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Review: Gyration Media Center Remote: HTPC navigation done right?

by Parm Mann on 25 July 2008, 14:55

Tags: Gyration Media Center Remote Control, Gyration

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaoe3

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Something's in the air

As with most Media Centre remote controls, installing the Gyration remote is a breeze. The USB receiver can be plugged directly into your PC, or the supplied extension cable can be used to place the receiver somewhere a little more convenient.

Though the receiver itself is small and unobtrusive, it features a fairly bright orange light that can be distracting in a living room environment. That USB extension cable, therefore, is useful in putting the receiver somewhere out of sight. With its 2.4GHz RF technology, we experienced no lag whilst using the remote with the receiver completely hidden.

Once the receiver is plugged in, you'll be required to sync the remote control, and this can be done via the connect buttons on both the remote and receiver. Our remote connected instantly, and we were up and running. No drivers, no software installation, just nice and easy.

The first button you'll reach for, titled "Motion Gyration", and placed firmly in the centre of the remote, allows for the remote to be used as an in-air mouse. Operating the mouse cursor can be achieved via two methods; the button can be held down whilst moving the remote, or double-tapped to permanently enable/disable mouse-cursor movement. Either side of the motion control, you'll find the left and right mouse buttons, both within easy reach.

We found the in-air mouse to be a little tricky to begin with, but with a little help from the instruction manual, we soon mastered the technique. The trick, you see, is to keep the arm still and make movements only at the wrist. Armed with that priceless piece of information, the remote becomes a joy to use. We were able to easily carry out various tasks in Windows Vista, and no on-screen icon was too small or awkward to press.

With the motion button held down, it's incredibly easy to navigate to where you need to click; release the button and the mouse pointer remains still for your clicking needs - it's all very well thought out and the up and down arrow buttons will even do your scrolling for you. Having expected to struggle navigating a PC with motion-sensing technology, we've been literally amazed at how intuitive this remote really is.