At around £30 it’s relatively inexpensive, which is just as well as it’s not worth building a Media Center PC without one. I’ve taken some close-up photos below to give a good idea of how the remote looks, including a couple shot in the dark showing the illuminated buttons…
The remote pack includes the remote itself, the USB receiver, 2 x stick-on emitters, 2 x AA Cells and a small printed manual.
The remote feels a decent weight once the batteries are installed, its nicely balanced and is a little similar to a TiVo remote. The most used buttons (the cursor arrows and the OK button) fall easily within thumb range. The unique “Green Button” is also comparable to the TiVo button in that it always takes you back to the main screen.
The receiver also acts as the hub into which you plug in the included mini IR emitters. These allow MCE to control external devices such as a Sky satellite tuner. There’s a generous cable length on the receiver allowing you to site it up to 4 metres away from the USB socket.
Anyone that is already using TiVo or an IR distribution system like Xantech or Buffalo will be familiar with the little stick on IR emitter design.
The transport and control buttons light up when the remote is used. This makes it ideal for use in a dark home cinema environment, without going to the expense of a backlit LCD.
The MCE user interface has been created so that the simple up, down, left, right and OK buttons can be used to do almost anything. Other special buttons like the “i”nfo one allow you to access addition features that would normally be access with a right click of a mouse.
View the MCE Remote Manual (PDF) : Windows Media Center Community