My brother just specifically asked me to check out the remote for the new (and hotly anticipated) Boxee Box. A remote control. Petty, it might seem, beside the scores of other hot products launching here, but if it works as anticipated, it might be one of the most useful new plastic to come out of this show.
Controlling a home theater PC – or any television connected to the Web – has never been a breeze. As I found out when I cut cable for myself and used an aging Compaq for all TV viewing, you’re always beholden to the mouse and keyboard. Although many companies have tried and failed to put the flexibility of these two desktop components into a couch-friendly form, none of them have really hit the mark.
Even Boxee’s free iPhone app, which I considered the holy grail prior to trying it, fell short. You need hard buttons for quick tasks like changing the volume.
I haven’t had a chance to dabble with the Box’s remote yet, but with streaming set-top boxes becoming one of the major themes at this show, I’m excited to see what manufacturers have cooked up for that one crucial component.