/office. Remotes are identical between them, so there's no adjustment needed. But the remote-free voice control and better management of other devices is useful for the primary sets.

"Alexa, watch ABC on Youtube TV" Turns on the TV and receiver, sets both to the correct inputs, launches YTTV and tunes to ABC.
"Alexa, switch to Blu-Ray" Turns on the BR player and sets the correct inputs


Note that voice commands still work on the sticks, you just have to push the microphone button on the remote.
lazydavid, thanks for your reply-
Fire Cube is kind of a mystery to me. Does Fire Cube have any advantage over Fire Stick 4K with Echo/Alexa?
Is one easier to use? Can Fire Cube do everything that Echo does? The basis for selecting one option over the other isn't clear.

Your bolded examples are the main reason I'm optimistic that voice commands may be great for this tech-phobic senior!
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by lazydavid »

surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:32 am lazydavid, thanks for your reply-
Fire Cube is kind of a mystery to me. Does Fire Cube have any advantage over Fire Stick 4K with Echo/Alexa?
Is one easier to use? Can Fire Cube do everything that Echo does? The basis for selecting one option over the other isn't clear.
The main differences with the fire cube are:

More powerful hardware (probably not a consideration in this case)
Wired ethernet adapter included (likewise)
IR blaster built into the cube to control TV/soundbar/other devices; also includes a wired IR extender for devices that aren't clear line of sight to the cube.
Full Echo hands-free voice control, including onscreen responses if the TV happens to be on (does not have to be)
Built-in speaker that works whether the TV is on or not (helpful during setup)

Yes, the cube can do pretty much anything a standalone echo device can do, though the speaker is pretty terrible (similar to the dot) and only really useful for voice interaction. But that's not a big deal, since you'd likely be using the TV or AV system for things like listening to music anyway.

Excluding the voice control, both operate identically. However, I find myself using the voice control on the cube several times a week. Things like when we're sitting down to dinner, "Alexa turn off the TV", with no need to go find the remote. I've used voice control on one of the sticks once, just to make sure it worked. The low barrier for usage on the cube is 100% of the difference.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:54 am
The main differences with the fire cube are:

More powerful hardware (probably not a consideration in this case)
Wired ethernet adapter included (likewise)
IR blaster built into the cube to control TV/soundbar/other devices; also includes a wired IR extender for devices that aren't clear line of sight to the cube.
Full Echo hands-free voice control, including onscreen responses if the TV happens to be on (does not have to be)
Built-in speaker that works whether the TV is on or not (helpful during setup)

Yes, the cube can do pretty much anything a standalone echo device can do, though the speaker is pretty terrible (similar to the dot) and only really useful for voice interaction. But that's not a big deal, since you'd likely be using the TV or AV system for things like listening to music anyway.

Excluding the voice control, both operate identically. However, I find myself using the voice control on the cube several times a week. Things like when we're sitting down to dinner, "Alexa turn off the TV", with no need to go find the remote. I've used voice control on one of the sticks once, just to make sure it worked. The low barrier for usage on the cube is 100% of the difference.
Thanks!
In our case, doesn't appear to be a strong case for the Fire Cube over a Fire Stick 4K and Echo/Alexa.
Apparently they provide equal capability for voice interaction with the TV, and neither has a performance/connection advantage.
The superior Echo speaker seems appropriate for the large living area, and favored b/c expect it will be used frequently for music.
Please correct me if any misunderstanding regarding your response!
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by mrmass »

My parents struggled so much at changing inputs when I attempted to get them to stream. They can use ipads/iphones but that TV is a big part of their day. I chose not to be tech support for them and had them stay on cable.

Make sure the neighbors know they're tech support for them. Maybe the voice supported devices change things.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by lazydavid »

surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:23 am In our case, doesn't appear to be a strong case for the Fire Cube over a Fire Stick 4K and Echo/Alexa.
Apparently they provide equal capability for voice interaction with the TV, and neither has a performance/connection advantage.
The voice interaction feature set is similar, but the caveat with the stick is you have to be holding and physically pressing a button on the remote to use it. For us, that has been a high enough barrier to prevent the use of voice entirely. After all, I'm already holding the remote. I'll just use the remote. Might be different for others.

