We hereby crown the new king of home-theater-PC remote controls. There have been many pretenders to the throne, including sticks and donuts (Gyration’s over-complicated Media Center Remote and Hillcrest Lab’s over-simplified Loop Pointer, respectively), miniature keyboards (Logitech’s stylish but imperfect diNovo Mini), and full-size keyboards and mice (Microsoft’s clumsy Wireless Entertainment Desktop), but from this day forward, GlideTV’s Navigator will hold court in our media room.
The Navigator is an odd-looking device, but the genius in its design becomes apparent the moment you pick it up. The bowl-shaped bottom fits perfectly in your cupped hand, and your thumb naturally curves over the top, putting it in the ideal position to stroke the trackpad or press any of the backlit buttons. You can use both hands if you prefer, and an ambidextrous design makes it suitable for both right- and left-handed people.
The Navigator avoids the mistake of trying to handle a PC’s every function in hardware, providing instead an easy means of accomplishing only the most common functions. You’ll find dedicated buttons for managing Windows Media Center (volume, channel up/down, live TV, recorded TV, and electronic program guide), and for controlling media-player software (play/pause, fast-forward/rewind, skip-forward, and skip-back), of course. But the designers also provided equivalents for the right mouse button and the Enter, Escape, Back, and arrow keys that are too-often forgotten with other devices. There’s also a search button and a button that calls up the GlideTV application itself (more on this later).
Home entertainment company GlideTV on Tuesday announced a new device the company says combines the functionality of a keyboard, mouse, and AV remote all rolled into one.
The GlideTV Navigator, as it's being called, won the 2009 Best of Innovations Award at CES earlier this year. It includes a remote, charging station, USB wireless receiver, and works with Windows, Mac, Sony's PlayStation 3 console, and any set-top box that supports standard mouse and keyboard HID devices, the company said.
"Up to now, consumes who wanted to connect a computer to the TV to take advantage of digital content had to bring office equipment to their living room, making the experience bulky and cumbersome," said Chris Painter, President and founder. "With the Navigator, GlideTV brings simplicity to accessing internet-based entertainment and ushers in a new era for computing in the living room."
Some of the Navigator's features include backlit AV buttons, dedicated Esc, Enter, Back, and Function keys, an on-screen keyboard (Windows only), and rechargeable battery. GlideTV says its remote will work with all the media apps you're used to using, including Windows Media Center, iTunes, Boxee, SageTV, Firefox, and more.