With the exception of Netflix and YouTube, many online video providers aren't natively available on set-top boxes or game consoles--Hulu being the most notable example. That's led many online video junkies to go with the most direct workaround: connecting their PCs directly to their big-screen TVs. Generally, it works like a charm--but requires a big keyboard and mouse to sit on the coffee table for navigation duties.
It's that niche--the living room input device--that the new GlideTV Navigator is designed to fill. The wireless pointing device is a disembodied touch pad flanked by a handful of backlit buttons, including volume and playback controls, as well as dedicated Enter, Back, and Escape keys. The $149 package includes a charging cradle and a USB receiver. While the Navigator is compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, and the PS3, GlideTV's onscreen keyboard application will only be available for Windows.
According to GlideTV, the Navigator is designed to offer an ergonomic alternative to navigating such mediacentric applications as "Windows Media Center, Apple iTunes, Boxee, Apple Front Row, SageTV, Firefox, and any Web browser." We'll be reviewing it later this month, at which time we hope to compare it with other alternative input devices, such as gyroscopic mice and the Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard.