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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I bought my 75 year old father an Apple TV last June because he would like to view his huge library of photos that are on his iMac on his flat screen TV. 9 months later he's used it 3 times. I'm going to make one last attempt to put together a tutorial/manual/faq for him but before I do I wanted to seek some opinions.

He's had his iMac for about 6 years or so. He basically uses it for email and web browsing. He has booked the odd hotel room and done some on line banking but that's about it. He doesn't even know how to save an attachment to his desktop from an email after I've shown him a dozen times. He can barely navigate through iPhoto.

I don't have an Apple TV so troubleshooting when he has issues isn't easy because he can't just call me up and say "it's doing this, what do I do?" Screen sharing via iChat has been a blessing btw!!

Can I set his Apple TV up, leave him basic instructions on how to access his iMac with it and not have to worry about network issues, permissions, passwords etc etc? Is the Apple TV, pardon the expression Dad, idiot proof or should I come up with another solution?
 

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From the few media viewing devices I've seen, the ATV by far has the easiest user interface.

That said, it's completely understandable for any little anxieties about the computer/ electronic world throwing people for a loop.

I think you're best bet is a step by step (one line per step) document outlining how to do what he wants to use it for.

And also buy yourself one.

This is coming from my own experience with my mother in law. I literally just got off the phone with her a few minutes ago as she was in a panic that my father-in-law had deleted her email folder.

He hadn't - he had just closed it.

They have a PC so I have to convince him to buy a macbook so I can screenshare. They're due for a new computer.

Cheers,
Brian
 

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If the iMac is on the same network and you have enable the home sharing on the iMac iTunes and Apple TV, what will show up on the menu of the Apple TV is "Computers" and under that you will see for example 'Dad's Library'. From there he will be able to see his photos, music, and movies, tv shows and anything else he has in this library. The photos will be what is in iPhoto. It is very very very very simple to setup and as long as the iMac is on and the network and running you are good to go.

As you say it is "idiot proof" (no insult to your father).

Edit: I concur get one yourself. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Believe me, I want to get one. Unfortunately I have to get a flatscreen tv as well since I still have an older tube set. $99 not so bad. Cost of a 40 inch plus TV? Yeah, not in the near future :)
 

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So, I bought my 75 year old father an Apple TV last June because he would like to view his huge library of photos that are on his iMac on his flat screen TV. 9 months later he's used it 3 times. I'm going to make one last attempt to put together a tutorial/manual/faq for him but before I do I wanted to seek some opinions.

He's had his iMac for about 6 years or so. He basically uses it for email and web browsing. He has booked the odd hotel room and done some on line banking but that's about it. He doesn't even know how to save an attachment to his desktop from an email after I've shown him a dozen times. He can barely navigate through iPhoto.

I don't have an Apple TV so troubleshooting when he has issues isn't easy because he can't just call me up and say "it's doing this, what do I do?" Screen sharing via iChat has been a blessing btw!!

Can I set his Apple TV up, leave him basic instructions on how to access his iMac with it and not have to worry about network issues, permissions, passwords etc etc? Is the Apple TV, pardon the expression Dad, idiot proof or should I come up with another solution?
Unless your father has an illness that affects his cognitive functions or fine motor skills, the problem most likely lies with the instructions you're giving him or his interest.

The first thing to do is determine if what you've given him is what he wants. If all he wanted was an easy way to view his photos on the big screen, navigating with the ATV may just be too much fiddling for him to bother with. Consider simpler alternatives.

Before you develop a "manual" for him, figure out what type of learner he is (auditory, visual, or kinaesthetic). Providing the wrong type of instructions to someone is more confusing than no instructions at all. Perhaps you might suggest a computer course for him that would give him a better understanding of the basic concepts. Many people (young and old) are not content to follow instructions without understanding the "why" behind them and family members are generally not the best teachers.

Age has nothing to do with his ability. It comes down to interest and motivation. In one non-profit I belong to, a member decided to take on the job of producing a newsletter. She has become quite an efficient editor as well as an accomplished photographer and digital editor (Photoshop). She's just completed a design and DTP course. She turned 90 last month. My own mother, at 79, has been happily running the linux laptop I gave her for several years (she hated Windows). She's starting to consider an iPad. At the same time, I've been dealing with a guy in his sixties on my forum who complains that it's too difficult to post pictures. The same guy spends his day running CNC machine tools.
 

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I have to disagree. My AppleTV2 keeps 'forgetting' the connection to the iMac (same network) and I have to turn off sharing on the iMac, turn it on again, reboot the AppleTV, log in again with the iMac password etc. etc. and THEN it still refuses to recognize the latest import to iPhoto.

Nothing to do with motor skills, everything to do with unreliable firmware that is buried under an 'easy' interface.
 

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I have to disagree. My AppleTV2 keeps 'forgetting' the connection to the iMac (same network) and I have to turn off sharing on the iMac, turn it on again, reboot the AppleTV, log in again with the iMac password etc. etc. and THEN it still refuses to recognize the latest import to iPhoto.

Nothing to do with motor skills, everything to do with unreliable firmware that is buried under an 'easy' interface.
Yes. In my case, my ATV can see my computer, but nothing on it, so I have to quit iTunes and launch it again, and then everything is fine!

So, it could be something like this that is plaguing your father.

