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View Full Version : Multitouch universal remote for AppleTV




mrthieme
Mar 5, 2007, 08:08 AM
I have reservations about buying Appletv, and I was contemplating what Apple could do to make it more appealing. We have all beat the topics of DVR, optical drive, compatible formats, and available content on iTunes to death. One of my major problems with it is how it actually fits into the existing systems most of us have, and how it actually works.

In order to listen to a song we have to: grab av remote(s), turn on tv, select proper input to display Appletv interface, turn on audio equipment, select proper source, select music with apple remote, grab av remote again to control volume...

By all accounts Steve has a good eye for simplicity, and ease of use, so I'm shocked to think he hooked this up to a real world av system, and thought he had hit a home run.

A multi touch univeral remote similar in size to the iphone could solve all this. We could browse our media on the remote with a Front Row style GUI, and not have to turn on the tv. Configuring a complex set of macros with multiple components could all be done on our Macs, and with a little Apple polish could be a simple process.

I've been looking for a Mac compatible touchscreen remote, (pronto, crestron etc.) to try this, but have not found it, they are all Windows based as far as I can tell. I'll bet Steve has a pretty nice remote in his home, and I'll bet he noticed this too.

Does any of this make sense? Would anyone else buy it?



Krevnik
Mar 5, 2007, 09:41 AM
This makes sense, but a company already is doing quite well in the "Do everything" universal remote category, and just introduced a touch-screen model. I actually have used one of the Logitech Harmonys to mimic my remote that came with my MacBook, allowing me to control Front Row with it, and have it 'integrated' into my home theater system. So it is possible today.

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/features/harmony/US/EN,CRID=2078

EDIT: And yes, the Harmony remote series is Mac-compatible.

mrthieme
Mar 5, 2007, 11:36 AM
You are right, the majority of what I want could be done with that Logitech.

mrthieme
Mar 8, 2007, 09:41 AM
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/wireless/apple-to-make-networking-easier-with-rfid-tags-242535.php
I read this and got a little glimmer of hope for my dream remote.

roland.g
Mar 8, 2007, 09:57 AM
This makes sense, but a company already is doing quite well in the "Do everything" universal remote category, and just introduced a touch-screen model. I actually have used one of the Logitech Harmonys to mimic my remote that came with my MacBook, allowing me to control Front Row with it, and have it 'integrated' into my home theater system. So it is possible today.

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/features/harmony/US/EN,CRID=2078

EDIT: And yes, the Harmony remote series is Mac-compatible.

Some of those are pretty expensive for a remote, though appealing since I just got a new receiver, and a new DVD player, and plan on getting an :apple:tv. There are about 6 buttons on the receiver that I need, and only 4 on my tv remote. My reality is that I want to program into a univeral only the functions I actually use to simplify my action set - this is particularly important for my wife if she is ever to use these items efficiently. Not to mention since I have the audio of my Satelite running into my receiver now, I have to turn off that unit as well when turning off my tv, otherwise the sound continues to run (no I didn't get a unit with HDMI switching).

Any recommendations of which remote. As in how little would I need to spend.

roland.g
Mar 8, 2007, 10:01 AM
I have reservations about buying Appletv, and I was contemplating what Apple could do to make it more appealing. We have all beat the topics of DVR, optical drive, compatible formats, and available content on iTunes to death. One of my major problems with it is how it actually fits into the existing systems most of us have, and how it actually works.

In order to listen to a song we have to: grab av remote(s), turn on tv, select proper input to display Appletv interface, turn on audio equipment, select proper source, select music with apple remote, grab av remote again to control volume...

By all accounts Steve has a good eye for simplicity, and ease of use, so I'm shocked to think he hooked this up to a real world av system, and thought he had hit a home run.

A multi touch univeral remote similar in size to the iphone could solve all this. We could browse our media on the remote with a Front Row style GUI, and not have to turn on the tv. Configuring a complex set of macros with multiple components could all be done on our Macs, and with a little Apple polish could be a simple process.

I've been looking for a Mac compatible touchscreen remote, (pronto, crestron etc.) to try this, but have not found it, they are all Windows based as far as I can tell. I'll bet Steve has a pretty nice remote in his home, and I'll bet he noticed this too.

Does any of this make sense? Would anyone else buy it?

I think that once you have music, or a movie playing through :apple:tv, you will probably have volume control with the :apple:tv remote.

I for one am very interested in :apple:tv, despite all the issues people have. I already have a DVR (Dish). However, I do think though I won't take my own advice, I will probably get one rather than waiting for rev. B/2. I do think it needs 1080p though my tv is 720p/1080i and more importantly 5.1 audio. Why optical but no 5.1, especially for movies. I certainly won't buy one till I can see one in an Apple Store as well as hear some of the reviews, here and by iLounge/MacWorld/etc.

mrthieme
Mar 8, 2007, 10:09 AM
[QUOTE=roland.g;3424299]I think that once you have music, or a movie playing through :apple:tv, you will probably have volume control with the :apple:tv remote.

I'm not sure about that, if you are using hdmi, volume control would be handled in the unit doing the decoding or after. If Apple tv is acting as a preamp, and the rca outputs are controlled via remote, you will have two gain controls, the remote and then the reciever, further complicating things. It would work if you used a stereo power amp with no volume controls of it's own, or a unit with a pass through. I'm wondering what the volume on the remote is for if all this is true, someone please explain.