Need a WebTV Replacement
My father is not tech savy--he used a manual typewriter to produce a club newsletter for years until the club finally forced him to upgrade to an electric typewriter. He refuses to carry a mobile phone or use ATMs. You get the idea. However, he depends on email and e-bay so he has to have some sort of Internet access.
Unfortunately, while Microsoft has not completely abandoned WebTV, they have not enhanced it in years and clearly have no intention of doing so--you can't even download the emulator they used to provide.
The problem for my father is that WebTV is simply no longer up to the task of supporting modern Web sites and it's becoming harder and harder for him to use e-bay and other Web sites, like Amazon or Flicker. And forget about Facebook.
My quandry is what to replace WebTV with. So far I haven't been able to identify any obvious good solutions. The Wii's Web browser is close but it's still pretty clunky--even with a keyboard I don't think it would be reliable or simple enough for my dad--it requires a lot of wimote fiddling to scroll and pan around Web sites that don't fit nicely on a screen.
AppleTV would seem likely except that it doesn't come out of the box with a Web browser and I'm not going to support a hack that adds one.
A Mac mini might serve, but that gets us into the having a full computer problem, and I'm not sure my dad's TV takes HDMI input (I need to find out about that).
It seems like the new tablets that are all the buzz of the gadget world might serve, especially the rumored Apple tablet, but I'm not sure my dad would be willing to drop a grand on it, and I'm not keen to have him be an early adopter.
But I feel like I'm missing some obvious technology choice. Anyone out there have any thoughts about how to provide a TV-connected Web browser that is easy to use, works reliably, and will work with modern Web sites?