Cheers
 

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I have to disagree. My AppleTV2 keeps 'forgetting' the connection to the iMac (same network) and I have to turn off sharing on the iMac, turn it on again, reboot the AppleTV, log in again with the iMac password etc. etc. and THEN it still refuses to recognize the latest import to iPhoto.

Nothing to do with motor skills, everything to do with unreliable firmware that is buried under an 'easy' interface.
Yes. In my case, my ATV can see my computer, but nothing on it, so I have to quit iTunes and launch it again, and then everything is fine!

So, it could be something like this that is plaguing your father.

Cheers
Just wanted to add I do not have this issue. It always works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to disagree. My AppleTV2 keeps 'forgetting' the connection to the iMac (same network) and I have to turn off sharing on the iMac, turn it on again, reboot the AppleTV, log in again with the iMac password etc. etc. and THEN it still refuses to recognize the latest import to iPhoto.

Nothing to do with motor skills, everything to do with unreliable firmware that is buried under an 'easy' interface.

THIS is my concern. The few times he has tried to use it there has been a snag of sorts that he's unable to troubleshoot. If it isn't as easy as switching on his TV and cable box he isn't going to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unless your father has an illness that affects his cognitive functions or fine motor skills, the problem most likely lies with the instructions you're giving him or his interest.

The first thing to do is determine if what you've given him is what he wants. If all he wanted was an easy way to view his photos on the big screen, navigating with the ATV may just be too much fiddling for him to bother with. Consider simpler alternatives.

Before you develop a "manual" for him, figure out what type of learner he is (auditory, visual, or kinaesthetic). Providing the wrong type of instructions to someone is more confusing than no instructions at all. Perhaps you might suggest a computer course for him that would give him a better understanding of the basic concepts. Many people (young and old) are not content to follow instructions without understanding the "why" behind them and family members are generally not the best teachers.

Age has nothing to do with his ability. It comes down to interest and motivation. In one non-profit I belong to, a member decided to take on the job of producing a newsletter. She has become quite an efficient editor as well as an accomplished photographer and digital editor (Photoshop). She's just completed a design and DTP course. She turned 90 last month. My own mother, at 79, has been happily running the linux laptop I gave her for several years (she hated Windows). She's starting to consider an iPad. At the same time, I've been dealing with a guy in his sixties on my forum who complains that it's too difficult to post pictures. The same guy spends his day running CNC machine tools.
I'd like to re-ask my question then:

Can Apple TV be used on a daily basis as easily as a DVD player or cable box.
 

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If most of the photos on there are from you, I assume he doesn't own his own digital camera... just get a digital picture frame, maybe even a few, load it up with photos on an SD card, and hang it up somewhere he likes. Whenever you're over, just insert a new SD card with new photos.
 

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I have to disagree. My AppleTV2 keeps 'forgetting' the connection to the iMac (same network) and I have to turn off sharing on the iMac, turn it on again, reboot the AppleTV, log in again with the iMac password etc. etc. and THEN it still refuses to recognize the latest import to iPhoto.

Nothing to do with motor skills, everything to do with unreliable firmware that is buried under an 'easy' interface.
Constantly have similar issues. Both on wireless, and with it wired to my router. I always have. I jailbroke my ATV2 and neither XBMX or Firecore's media player have any issues losing connection oddly enough. It always loses home sharing though. And the behaviour is completely random. It will be running, then it will quit. A restart will fix it sometimes, other times it won't. Turning sharing on and off will fix it, sometimes it won't.
 

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The ATV is dropping connections all the time! It will show connected to the network but it is not connected and a reconnection is required!
It's been a pain in the a$$!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for the input. I'm going to give it one more shot and hope he's willing to put in a little 'work'--like he's always taught me to do :rolleyes:
 

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One thing I can tell you is that mine is a lot more reliable hardwired with an ethernet cable. It still has connections issues at time, but way way less of them. It never has any issues as far at Netflix or internet function, but still occasionally loses file sharing/home sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One thing I can tell you is that mine is a lot more reliable hardwired with an ethernet cable. It still has connections issues at time, but way way less of them. It never has any issues as far at Netflix or internet function, but still occasionally loses file sharing/home sharing.


Good to know as we're also considering (along with the rest of the family) using Flickr.com for photo sharing. Might just connect the ATV via ethernet, avoid the whole Home Sharing issue and he can view photos on line via Flickr.
 

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Good to know as we're also considering (along with the rest of the family) using Flickr.com for photo sharing. Might just connect the ATV via ethernet, avoid the whole Home Sharing issue and he can view photos on line via Flickr.
!!! Flickr on ATV2 shows only PUBLIC photos. (I wanted to do the same)
 

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I'd like to re-ask my question then:

Can Apple TV be used on a daily basis as easily as a DVD player or cable box.
I'd say "no."

Why not consider putting the photos on one or more DVD-R discs? Most DVD and Blu-ray players will access photos from a disc full of JPEGs organized hierarchically. Not as "geeky" as using the AppleTV, but it's dead simple to navigate.
 

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I have to go with no as well for 2 reasons. 1st, home sharing seems to work great for some, and not for others. Hasn't worked worth a crap for me ever, and I have tinkered with it since buying the atv2. Second, your computer has to be on to use it, or some sort of network storage needs set up. So I can't say it's as easy as a DVD player.
 

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Just a thought: How close is the tv to the iMac? If it's close enough, why not just run the tv as an external monitor? It'll mean a long cable for sure, but with a wireless mouse he could see everything he could find on the main screen: photos, iTunes, etc.
 
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