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Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
A client has asked for my recommendation for a set top box. I don't think I'll be able to make a good call on one just by reading reviews. And spec sheets... not so much either. This should be a far more simple question for someone who actually owns one of these :)

He ONLY wants something to go on YouTube, and connect it to his TV. Other features just don't matter. Trying to keep the cost low, but simplicity for a "non techie" is worth more than saving money.

It MUST be able to use a wireless keyboard (Bluetooth) that is either full size, or mid / lap size. And the Bluetooth keyboard must be able to be used on YouTube to search for videos.


He doesn't have a smart phone, so chromecast is out of the question. Simplicity is the most important thing, and keyboard input. Wireless would be good. (wifi)

Thanks
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I bought my 10 year old son a Roku player.

It does not have a keyboard option.

But it is REALLY simple to use. It took me 10 seconds to show him how to use it (took my wife about 10 minutes - hehe).

The remote for the Roku is very basic. When you search on YouTube, you "type" from an onscreen keyboard using the remote.

Roku has great tech support if you need help setting things up. The only downside is that they try to get you to "pay" for channels that you really don't need. When you setup your Roku account, call them on the phone and have them create an account that doesn't require a credit card.

PM me if you have any sorts of questions!
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
roku stick + el cheapo 7" android tablet to use a a remote.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
The setup is going to be used by an elderly person. I'd rather hash out more money for a more simple solution. Simple as in, MSN TV... if anybody knows what that was :)

I want as few hoops as possible. No log ins, no updates (or easy / automatic ones) and no networking other than for internet. Even pairing up the keyboard seems potentially problematic.. This person already has a smart TV, so typing with a remote is simply not an option per their request.

I definitely appreciate the feedback, if it was for me it would be a whole different story.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
The new raspberry pis have Bluetooth and wifi and I assume work with youtube. Would have to double check that.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
The solution I recommended would provide a usable keyboard. The ROKU app is super simple. home screen is remote, tap a button and a full size android keyboard pops up. The roku stick has next to no initial setup other than creating an account and configuring wifi. Updates are automatic. Basically once this is setup its done and over with.

Jansu suggestion isnt too bad either, but itll need to be a keyboard with an integrated trackpad.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
It sounds like a great solution. If I was doing it for myself or my father that definitely sounds like a solid, easy option. I actually have an Atom tablet here collecting dust.

This is for a 93 year old man though, who simply wants to look up war videos on youtube. He's familiar with using a PC keyboard, so I would like to stick with a full size, tactile / physical key input. And if it costs a little more, I think it'll be worth it in the end. Anyways, I'm glad I asked here, because I guess it wasn't a simple question lol. I was going nuts trying to figure it out reading specs off Best Buy's website.

A home run here would simply be a device that someone here can vouch for, that allows input from a full size BT keyboard. And specifically allows the keyboard to be used to query youtube videos. No logins, accounts, tablets, laptops, smart phones.

Your suggestion is perfectly good, but I'm just trying to do a "one and done" if possible. And it was brought to my attention that a physical keyboard would be easiest.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Nintendo Wii + wireless USB keyboard of any kind? Download the YouTube channel and you are good to go. If you think that set up will work I can walk you through the specifics (if you need). The point here is that Wii has 2 USB ports on the back and can be used with a wireless keyboard and lets you input info once (then you never have to again) You will have to navigate with the wii-mote (a little bit for certain menus) I guess... my .02 :) Good luck
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Check out the Amazon player...they have one now for $99 that let's you search by voice prompt.

I've never used it, but the Amazon Echo has gotten great reviews too.

I know the difficulty of what you are trying to do...my wife's brother got my father-in-law a smart phone. It's too complicated for him...he has difficulty figuring out how to make a call and answer it. We traded it in for a flip phone this weekend.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Check out the Amazon player...they have one now for $99 that let's you search by voice prompt.

I've never used it, but the Amazon Echo has gotten great reviews too.

I know the difficulty of what you are trying to do...my wife's brother got my father-in-law a smart phone. It's too complicated for him...he has difficulty figuring out how to make a call and answer it. We traded it in for a flip phone this weekend.


Thanks, voice may be acceptable. I'm still surprised at how much of a challenge this is. But yeah, I just wanna keep it as simple as possible. If I was familiar with raspberry pi that seems like a great option, but if I dive into that option and something goes buggy it comes back on me.

Going to look into the amazon player. Might go to best buy this weekend and ask around there, or see if they have any units on display. (do they do that?)
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Amazon's Fire TV (the box, not the "Stick") has a USB port on it you could use for a Bluetooth keyboard, voice control via the remote, and an micro-SD slot in case you intend to install lots of additional apps on it (or download a huge music library from Spotify or something). I don't have one, so I can't say how well it works with YouTube, but I've got an Echo, and the voice recognition for finding music works quite well, so I expect the TV voice control is also good since it uses the same backend.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
If someone could verify keyboard use in youtube on ANY device, it would be greatly appreciated. My uncle has a roku, and he told me that it can use a keyboard via his phone, but not on youtube :(

I'm thinking a full blown PC stripped down to running a browser only might be the most pain free option. This person does email. Just the trouble of weather or not they can get used to a touchpad. (mouse)
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
If someone could verify keyboard use in youtube on ANY device, it would be greatly appreciated. My uncle has a roku, and he told me that it can use a keyboard via his phone, but not on youtube :(

Ok I tested this last night and it is accurate. For whatever stupid reason youtube doesnt accept the keyboard input ;(
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Just get him a decent smart tv. I recommend vizio m series. You will have to use the remote onscreen keyboard, unless you also have a chromecast device be it a desptop pc or a tablet/phone. So smart tv and a chromecast plugged in will give you the keyboard. Doesn't get any simpler than that.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Just get him a decent smart tv. I recommend vizio m series. You will have to use the remote onscreen keyboard, unless you also have a chromecast device be it a desptop pc or a tablet/phone. So smart tv and a chromecast plugged in will give you the keyboard. Doesn't get any simpler than that.

If you're starting with a ChromeCast, why waste extra money on a "smart" TV? Leave the smarts to Google, who is guaranteed to provide software updates far longer than the TV maker ever will. Anecdotally, I've seen three "smart" Blu-Ray DVD players, two "smart" audio receivers, and one smart TV all have nearly every service stop working due to upstream third-party API changes that the manufacturer just stopped caring about.

I know it isn't cheap, but if you did go with a ChromeCast, Google is currently offering a "developer discount" on Pixel C tablets; you could get a 32 GB tablet plus the keyboard cover for $500, and then cast anything from the tablet to the TV, plus have that "keyboard near the TV" you want.
 
OP
Ben333

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Right now I'm thinking laptop + chromecast might be the way to go. Or a desktop on the TV with wireless keyboard. I really don't want to do either.
 

ihrsetrdr

Señor Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
High Desert, Calif.
I've been using an iPad mini($275 iirc) + Chromecast app + Youtube app to cast to non 'smart' TV. Same for Netflix + Netflix app on iPad. The iPad's onscreen keyboard deploys when the search feature for Youtube or Netflix is used.

Works good.
 

noxqzs

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Location
Boston, MA
Get a Raspberry Pi3 or the soon to be discounted Pi2 and install Ubuntu on it. I can confirm that bluetooth mouse/keyboard work straight out of the box as I have a similar setup.

HERE is a link that demonstrates what you are looking for.