Logitech Harmony 700 Remote Simplifies Home Entertainment

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the September 3rd, 2009

Rechargeable Remote Features One-Click Control, Color Screen

FREMONT, Calif. — Sept. 3, 2009 — You and your family love to be entertained – enjoying TV, movies, games and music – in the comfort of your living room. But getting to your entertainment can be difficult, often requiring that you use several remotes just to get to your favorite TV show. The Logitech Harmony® 700 remote, the newest universal remote from Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI), can help simplify your home entertainment by replacing up to six remotes. The Harmony 700 remote features a color screen, rechargeable batteries and one-click control of your favorite activities.

“Millions of families around the world are investing in better home-entertainment systems, complete with flat-screen TVs and other devices; however, each new device adds another remote to the coffee table and another level of complexity to what should be an enjoyable experience,” said Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech’s Harmony business unit. “If you have a half-dozen components and an AV receiver, the new Logitech Harmony 700 is the smartest way to get the most out of that setup.” (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

How to use iPhone to control HTPC

Posted in Hardware,M@H,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the July 1st, 2009

Most of Windows Media Center features are easily accessible with IR or RF remote controls and unless you need to type something remote is the only control device you’ll need to enjoy your media.

But typing on the remote control resembles chatting on a cell phone without a dedicated keyboard. It requires multiple key presses to enter almost every character. And if you need to enter non-latin characters it becomes even more dubious.

When it comes to typing, you are better off with a wireless keyboard such as Logitech’s diNovo (Edge or Mini) or Microsoft’s Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000. Those are great keyboards, and they include some kind of a pointing device (such as trackpad or navigation pad) along with media controls (play/pause/fwd/rew/stop).

Though there are a number of points that you should consider before investing in specialized media keyboards:

  • they will run you $100+ in most cases;
  • they are not compact (maybe with exception of diNovo Mini) and you cannot operate them with one hand like a remote control;
  • you’ll have to always have them by your side and that’s not very convenient considering  their size especially if you are not sitting in front of the desk;
  • having to switch from remote control to keyboard and back will not improve your experience;
  • you are bound to only one (or in best case – two) language layout(s) on the keys;

So what are our options? 

(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Control Windows Media Center with New Windows SideShow Gadgets

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the July 9th, 2008

 The Windows SideShow Team has announced the availability of 4 BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets that let you control Windows Media Center from a Windows Sideshow device. You can sign-up via Microsoft Connect to gain access to Beta Test these new Windows SideShow Gadgets.

Sign-up

I believe this link works 1 time per Windows Live ID (You must sign-in with your Windows Live ID to access Beta Programs on Microsoft Connect). You can submit feedback to the team working on these Gadgets on Microsoft Connect.

Here is the breakdown of the 4 Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets and what they do:

  • Now Playing: View what is currently playing in Windows Media Center (includes playback controls)
  • Pictures + Video: Browse your Photos and Videos folders
  • Music: Browse your Music folder and play any song
  • TV: Look at what is on TV via the Windows Media Center Guide, Schedule Recordings, and View Recordings (in a Thumbnail view)

I downloaded and installed the Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets on my Dell XPS 420 which has a built in Windows SideShow device on the top front of the system (the XPS MiniView). It’s pretty slick to be able to control Windows Media Center from a Windows SideShow device. I’m quite fond of the Now Playing Gadget myself and the TV Gadget. I utilize Windows Media Center as my primary DVR for recording TV. If you have a Windows SideShow device – definitely give these Windows SideShow Gadgets a try!

NOTE: These 4 Windows Media Center Windows SideShow Gadgets *are* currently in BETA.

Source: http://windowsvistablog.com

SpeakerCraft Launches iPhone Interface for MODE Multiroom A/V

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the April 9th, 2008

SpeakerCraft’s iPhone Interface SpeakerCraft was one of the first companies way back when to introduce a multiroom audio system that incorporated metadata from an iPod.

Now the company is taking its ties to Apple one step further with an iPhone interface for the MODE distributed-audio system. The interface is generated through an embedded Web server residing inside SpeakerCraft’s ERS 1.0 Ethernet-to-serial adapter. Since the interface is accessed through the iPhone’s Safari browser, there’s no software to install on the phone (or iTouch).

The ERS also dishes up an interface for standard PC/Mac Web browsers, allowing users to control the system from any iPhone/iTouch on the network.

Multiple interface devices can be used simultaneously to control different zones of the house.

“I hate to say it, but this is the beginning of the end for keypads,” says SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt. “Soon any keypad that isn’t emulated on a device like the iPhone will be obsolete.”

The ERS 1.0 with the embedded software has an MSRP of $1,000.

Source: CE Pro

New universal remote controls revealed at CEDIA

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the November 15th, 2007

MX3000 remote control RemoteCentral.com released a video report from CEDIA Expo highlighting 15 new remote controls.

Products covered include the Acoustic Research AARU449, Control4 RCZ-SRC2-B, Crestron MLX-2, Marantz RC9001, RC3001 and RC2001, Niles iRemote TS, Philips Pronto Professional TSU9400, Pronto TSU9200 and Prestigo SRU8015, UEI NevoQ50 and NevoConnect, Remote Control Systems Inc. TSR750, RTI T2-Cs, T3-V and U2, URC’s Complete Control MX-980 and MX-810.

Download video report in HD here.