Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Entertainment Systems

Control your music or tv

What does it do?

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.

Universal Remotes

Generic remotes like the switch-accessible TV Remote Module from Enabling Devices or the big button Flipper remote work with a variety of standard cable televisions.

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.

Related Apps

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.

Television remote

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

smart televisions, switch adapted remote, big button universal remote

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Tom DiAgostino

Tom is the Outreach and Training Coordinator at TechOWL. Before starting at TechOWL in 2019, Tom worked as an English Teacher through the Fulbright Commission in Uruguay as well as a Social Worker and Spanish interpreter in the foster care system in North Philadelphia. As a person with dyslexia, Tom is passionate about readability and website accessibility. Along with managing TechOWL’s social media platforms, Tom also co-leads the Fabrication program CreATe together and assists with managing the TechOWL website.

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