One side effect of the push by manufacturers to popularise Internet TVs is a renewed effort to come up with increasingly extravagant remote controls.
At Las Vegas in January we were treated to a demonstration of a full size Samsung touchscreen tablet that does double duty as a remote control. Now Samsung has also unveiled a remote with a Qwerty keyboard The seriously button-heavy Samsung Qwerty TV Remote has more than 60 buttons on one side, including a button for Samsung's Smart Hub - a menu where you can access things like Facebook, Pandora, Skype, and Web video services.
While the official Samsung photo doesn't show it, unofficial images posted elsewhere show that remote flips over to reveal TV volume and channel buttons. Samsung showed off the remote in the US recently as part of the launch of its 2011 Smart TV products. There's been no official announcements about the Qwerty remote in Australia, though we're attending Samsung's media launch next month so we'll be able to tell you once we've been to the launch. Logitech has been popularising over the top remotes for years, but with the arrival of TVs with built-in Internet connectivity, the humble remote is getting increasingly elaborate, including: Tablet remotes - Both Panasonic and Samsung showed off touchscreen tablets earlier this year that function as TV remotes.
Built-in TV in your remote - Last year Samsung showed off a remote with a tiny 2nd TV screen embedded in the remote. It's possible to watch another channel on the remote and another on the big screen. Why? We're still not sure.
The universal remote with programmable buttons - Logitech has been making universal remotes for years, which are capable of controlling literally thousands of different devices. Android phones: a freely downloadable app turns Android phones (and iPhones) into wireless controllers for the Sonos multi-room music system iPad remote: it's gigantic, but if you've already got one sitting on your coffee table it's capable of doing double duty as a remote for devices like Google TV (not yet available in Australia), with a recently released downloadable app. Finally, there's LG's Magic Motion Remote Control, which lets you control the entertainment by waving the controller in the air. Not convinced? Watch this overseas LG Smart TV promotional video.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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