A quick glance at our list of top universal remotes
is a good place to start, but maybe you'd like a little context.
If you just want the best of the best and don't care about money, go for the Monster, aka the Monster Home Theater and Lighting Controller 300
. This RF remote goes through walls, can control rooms' worth of both home theater gear and lighting, and uses the vaunted Harmony interface for relatively easy control.
But if you happen to be on a budget, the best all-around value among universal remotes is the Logitech Harmony 550
. This clicker features the same Web-based programming interface as other Harmony models, making setup about as simple as it can be (still, you may want to be around to help Dad through the initial process). It can handle a rack full of gear and has a great size and feel. It does lack the rechargeable battery and the color screen of more expensive Harmony models (such as the Harmony 720
), but the price is right at around $100.