The good news is you can't really make a bad decision. They're just different.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:39 am
surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:23 am In our case, doesn't appear to be a strong case for the Fire Cube over a Fire Stick 4K and Echo/Alexa.
Apparently they provide equal capability for voice interaction with the TV, and neither has a performance/connection advantage.
The voice interaction feature set is similar, but the caveat with the stick is you have to be holding and physically pressing a button on the remote to use it. For us, that has been a high enough barrier to prevent the use of voice entirely. After all, I'm already holding the remote. I'll just use the remote. Might be different for others.

The good news is you can't really make a bad decision. They're just different.
Fire Cube requires pressing a button on the remote for TV voice commands? If so, Echo/Alexa has a big advantage there.
This Echo overview at 56" mark provides a demonstration how to link Echo to use TV voice commands from anywhere in the room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED4A14XSbPU.
Biggest Echo selling point for me.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

mrmass wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:26 am My parents struggled so much at changing inputs when I attempted to get them to stream. They can use ipads/iphones but that TV is a big part of their day. I chose not to be tech support for them and had them stay on cable.

Make sure the neighbors know they're tech support for them. Maybe the voice supported devices change things.
As noted, in this case streaming is the only option b/c poor cable reception has become unwatchable. Have to make it work.
A voice command, based on demos and what I've learned, should be much easier for a tech-phobic senior than Interacting with a device, IMO.
Also hope they get comfortable using Alexa to answer the many Q's that pop in their head and ask me, like when a movie they are watching was released, what the forecast is, etc. Devices make them nervous, but they like to talk :wink:
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by mmmodem »

surfinagin wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:05 pm Thanks for your replies-
More I think about it, Alexa could be great for a senior living alone.
Checked out the Fire TV Stick and Echo products at Target today.

As of now, the plan:
(2) Fire TV Stick 4K ($50 ea, frequently on sale for $40)
Echo 4th Gen for main living area ($100, currently on sale for $80)
Echo Dot with Clock 4th Gen for BR ($60, frequently on sale for $45)
YouTube TV subscription ($65/mo)

Have 1-2wks max to buy, so hope for sale prices in that timeline.
I taught my mother and father how to use Fire TV. They're early 60's. Amazon updates them constantly with new software. My 2 year old models are really slow. With prices this low, buy the latest.

1. Make sure the remote has a power and volume button. You should be okay buying the latest models. The earlier Fire TVs didn't have this.
2. Ensure TV has CEC Link. In a nutshell, it turns on the TV and changes the input to the Fire TV and makes sure all the connections are done automatically. All newer TV's have this. My dad has been using his Fire TV without issue at home that has CEC for nearly a year. He visited last week and couldn't understand why the screen was blank on my older non CEC TV. Someone must have changed the channel on him and switched the input. I also noticed he left the Fire TV streaming when he went to bed to sleep. CEC would've turned off Fire TV automatically with the TV.
3. I'd consider a pair of Echo Show 5's for $80 because they have a screen. Goes on sale occasionally to $50.
4. Don't get a Fire TV Cube. It is nice and I still use mine. Problem is current gen is from 2019. You can also mimic a voice commands with an echo and Fire TV stick.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by lazydavid »

surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:51 am Fire Cube requires pressing a button on the remote for TV voice commands? If so, Echo/Alexa has a big advantage there.
No, the stick does. That's why it's a major advantage for the cube, at least in my household. I don't have to care where the remote is, I can just tell Alexa to do my bidding. :) With the stick you need to use the remote for voice commands.

