Others like the Harmony would be the Universal Home Theater Master remotes. They have a variety of models... almost too many to choose from. Some of them are a challenge to program for the not so technical dads. I've always had to setup my dads for him. Some will require a computer to program.
I own the MX-800 and love it, but it's probably more that what your dad needs. I've also owned the MX-700 and it was nice as well.
I know we got some guys who own Harmony remotes and if I remember correctly, they really like them... maybe they'll chime in.
I own 4 remotes (Pronto pro, Pronto Neo, Pronto, and the Harmony 676)...I love my pronto's...but I would say that for the normal person..the Harmony is the way to go. Harmony offers the easiest programming of any remote that I have ever done. Also seems to be the most average person user friendly...(i meen not a HT Geek like us). If I had to give my parents a universal remote for there setup....I would use a harmony.
Yup, I love my Harmony remote! I no longer get phone calls at work from my wife wondering how to switch from the satellite to the DVD :scratchhead:
The Harmony's are very easy to program though in my opinion somewhat laborious as in too many questions and screens to go through when I know what I want to do and just want to do it without going through the whole process. The biggest difference that I can see is the button layout,..some are more suitable for cable, some for satellite, and some for DVR's,...some have soft rubber buttons while others have hard "jewel" buttons. Some have color screens, others don't, etc. etc.
I suppose it pretty much comes down to personal preference.