The 10-foot interface has always been a challenge for couch potatoes performing computer-like activities on their TVs. Using a conventional remote to navigate a cursor through the matrix of an onscreen keyboard, selecting one character at a time, required too much effort. But stowing a wireless keyboard on the coffee table seemed like an intrusion from the workplace in a room meant for pleasure.
D-Link’s solution is a two-sided remote about the size of a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (without almonds). One side has all the simplicity of a seven-button remote; the other is a full QWERTY keypad. The DM-22 Boxee Box Wireless Remote Control (5.7 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches) is designed for use with the D-Link Boxee Box digital media player.
The odd-leaning Boxee Box lets you stream entertainment from the Internet or your networked computer to your HDTV via the box’s built-in Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity. The versatile box even has an SD card slot and two USB inputs so you can enjoy photo slide shows (videos and music, too) directly from a memory card or USB storage device at times when streaming from a computer or an online service like Flickr won’t do.
Conveniently, D-Link’s innovative remote is included in the box with Boxee, so the justifiable reasons to purchase the DM-22 as an accessory would be if you lose or break it or just want a spare.
Meanwhile, Boxee users now have more ways to entertain themselves. Mog has joined Boxee’s App Library to offer instant streaming of more than 11 million songs—all in audiophile quality of 320 kilobits per second. Besides its on-demand music offering, Mog provides Web radio channels based on artists and songs you prefer. Boxee users get a 14-day trial for signing up. The Mog premium service starts at $4.99 per month.
Another music service, Grooveshark, was launched on Boxee in mid-August. The app lets users create a personal music library from Grooveshark’s massive database.
Sports mavens can rejoice, too. Fans of the South Eastern Conference this September saw the release of the SEC app loaded with basketball, baseball, football and volleyball videos.
And, if you own an iPad, there’s now a free Boxee app for your tablet. Boxee for iPad brings all of Boxee’s social features (Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr) to your iPad, lets you queue videos for later viewing, stream videos to your iPad over Wi-Fi from your PC or Mac and send iPad videos to your TV via a Boxee Box.