On using a HTPC in NZ

Genius Remote 300 review

, posted: 19-Mar-2009 20:52

Well I havn't posted here in a very long time, primarily because due to non-ideal circumstances I find myself living by myself in a part of the country without FreeviewHD (now that I finally have a TV worth watching it on too), and without a dedicated PVR. So I watch analogue TV using my desktop and MP and try to get DVB-S working.

However this did occasion the need for a new remote, and since the MCE USB remote I own doesn't seem avaliable anymoreI  bought the Genius Remote 300 ($50 at TasTech). I am sharing my thoughts here in case others are interested as I havn't seen (granted I havn't looked hard) many comparable options to replace the Microsoft version.

The Remote 300 is designed as a Windows Media Center Remote and hence has all the buttons the MS remote does. However the layout is different and in my opinion unintuative. Most of the buttons are small and the logo's on the shortcut's (Live TV, DVD etc) very hard to make out. Rounding out the negatives the remote is lightweight, feels very cheap and has a very rough finish down the side, which is noticable when holding.

However it does far out-perform the MS remote in features. There are 4 different inputs, and for all of them (other than PC) every single button can be programmed. So under TV you can match the buttons of your TV remote, and map a seperate set of buttons (very handy for power and volume) for your amp. This does require extra button presses to allow for this flexibility, to activate a mode firstly press the required mode button up top (which will go ) then the desired function button. So to turn off the TV when you have been controlling the PC requres 2 presses rather than one on the MS remote, which is especially annoying given the small buttons and compact layout means most button presses require looking at the remote.

So I would say this remote is good for the price, and for those who need to control a lot of devices it is cheaper than any comparable programmable remote. However its price is very noticable in use, and I am sure you will get a lot more for a jump to a $100-$150 remote the likes of a Logitech or Harmony. And for those who only have one input (a HTPC) to their TV/sound system, the MCE remote is better.

Other related posts:
So what is this MythTV anyway?
Short note on power consumption
The Media Center

Permalink to Genius Remote 300 review | Add a comment (3 comments) | Main Index

Comment by Mattnzl, on 20-Mar-2009 07:07

Will it wake your pc from sleep? (S3)

Author's note by amphibem, on 20-Mar-2009 07:17

Yes it can, as in it has a PC power button. As with any remote though, this will likely require some configuration dependent on OS/PVR software/ motherboard.

Comment by Your Love, on 5-Jul-2009 12:14

Unrelated to your post (mostly because I don't understand it) but did you know you have a grammer error in the description of your blog? (an instead of a - last I checked H wasn't a vowel) :P Love you x

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Andrew Richards
New Zealand

My Current Setup

CPU: A64 5200 X2 (2.6GHz) Memory: 2GB Graphics: Onboard 6100 Hard drive: WD 640GB Optical: DVD-ROM Remote: Microsoft MCE USB2 Tuners: Hauppauge Nova T 500 & PVR150 Display: Toshiba 20" LCD Audio: Genius 5.1 bookshelf speakers

OS: Windows Vista Premium SP1 PVR: MediaPortal RC3 Codecs: Built in MPEG1&2 codecs, PowerDVD8 for H.264 EPG: nice.net.nz feed (from satellite feed)

Useful Links

MediaPortal Homepage
NZ Thread in MP Forumns
NZ MediaPortal Wiki page
MythTV Homepage
NZ Mythtv page
Mythbuntu Forumns
EPG Setup Guide