If hands-free from anywhere voice control is your biggest selling feature, you absolutely want the cube.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

mmmodem wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:05 am 2.Ensure TV has CEC Link. In a nutshell, it turns on the TV and changes the input to the Fire TV and makes sure all the connections are done automatically. All newer TV's have this. My dad has been using his Fire TV without issue at home that has CEC for nearly a year. He visited last week and couldn't understand why the screen was blank on my older non CEC TV. Someone must have changed the channel on him and switched the input. I also noticed he left the Fire TV streaming when he went to bed to sleep. CEC would've turned off Fire TV automatically with the TV.
mmmodem, thanks for your reply and mention of CDC Link -not aware of that.
Checked specs for the 12yr old Sony Bravia KDL-40V4100 1080p TV and found no mention of CEC, but don't know if CEC is normally listed. Found online: "HDMI-CEC allows devices connected via HDMI to control your television or each other. The feature became part of HDMI 1.2a way back in 2005" This 2009 TV was high-end at the time and has (4) HDMI inputs, so hopefully has the CEC link. If not and it's a problem, then time for a new TV. Whatever req'd to stream YouTube TV with a Fire Stick 4K and Echo/Alexa!
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:12 am
surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:51 am Fire Cube requires pressing a button on the remote for TV voice commands? If so, Echo/Alexa has a big advantage there.
If hands-free from anywhere voice control is your biggest selling feature, you absolutely want the cube.
Thanks for clarification-
Yes, voice control is #1!
Leaning toward Fire Stick 4K and Echo vs Fire Cube, based on what I've learned so far.
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by gr7070 »

Obviously it depends greatly upon the desire of the tech-phobic senior, but I'm highly skeptical this will be anywhere near as simple and easy as the OP appears to think???

My dad and in-laws could handle these mostly reasonably. My mother no hope whatsoever.

Wishing y'all the least amount of frustration!
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

gr7070 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:39 am Obviously it depends greatly upon the desire of the tech-phobic senior, but I'm highly skeptical this will be anywhere near as simple and easy as the OP appears to think???

My dad and in-laws could handle these mostly reasonably. My mother no hope whatsoever.

Wishing y'all the least amount of frustration!
gr7070, thanks for your reply-
Others expressed the same doubt regarding a tech-phobic senior learning to use Alexa for TV voice control.
What presents the challenge for your mother?
I'm assuming that "Alexa, watch ABC on YouTube TV" and similar TV voice commands should be easier to learn vs. navigating devices/screens.
For those doubting that simple voice commands can be learned by a tech-phobic senior, appreciate providing any basis for your doubt.
This will help to be prepared for all challenges.
Thanks!
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gr7070
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by gr7070 »

surfinagin wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:50 pm
gr7070 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:39 am Obviously it depends greatly upon the desire of the tech-phobic senior, but I'm highly skeptical this will be anywhere near as simple and easy as the OP appears to think???

My dad and in-laws could handle these mostly reasonably. My mother no hope whatsoever.

Wishing y'all the least amount of frustration!
gr7070, thanks for your reply-
Others expressed the same doubt regarding a tech-phobic senior learning to use Alexa for TV voice control.
What presents the challenge for your mother?
I'm assuming that "Alexa, watch ABC on YouTube TV" and similar TV voice commands should be easier to learn vs. navigating devices/screens.
For those doubting that simple voice commands can be learned by a tech-phobic senior, appreciate providing any basis for your doubt.
This will help to be prepared for all challenges.
Thanks!
The challenge for her is very simple. It's the italicized word in my original post, desire.

She simply refuses to learn most anything related to technology. What she will learn happens outrageously slowly and is forgotten or ignored soon.

Note she was her valedictorian of her college when few women went to college and now has three degrees, one later in life. She should be capable. I think she refuses to be.

None of this stuff is that hard. As I said, it seems to greatly depend upon the person, and tech-phobic is not good. Of course, just what you mean by that or how phobic will really determine this.

Your posts seem to gloss over this. Maybe it's because you rightly know. Maybe it's more akin to Bogleheads applying their views on money to the Dave Ramsey-type target.

Temper your expectations. ; )
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

gr7070 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:47 pm The challenge for her is very simple. It's the italicized word in my original post, desire.

She simply refuses to learn most anything related to technology. What she will learn happens outrageously slowly and is forgotten or ignored soon.

Note she was her valedictorian of her college when few women went to college and now has three degrees, one later in life. She should be capable. I think she refuses to be.

None of this stuff is that hard. As I said, it seems to greatly depend upon the person, and tech-phobic is not good. Of course, just what you mean by that or how phobic will really determine this.

Your posts seem to gloss over this. Maybe it's because you rightly know. Maybe it's more akin to Bogleheads applying their views on money to the Dave Ramsey-type target.

