The Gyration Media Center PC Universal Remote Control and Compact Keyboard Suite is a mouthful of a product name. Fortunately, nearly everything else about it is easy. We're still not in love with the idea of bringing a keyboard into the living room, but until we find a better alternative, this $200 combination set of a motion-sensitive remote control and a compact keyboard is the best we've seen for taking full control of your home theater PC.
The highlight of Gyration's new set is the Media Center Remote Control. At 8.75 inches long, it's roughly as long as a typical remote control, although it's thicker toward the bottom to accommodate its built-in gyroscope. That gyroscope drives the motion sensitivity, the key feature that makes it easy to forgive the remote's extra thickness.
Installing the Gyration remote control is as easy as plugging the radio frequency USB receiver dongle into your PC and pressing each connect button, one on the dongle and one on the remote itself. You don't need to install any software, which makes it simple to swap the remote between different PCs. You can also remove the dongle and plug it back in later, and it will remember the components you've matched it with.
In addition to the standard remote-control functions such as changing channels, controlling tracks, and adjusting the volume, the Gyration remote also lets you drive the mouse cursor around the screen through motion tracking. If you've tried the Nintendo Wii's controller, the effect is very similar.
We tried moving the cursor with the remote with multiple screen resolutions and we found that up to and including 1080p (1,920x1,080), the mapping worked just fine. We were able to move the cursor diagonally across the whole screen with one mild arm motion. And because the cursor ties into Windows default mouse control software, it's easy to increase or decrease the responsiveness, depending on your preferences.