EFO Flying Mouse

EFO mouse

I already wrote about the smallest QWERTY keyboard EFO Google TV Mini keyboard which was design to make HTPC control easier and handier. Recently EFO released a next generation of its keyboard – EFO Air mouse. I bought it and used enough to give some feedback. First of all, the quality of the keyboard is very good. New battery allows using it almost for month and can be fully charged from laptop USB during one hour.

As you may see on the picture, the EFO Air mouse doesn’t have a touchpad anymore. Instead of that it sports gyration mouse. It’s really cool but I have some troubles with it when I need a point it to specific menu item in XBMC and press left or right button using one hand. In my experience Gyration remote control is handier then it.

Useful addition to good battery and flying mouse is IR transmitter. It has a few buttons on the back side of the keyboard and supports two devices. So, using the EFO Air mouse you may control your HTPC by RF and TV and/or AV received or satellite box by IR, which is quite good for forty dollars.

Remote control for modern HTPC and TV

PC-TV All in One

Recently I received to my mailbox a link to a very interesting remote control called PC-TV All in One. It has both IR and RF. IR is used to control TV while RF is needed to send commands to HTPC. Except navigation, numeric and playback hard keys, the remote control sports QWERTY keyboard and 360-degree Jog-ball mouse control. Not bad for thirty four bucks device.

The PC-TV All in One remote control will be ideal if you use just TV and HTPC with XBMC, Boxee, PLEX or LinuxMCE. It’ll make navigation through media library or online services. However if you have additionally cable box or AV receiver then you should find something else. Because PC-TV All in One supports only two devices. Also not sure then Jog-ball is good to control mouse. I use similar one in the iMON remote and would like to say the Gyration remote is much more handy. But the QWERTY keyboard is a big advantage. so, take it into account.

Griffin’s Beacon universal remote for Android

Griffin's Beacon universal remote

There are plenty of possibilities to use iOS devices to control AV equipment. But there is not such abundance for Android platform. So, Griffin tries to change that situation launching its Beacon universal remote control system for Android. It costs like iOS version – $69.99 and includes hardware and software parts. To communicate with IR transmitter it uses Bluetooth and not WiFi. I like that approach because consumers don’t need WiFi access point to use this system.

Additionally to ordinary features of universal remote control Beacon offers integrated guide to browse, search and call up TV shows. But I suspect it’ll work only in US and Canada, where all digital channels have EPG. In any case I like the Griffin’s Beacon universal remote for Android. Good stuff indeed.

Z-Wave is coming to TV

Insignia Z-Wave

Sigma Designs replaced old-school IR technology by modern Z-Wave in their Best Buy Insignia brand’s new cTV line of broadband-connected televisions. It isn’t just improve a range of bidirectional remote control and its functionality. But embedding of Z-Wave chip will allow easy integration of AV equipment into smarthome systems. Will see if other main producers of AV devices will do the same or choose someting else – ZigBee or standard RF which is used in wireless mouses and keyboards.

Universal remote control for football fans

Football TV Remote Control

This universal remote control should be very attractive for all football fans not just because it’s made as a football ball. But also because it’s soft to do not break your TV and durable to do not break itself in case you throw it if your team plays not good.

The football remote control can control not only TVs but other AV devices as well. It has an effective range up to 7 meters and costs about €20.

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