Temper your expectations. ; )
gr7070, thanks for your feedback.
The motivation will be there. No learn, No TV!
I think the devices/screens are their main issue. Verbal orders -they are good at that :wink:.
You confirmation that none of this stuff is that hard is good to hear. That's my main concern. Expect to have their full cooperation.
xb7
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by xb7 »

One issue about how easy it is to use voice commands ...

My wife is a very capable person who nevertheless finds tech stuff a bit more awkward, less intuitive. Voice is great overall, with the sometimes large catch that you often have to use exactly the right phrase --- something close won't work and will frustrate. The AI in these things isn't far future general purpose natural language processing, it's a much more primitive AI really that can seem to the user at times to really understand, which can then set them up for frustration as a result.

Fire cube vs. fire stick: I have both, with 2nd gen (latest) fire cubes on the "main" television sets. One issue with the fire cube is that it sits a distance away from you, so while it's great that you don't need to have the remote in hand to speak to it, sometimes it doesn't get what you say due to background noise/interference. I still think that I prefer the fire cube, but FWIW, when I watch Fire TV with the cubes I always have the remote ready to hand too. For most things, I prefer to use the remote over voice, generally using voice just to maybe turn on/off the system, or rarely when I have my hands occupied and want to pause or mute.

I guess my main point here is that if you're looking at voice commands as an easy solution for the tech adverse, recognize that they'll still need to memorize very specific phrases to accomplish different things. For my wife, I printed out a list of commands that she might want --- not for TV use (she uses the remote), but just in general things that she can do with Echo devices in most rooms of the house. She has since learned a subset of these and does okay, though there's a lot of capability that she doesn't use. As we age and our memories get a bit less reliable, I am in particular trying to encourage her to add things to her "to do" list via Alexa and to check it daily. My theory is that if we get in a solid habit of doing that, it will help mitigate the short term memory issues, i.e., "now why did I just walk into this room?" sort of thing. Or more specifically, "What was that thing we were just talking about that I wanted to do tomorrow?"

You're wonderful people to try to think through what will work best for your elderly parents. Best wishes to all involved!
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

xb7 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:35 am
I guess my main point here is that if you're looking at voice commands as an easy solution for the tech adverse, recognize that they'll still need to memorize very specific phrases to accomplish different things. For my wife, I printed out a list of commands that she might want --- not for TV use (she uses the remote), but just in general things that she can do with Echo devices in most rooms of the house. She has since learned a subset of these and does okay, though there's a lot of capability that she doesn't use. As we age and our memories get a bit less reliable, I am in particular trying to encourage her to add things to her "to do" list via Alexa and to check it daily. My theory is that if we get in a solid habit of doing that, it will help mitigate the short term memory issues, i.e., "now why did I just walk into this room?" sort of thing. Or more specifically, "What was that thing we were just talking about that I wanted to do tomorrow?"

You're wonderful people to try to think through what will work best for your elderly parents. Best wishes to all involved!
xb7, thanks for your reply-
Written lists are big with this senior -expect to make one with the specific commands they need to operate the TV, along with for other things.
Seeing many ways they can benefit from Echo/Alexa, but will take it one step at a time and first focus on getting them comfortable with the TV.
Thanks again, great feedback!
michaeljc70
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by michaeljc70 »

You mentioned YouTube TV. Have you considered other options? If you have a good idea of what channels they watch there are sites that will compare which streaming service and what plan (if applicable) will work for them. I have YTTV and switched to Sling. Sling is cheaper and has all the channels I need (I have Blue+News package). It came in around $20 less per month than YTTV.
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surfinagin
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Re: Q's on Fire TV Stick/YouTube TV/Echo-Alexa for tech-phobic senior

Post by surfinagin »

michaeljc70 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:53 am You mentioned YouTube TV. Have you considered other options? If you have a good idea of what channels they watch there are sites that will compare which streaming service and what plan (if applicable) will work for them. I have YTTV and switched to Sling. Sling is cheaper and has all the channels I need (I have Blue+News package). It came in around $20 less per month than YTTV.
Using same config as neighbors, who are good friends-
Has everything needed, and neighbors will be familiar/able to help.
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