After nearly five years of service from my Hauppauge WinTV remote control, I decided the pathetically buggy device was enough, and decided to look at alternative ways of remote controlling my PC.
Ever since I moved away from Windows 98, my WinTV card has never worked properly. Through the various reformats and system upgrades, I’ve gone from randomly losing the picture, to losing sound, to having my infra-red remote control freeze. Hauppauge’s support department is useless and the help forums aren’t much good either.
There’s quite a few devices around, varying hugely in price. Eventually, I decided on the StreamZap PC Remote, which was one of the cheapest I found that would meet my [simple] need of controlling my TV card.
At Â£20.00 from Linitx.com, it’s one of the more low-end devices around, though it does do exactly what it says on the box.
Within minutes of opening the box, I had the device up and running. Simply plug into the USB port, install the software, and voila! It has support built in for a whole host of applications like WinTV, Winamp, Windows Media Player, etc.
It only has 4 programmable macro buttons, which isn’t great for people requiring more automation, though it’s fine for simply WinTV, Winamp use. Fortunately, it’s also supported by Girder ($20) which can allow for more advanced customisation for people who need it.
Overall, I’m pleased with the device. I can finally watch TV without worrying that my remote control is gonna freeze up (and using a cordless keyboard as a remote control is just a pain in the butt)