The Remote

Another very important aspect of these cards that are designed to do much more than just play games is controlling the multimedia features of the card.  NVIDIA was the first to pioneer a remote with their Personal Cinema but one drawback to NVIDIA's remote is that it transmits signals to its receiver via infrared light.  While we had no problems sittings a few feet away from the unit, the remote's IR limitations are made evident as soon as you lose line of sight with the receiver.  This eliminates the ability to hide a computer behind your TV in the style of a true home theater PC. 

The remote for the AIW Radeon 8500DV has been in development for approximately 9 months and the first thing you'll notice about it is that it transmits data to its receiver using radio frequencies.  The RF transmitter does not require line-of-sight in order to transmit data, meaning that the receiver can be behind a TV, in a cabinet or even in another room.  ATI claims that the remote has a range of 30 – 50 feet depending on the obstructions between the remote and its receiver.  We tested this theory by controlling the AIW Radeon 8500DV from a room approximately 40 feet away from the receiver without any problems. 

The receiver itself is a USB receiver separate from the breakout box, meaning that it could work with just about anything not only the AIW Radeon 8500DV. 

The remote is noticeably larger than the remote for NVIDIA's Personal Cinema but is by no means abnormally large.  The remote has a great look and feel to it, our only complaint was that the big blue directional pad was perfectly flat and needed to have a bit of an indentation so one could easily rest their thumb on it. 

The red power button actually acts as a close button, closing any active window on the screen.  The first row of buttons will launch the various applications contained within ATI's new Multimedia Center 7.5 that will ship with the card.  The directional pad can be used to move your mouse pointer around, and to the left and right of it you'll see left and right mouse buttons.  The rest of the keys are pretty self explanatory; they include menu controls, a button to make the video window full screen and the usual playback controls among others.  This remote isn't final but it's pretty close to it so there may be some changes between now and when the card is actually available in stores.

The new breakout box It's the software that makes the card

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