There are many technologies that allow a person to turn on a television or adjust the volume of a music player.
What kinds of entertainment system controls are there?
Generic Smart Home Tech
You can control your music with verbal commands through smart home hubs like Echo or Google Home. You can also use these hubs to turn on or off any external devices that are plugged into smart outlets.
For streaming video over the television, the following accessories are compatible:
- If you have a Google Home hub, use the Chromecast accessory to control your television. This is a USB device that plugs into your tv.
- For an Amazon Echo system (Alexa), use the Fire Stick or Fire Box accessory to control your television.
- If you do not want a hub system, you can also buy a smart tv that natively recognizes voice input. Be aware that some of these televisions require you to hold down a button while you are speaking, though.
Programmable Infrared Transmitters
Many televisions and other entertainment systems respond to infrared light. You can buy an infrared remote that is more accessible than the one your television came with, then “teach” it the right signals to work your television. Examples include the Abilia Control Medi remote and the Pretorian EnvirON scanning remote. The awesome thing about programmable remotes is that you can program in a series of key presses, such as increasing the volume by 5 at a time or going straight to channel 110 when a single button is pressed.
Ask Your Provider
The cable company might have large-button or alternative remotes available. Verizon Fios has a large-button remote option. Comcast offers a large-button remote and an accessible web app. The app lets you change the channel by using your voice, typing, or utilizing other alternative input methods that you have set up on your computer, such as switch controls or eyegaze. Note: right now the app only “talks” to the cable box, not the television set, so you must use a different method to turn the television off when you are done watching.
If you have a smart tv, you may be able to control it through an app on your phone or tablet. This may give you more options for how information is displayed and how you can activate buttons. Look up the app for your brand and model of television.