tablets for parents

Ben Evans benjamin.john.evans at
Sun Mar 2 22:40:29 GMT 2014

It would mean putting in fixed infrastructure, but modern smart TVs are
capable of doing Skype.

My parents have a Panasonic Smart Viera connected to a standard BT
broadband line. It does Skype perfectly fine - in fact provides a much
better video conferencing experience than basically anything else short of
the $100k dedicated infra I've seen in banks.

A smart TV combined with a Freeview box and the catchup services available
on the Smart TV basically do everything my parents want apart from video

YMMV, of course.


On Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:20 PM, Nicholas Clark <nick at> wrote:

> Dear knowledgeable hive mind,
> It seems that my parents are finally cracking and amenable to the idea of
> buying a device for the purpose of videoconferencing. My sister and I
> suspect that the right thing is a tablet connected via 3G
> (my parents alternate between two locations in southern England, so fixed
> line would mean 2 fixed lines, and two lots of fixed infrastructure, which
> feels like a pain)
> So, what is good to get. Specifically
> 1) What tablet?
>    (with camera, obviously, 3G, and possibly not much else "special")
> 2) What data plan?
> You can infer from this that they don't currently have an Internet
> connection, and I don't think that once they get one they are going to
> start
> heavy surfing or high bandwidth activities such as watching videos on
> YouTube or iPlayer.
> (They have had the "recording the TV" thing sussed for a decade or more
> now,
> and whilst they have migrated from VHS to hard drives, I don't think that
> they are going to move from the idea of a box under the TV connected to an
> aerial, that they program after circling programmes in a paper listings
> magazine)
> I don't think that they care what OS, and I don't think that I do hugely
> either. I just that care it doesn't get abandoned by the manufacturer as
> soon as the next model comes out*, and it needs to work without assuming
> that the owner has a PC for any sort of regular service activity.
> My sister has Macs (and a Blackberry too, I think), but is dealing with
> Windows at work, so between us I think we can hand-hold most things.
> Nicholas Clark
> * So *this* would put me off Windows RT even if it ticked all the other
> boxes,
>   as I can't see how MS are going to sanely sustain 3 different OSes and
>   ecosystems, and I suspect that RT is more than 33% likely to be the one
> for
>   the chop. And even if it isn't, well, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7,
>   Windows Phone 8 - they have a pedigree now of dumping their customers.

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