Force video source onto TV screen

I want to be able to force a remote TV (using an HDMI switch) to display video from a chat program like Hangouts by remote control. The scenario is this:

_My housebound mother is sitting in her chair watching her favorite channel. Suddenly, the picture changes to a webcam view of me in my office checking up on her (her end also has a webcam). We video chat for a while, then I disconnect and her favorite channel returns. She doesn’t have to know anything or do anything…I’m in control of everything.

Has someone done this? I’d like some suggestions for off-the-shelf hardware and any software/scripts that are available.


If you have a way to remotely control your TV inputs (using a HA component, or CEC, or otherwise), it could switch HDMI inputs on the TV.

Otherwise what is driving the TV that she is watching? If it can be a computer, then you could obviously pop-up something.

I’d like everything to be controlled over the net or via local scripting. I was thinking of putting a PI or a Kodi box there, but not a full-blown computer.

I did something similar a few years ago for someone who had a Mom in a retirement home. Everyone who witnessed it thought it was fabulous and wanted one. I used a small headless Windows PC with some Visual Basic software I wrote to drive the Skype API and an RF switch to change video sources (no HDMI on that setup). I was hoping that more appropriate hardware and some existing scripts would be available by now. It’s a very worthwhile thing for people with luddite old folks at home and I thought someone would have made a product by now.