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|EZ Commander by [email protected]
Author: Gh0sTly -- Posted: 2009-02-06
As more and more people are building Home Theater PC's(HTPC), everyone is trying to find the right remote for their specific uses. Today, we will be looking at the EZ Commander, from [email protected] Technology.
This remote is full of features that make it a real multi-tasking remote, more than a dedicated HTPC remote. You get a real trackball in the center of the remote, with simple left clicking by pushing the ball downward into the remote. You also get a whole slew of clearly labeled dual function controls. You get all the HTPC controls by pressing the yellow 'Media' button, or standard PC controls by pressing 'PC'. You will get full standby control of the PC by pressing the 'Power' button on the top left of the remote, and this will send the PC into standby mode, and can easily be woke up by moving the trackball, just as you would with a normal PC. Most people at home wont use this unless they have a cat, but this remote can also be used for presentation work, and has a built in laser pointer that is very bright. The EZ Commander feels comfortable in the hand, and has a nice weight to it as well.
The botom half of the EZ Commander is where it gets interesting. This area is reserved as a number pad, and can function as a channel selector in Windows Media Center if you have a TV-Tuner if its in Media mode. If you put the remote in PC mode, you can use this keypad similarly to how you would on your cell phone. Thats right, its for text input. You will need to install the EZ Commander software to use this function, but its very similar to T9 on a cell phone, and uses predictive text input. I've been testing this on my own HTPC, and I have to say that it does take some getting used to, but once you have it down, its great for simple web searches. By no means would you want to type up a report with it though.
The EZ Commander is operated by InfraRed, and has 2 wide angle IR emitters, and will operate at 30ft or more, depending on your conditions and setup. Its IR receiver is small, maybe 1.5" x 1.5" x