As promised in a previous post where I talked about how I started watching HD TV on my computer for under $70 I said that I purchased a remote control to switch channels rather than using the keyboard.
Just to clarify, my ultimate goal is to have an entertainment center fueled by my computer. I want to be able to watch HDTV, record TV shows, watch DVDs, play streaming radio, and listen to my music all from the comfort of my couch (without needing a keyboard or even worse: having to get up!!)
The StreamZap PC remote control
I picked the StreamZap PC Remote because the reviews on Amazon were good, I couldn’t find many other options, and it only cost about $30. I have been using the remote for a couple of weeks now – so, I think I am now qualified to give it a review.
The StreamZap review
Let me start by saying the remote does seem to control every program that you would want it to, just like it promises. However, this is a universal remote to the extreme. Universal remotes rarely work as simply as the original remote and this remote is no exception.
It took me a few minutes to figure out what each button does in each program – some are not what you would expect – i.e. to make the TV program screen full size you need to press the MENU button.
The buttons are little bit sensitive - you only need to tap each button for the command to execute, any longer and it may dupe (go up 2 channels instead of one).
That said, it does everything I wanted it to do:
- It turns on the TV program on the computer. It changes the channel, volume, records, and goes to full screen.
- It works with iTunes – skips songs, selects play lists, even allows me to search for songs by name
- It closes the programs and shuts down the PC with the touch of a button.
Final thoughts on the StreamZap Remote
All in all, I am happy with the purchase. I think there is some room for improvement, but I think the average good (but not great) reviews on Amazon paint an accurate picture of what the remote is and is not.