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GlideTV Navigator Media Remote Control Review Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 June 2010
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GlideTV Navigator Media Remote Control Review

ImageFor the serious home theater enthusiast, the concept of a home theater PC is very attractive for those who want to store all of their media in one spot and utilize it to consume the rapidly growing library of web based, high definition video.  Unfortunately, interacting with a HTPC has been reliant on a wireless keyboard / mouse setup or HTPC remotes that lack in complete functionality for navigation.   Enter the Navigator from GlideTV, a small device that is a hybrid of the keyboard and mouse.

The GlideTV Navigator isn’t designed as a replacement for a home theater remote in the Logitech Harmony series, but rather for a broader form of control on the PC, Mac and Playstation 3.  The company has dubbed it a “couch mouse”, probably the most accurate description of the Navigator.  It also looks nothing like a conventional remote, a diamond black casing with a rounded bottom for a comfortable feel in the palm of your hand.  The unconventional design makes it the proverbial black sheep in my line of home theater remotes, but it’s still an attractive design.

GlideTV Remote Control Top

The Navigator is encased in black glossy plastic and it rests on the similar charging station when not in use.  The top of the Navigator has a smooth surface for a touchpad, surrounded by 8 clickable buttons that are mapped to functions on your keyboard.  Above the touchpad, there are volume controls at the top of the remote, a power button to the left and a search button to the right.  The volume button has a mute capability and the search button can also search other video sites such as Hulu, Netflix or Youtube as well as music / photo sites.  

There are also track selections and play / pause buttons at the bottom of the remote.  The orange button that’s specific to the Navigator opens up a custom UI created by GlideTV.  It’s a simple screen that allows you to quickly launch applications like Media Center, Skype, VLC, Xbox Media Center, Firefox, etc…  You can also go directly to your favorite websites without having to type in the address over and over in the bookmarks section.

Website page

Setting up the remote for the first time is pretty simple.  After charging it up, connect it to your HTPC (or other media device) via USB and select the profile you want (PC, Mac, PS3).  You can also choose between two touchpad settings, Relative or Absolute.  Relative is just like a touchpad on a laptop, simply moving the cursor based on your sliding movement anywhere on the pad.  Absolute moves the cursor to the spot where your finger lands on the pad and you can slide it around from there.  For instance, if you put your finger on the top right corner, the cursor will jump to that position on the screen and you slide it around from there.  After setup, connect the USB dongle to your component and it will communicate automatically with the Navigator via the 2.4 GHz wireless signal. 


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