For a long time I’ve been searching for the ideal HTPC remote control. I want a fairly standard remote, but with a QWERTY keyboard on the back, or inside a flip/slide out part. I’ve been tracking the options in an article from Jan-2010, and eventually ordered myself a Boxee remote a few months back. The boxee is an excellent wireless keyboard, but unfortunately, boxee have opted to go the “Apple route” (aka dumbed down) on the non-qwerty side. There are a total of 7 buttons, non of which is a power button. There is also no “back up” type button. This makes the boxee pretty useless for Media Center 7.I decided that if I was going to get yet another remote, I wanted it to offer additional features, as well as addressing the problems with the boxee. The 2 most useful options are to be programmable (i.e. universal) and to feature an RF communiation to the PC, so it can be tucked away out of sight. The remote I was most interested in is the Philips Home Control Dual / uWand, but I can’t find anywhere to buy that in the UK. I’ve seen some positive reviews of the Motorola NYXBoard and located a retailer that ships to the UK. £40 isn’t cheap for a remote control, but the nyxBoard does offer both RF and universality, as well as clearly having the required buttons. I’ve ordered one, and am optimistic it will do the job. Its just a shame its a bit chunky, one of the nice things about the boxee remote is how slim and slick looking it is.
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