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GlideTV Navigator Media Remote Control Review  Print E-mail
Home Theater Remotes & System Control Remotes & System Control
Written by Mike Flacy   
Thursday, 03 June 2010
Article Index
GlideTV Navigator Media Remote Control Review 
Conclusion

The learning curve of the remote can be steep, mostly due to the 8 buttons around the touchpad.  There are no labels on the buttons, so you have to memorize their functionality based on when you are operating.  There’s also no was to reassign the buttons to different functions.  Navigating directions is simple enough, but trying to remember what closes a application or clicks to the next page can be frustrating.

Opposite from the way Logitech has pushed us to simplicity with the Harmony series, the GlideTV Navigator requires an investment of time in reading the manual and memorizing how the buttons work.  Once you do learn the functions, navigating around a HTPC can be a breeze. Not surprisingly, the PS3 controls are actually the simplest to learn.  Four of the main buttons act as the Triangle, Circle, Square and X keys on the PS3 controller and the shoulder triggers are mapped to the corner buttons.  

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The range of the Navigator makes it perfect for anyone with a custom built home theater.  I was getting immediate feedback from 15 to 20 feet away and it really didn’t start to wane until I was about 30 feet away in another room.  The rechargeable battery performed well during my tests and I never found myself without a charge, even after leaving it off the charger a few days in a row.  I also never had a problem with the Navigator losing the pairing with the USB dongle, despite multiple bootups over the weeks.

The GlideTV software basically attempts to solve the most glaring issue, the fact that you can’t get away from the keyboard.  With quick navigation buttons to the most popular media consumption sites, you can almost get away from the painfully slow on-screen keyboard.  It’s much quicker to pair the Navigator with a wireless keyboard, even though it’s attempting to remove that need.  If there was anything I’d like to see in the next version of the Navigator, it would be Bluetooth support and a way to label the buttons based on their current functionality (a small LCD screen perhaps).  Bluetooth would be helpful for systems in which a dongle sticks out like a sore thumb or components with limited USB ports to begin with.  

For just under $100, the GlideTV Navigator can be a really attractive option for home theater PC owners that are looking to lose the keyboard / mouse setup for a sexier, more streamlined approach to the convoluted options in PC navigation.  That being said, learning how to get the most out of the Navigator (and teaching the family) is much tougher than it should be.  I would pick up the Navigator if you are currently unhappy with your current HTPC controls and are looking for a solid web browsing remote.  Those who use a Playstation 3 for their primary Blu-ray player will likely prefer this control to the official Sony remote as well.    





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