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Tosagua

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Copy On-Line Videos, And Miscellanoues Digital Photos To DVD, For Viewing On TV.

I am seeking an inexpensive method to Copy On-Line Videos, And Miscellanoues Digital Photos To DVD, For Viewing On TV.

The Problem: My parents are in their ninties, without a computer, and in poor health. There is nothing enjoyable on TV in Exeland, and they need humorous and inspiring videos to lift their spirits. They are "Techincally Challenged", so a Laptop and surfing the net, are out of the question. They have a DVD player and a digital photo frame, but the frame is difficult to use and has a small screen (poor eyesight too).

There is a real need to provide isolated elders with video type materials that can lift their spirits. The problem with extended cable options is the heavey reliance on "Blue" material and violence, which is offensive and depressing to many of our elderly.

I would like to send them a DVD each week of unrestricted public material downloaded from the web.

Any comments, ideas, or suggestions on Hardware, Software, Techniques, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Tosagua



I would like to send them a DVD each week
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Gary Case
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... one other thought:   Have you considered a NetFlix subscription?    You could manage their queue so they received movies you selected.
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Tosagua

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Garycase, Merete, BillDL,

This great. I had no idea of where to start. Each one of you has provided excellant ideas.

Thank you very much.

Tosagua
You're very welcome Tosagua.

It's hard to put ourselves in the position of a couple in their 90's who perhaps don't get out much (or not at all due to health reasons), and imagine what they are likely to find stimulating, entertaining, interesting, or simply as a diversion to what otherwise could be a mundane life.

I think people of your parents' age probably spend a great deal of time reminiscing about their younger years, hence my suggestion of providing what would be a "musical photo album".  Where elderly people are restricted to their own home and only really get to see what they can through the windows, you could consider anything you might provide on DVD to be a sort of extension to those windows, or the means to see further afield.

News channels keep people abreast of current affairs in other countries, for those interested enough to want to know what is happening everywhere else, but often current and recent events closer to home or on our own doorstep are what is missing.  People who can't get out are often unaware of changes taking place in their own town, such as developments in housing, retail, recreation, etc.

Having watched my Father using Google Maps "Street View" to "visit" areas of the town he was born and raised in, he has been pretty amazed by some of the changes in areas that he would not have made a point of travelling through while he was out driving a car.  It sparks memories of what used to be there, whether it be green fields, an old railway, a quarry, or whatever else is now gone or changed.  If I had a good video camera I would have been tempted before now to drive through those areas that have changed and talk about the changes I have seen while filming them.  Kind of like having them in the car with me to see for themselves.  I suppose the interest depends on whether the person was raised in the town they are now living.

Judging by the demographics of Exeland, Wisconsin, it seems to be a small "village" type of town (suffering from an outward migration of youth) in which you may find that the local newspaper, TV and radio news channels, and other media sources may be interested in starting a community project to compile items of interest onto a distributable medium such as DVD.

I think that variation is the key to keeping your parents' minds and spirits alive, entertained, and amused.  There are only so many black and white "westerns" or wartime movies that they could watch without becoming bored, and there are only so many funny clips they could watch before some of them failed to be amusing any more.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but there are devices now that allow you to "digitize" older media such as VHS Video tapes, Cassette Tapes, and Vinyl Records to PC as video and audio files.  They do so by providing you with the "player" and a USB Interface that connects to the PC and captures the input using the provided software.  If your parents have a collection of old favourite Video Tapes but no Video Player, then perhaps this would be an opportunity to get such a device and create some VCDs (Video CD at lower quality than DVD) or DVDs from their collection OR check Amazon to see if some have already been immortalized in digital format.

Getting video content from places like YouTube usually crosses the line of what is in breach of copyright and what is "free" for personal use.  For example, there are those who have "ripped" entire old movies or old Black and White TV shows into separate videos and uploaded them. It's pretty easy to download them as *.FLV (Flash Video) files and convert them to a format suitable for burning a DVD, but it's not really ethically right for you to "share" them by downloading them for your own use, even though the person who uploaded them had no legal rights to do so either.  That decision is yours in the end though.

The main consideration is whether the video is of sufficient quality for viewing on a large TV screen though.  Compare these:
Poor video quality and quiet audio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9T8i4FkNVo
Good audio and video quality, but video is in wrong aspect ratio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-FLSCUsUKs

Just for your own amusement:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCz8he36hsk

Bill
Thankyou Tosagua always happy to help
regards Merete