back to article GlideTV Navigator

While hooking up a PC or nettop like the Acer Aspire Revo or Asus Eee Box to that huge flat-screen telly in your lounge for a spot of media playback or light web browsing is undoubtedly a Very Good Idea, the elegance of the set up usually takes a bit of a knock when it comes to controlling the thing. GlideTV Navigator …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    errm...

    no mention of the awesome Logitech Di Novo Mini then?

    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard/devices/3848&cl=us,en

    Much better imvho

  2. Sebastian Brosig
    Pint

    pity the hard-working reg testers

    > As the days passed and familiarity grew

    I bet it was hard work watching the telly for 3 days solid to generate the data for this report.

    I gather you used the manufacturer's photos or took yours at the beginning not after putting cig-marks in the touchpad by mistaking it for the ashtray.

  3. Rowan Moore
    Thumb Up

    Damn!

    I've just set up an acer revo running xbmc on top of ubuntu and got hold of one of the MS MCE remotes to control it with.

    If I'd have know about this lovely I'd have though twice about the MS controller.

    I'm pretty certain that it could be made to be fully functional on a linux/xbmc combo using lirc to map the buttons to the required commands as xbmc has a virtual keyboard all of its own.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much?

    How about this for a fraction of the price. http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=264584

  5. Tony Smith (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: How much?

    Yeah, but that Maplin thing is way fugly. Looks like a mutant BlackBerry from the mid-1990s.

  6. Goat Jam
    Coat

    Linux users

    have to be the ultimate masochists.

    "Here's hoping that GlideTV at least ports the virtual keyboard across to Linux at some point in the future."

    Time and time again these device manufacturers release hardware that only works with closed software. You are not buying the software, so why not open source it? Surely that would improve your prospective market and you can sure as hell bet that some geek with too much time on his hands will come up with some crazy application for your device that you'd never thought of and thereby drive sales for you.

    But no, we must retain an iron grip on our "intellectual property" at all costs!

    I must be tired, can someone hand me my coat? Ta.

  7. Jerome 0

    Nice but expensive

    This looks like a rather cool product, but a touch on the pricey side. If it's only traditional remote-control functionality that you need, you can get a universal infra-red receiver very cheaply. This has the advantage that you can use an IR remote of your choice to control the PC.

    The unit I own is called an Irman, though they don't seem to be around any more - one equivalent product is a PCIR. It's apparently easy to build your own too, though this is beyond my (non-existent) skills with a soldering iron.

    Obviously this is sod-all use for web browsing from the sofa, but I'd want a full wireless keyboard and trackpad for that anyway. For control of audio and video a traditional remote is my preferred option.

  8. spegru
    Go

    On the other hand

    A nice device but it's never going to be that easy without a keyboard

    One thing about TV browsing etc is the likely lack of a flat desk on which to use a mouse.

    For myself I fixed this at dramatically lower cost with an Accuratus one piece keyboard/trackball.

    A bit big perhaps but not too obtrusive

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Accuratus-Product-Toughball-integrated-trackball/dp/B000NRS72I

    It works perfectly with Linux too

  9. Craig 12

    No need

    Has this journo actually got the problems posed on the first page?

    We have a standard MS media remote, and it's not that hard to use at all... even the wife knows the main 4 function buttons in the middle. There are tons of more or less complicated ones on the market too.

    On top of that we have a small keyboard with mouse touchpad, that is light enough to not trouble my slobbing out on the sofa.

    If none of these are to hand, I can use my iphone to control XBMC... Srsly, there is no desperate need for a £120 futuristic ashtray.

    As for keybs in the lounge; get a storage footstool or small magazine rack... remotes and keyb (and game controller) storage sorted!

  10. David Evans

    @DarkNerd

    Agreed, one of the best pieces of kit I've bought all year.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    meh

    "One-handed" jokes aside.. give it a few nanoseconds before someone packages up full support for it in MythTV :)

  12. BRAINPLAN
    FAIL

    multi-touch.... and why??

    "A zoom function means this isn't really a sticking point, but to zoom you do need to use both hands.... this gagdet is crying out for multi-touch: two fingers to scroll, three to zoom, for instance."

    So how exactly would multi-touch enable you to use one hand (unless the device was on a table or some such) - I thought the purpose of the device design is to be placed in and used by one hand, thus multi-touch would be FAIL.

  13. Stephen Hunt
    Stop

    Hmmm

    Not sure I'd buy one.

    I've got the whole laptop hooked up to TV thing. Once you have your IE favorites and desktop toolbar set up, then all you really need is a wireless mouse - and optical mice work fine for me on chair armrests or even your knee.

    Typing is a little fiddly, but with remembered IE's passwords it's easy to get on to streamed sites such as lovefilm and skyplayer. And Vista already includes an on-screen keyboard as an accessibility option. Turning down the screen resolution helps too when navigating around - while not affecting full-screened video playback.

  14. alphaxion

    alternatives do exist

    I'm quite happy with my Logitech MX Air gyro mouse for the purposes of controlling my HTPC. Also acts as a spare normal mouse when needed and sports a very "Flight of the Navigator" ship look to it. http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/mice/devices/3443&cl=gb,en

    Of course, ignore their price.. it's much cheaper elsewhere :)

  15. Colin Miller
    Linux

    Linux?

    Did Alun try running xev (x event watcher) whilst the device was connected to a Linux box?

    This would show if the device was producing non-standard keyboard events.

    If so, it is reasonably easy to map them to real keys, and then tell the media player to use those keys.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice idea

    I like the idea of something you can just hold in one hand when you are having a serious slob-out. The Di Novo Mini is a great bit of kit but I seldom use mine - if I want to type stuff I'll sit at my desk in the den and do it. Plus the wife really doesn't like anything too overtly techie cluttering up the lounge.

  17. Commenter44655
    Alert

    Snapstream Firefly Mini

    I've been using a Snapstream Firefly Mini remote for years. It uses IR and a USB dongle that shows up (even in the computer's BIOS and Linux) as just a keyboard, so no problems there. In Windows, use the EventGhost software to add functionality (such as all of what the GlideTV can do plus anything else you can think of). It's not ugly, and is quite small. I use it to control the Snapstream BeyondTV software, plus Boxee, Hulu Desktop, and VLC. Very easy.

    Plus, at about $20 US, it's cheap.

    For those wanting some more toys, check the full-on Firefly remote, which uses RF instead of IR, but requires drivers.

    The only thing this has that I'd want is the touchpad for mouse control. But I don't miss it, since when you have the remote properly set up, you very rarely need a mouse.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Linux version

    The Linux version of the software will be released shortly, but as mentioned in the review, the basic mouse functionality works without any additional software.

  19. cpainter

    RE: Linux users

    I did some poking around and it looks like GlideTV may have Linux support in mind.

    Found this on their website: http://www.glidetv.com/download/glidetv-linux-0.72-i386.tar.gz

    Guess its not public yet, but its there. Hopefully we will see something soon.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    one handed remote

    good for flicking from TVX to Red hot tv after midnite then?

  21. Al Jones

    Nice, but pricey

    I picked up an Adesso ARC-1100 for $10 last year - basically a remote with a "mouse pad" (sort of a rocking mechanism - not a trackpad).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823166095

    It's not perfect, but it cost me $140 less than the GlideTV Navigator!

  22. Philip Harvey
    Thumb Up

    Or you could use a software only solution

    For iPhone/iTouch owners Mobile Air Mouse is worth a try.

    Been using it for a while now and for only $2, well worth the purchase price!

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