The Navigator is a small device. It is square with rounded corners and only about 3.25 inches on a side. The top is slightly concave; GlideTV has chosen to make the arrangement of the buttons on the diagonal axis. This puts the controls within easy reach of your thumb. The center is a touch pad that can be depressed to act like the left click on a mouse.
The ring around that touchpad is segmented; each segment acts like a soft button depending on where you are in the GlideTV software [or even what software you are in]. Although the images here are actually upside down [the GlideTV button is usually at the top] you still get a good feel for the layout with the touchpad in as the center of action. The GlideTV button at the top will take you to the software or back to the GlideTV screen if you are in another application like Windows Media Center.
Below the GlideTV button are the volume buttons [up, down and mute]. Below the touch pad are the media controls; forward, back, pause/play. On the left is a power button that can put your system to sleep [if you have that enabled]. The right has a search button that allows in application searches or contextual searches when inside the GlideTV software.
The lower half of the Navigator is rounded in order to fit comfortably in your hand. On the bottom are four pins to allow the internal rechargeable battery to connect with the charging base. This can be connected to your HTPC
or directly to the wall and can keep the Navigator charged when it is not in use.
The GlideTV software is a Java based software
[which helps with the platform independence] and combines the myriad internet based media systems as well as local media software into a single interface designed to run a 1080p resolution. This give you an excellent starting point for running the PC on your TV as complete media center.
When you first enter the software you are greeted by a fairly cleanly laid out menu system. On the left is the exit button [which looks pretty large here] as well as the GlideTV logo and name. On the right are your menu options starting off with My Shortcuts.
My Shortcuts is a simple page that lets you add the things you want to have available quickly [like Netflix, Hulu, Media Center, Cyberlink PowerDVD, etc. But that is not the coolest part of the software. As we mentioned GlideTV is sort of a media aggregator. In other words it is able to show you present a graphical display of almost everything that is available to view over the internet. You can reach this by clicking on the "What’s on"
Once you open this up you are actually in the GlideTV browser. It quickly searches [Well the GlideTV servers search] many of the popular online streaming and download media sites and shows you an image of the movie, TV show, etc. along with the title. You can narrow down your search by choosing one of the five media types [Movies, TV, Music, News, Sports] you can also narrow things down further by only searching for free media.
Each image can be clicked on to get a description and also to see where it is available. As you can see with Robin Hood, you can watch it on iTunes [in HD] or Amazon as a streaming media file [Rent or Buy]. Looking at LOST, you can see there is a separation, out of the 120 Episodes - "only" 102 are available for free.
The Browse and search buttons are self fairly self-explanatory. The browser acts like a typical web browser you can browse any website you like. You can also open multiple tabs; these tabs can be viewed in a windowed mode so you can visually find them when you have multiple sites open [Like ya do].
The browser can also be configured to your tastes with some fairly decent options.
Next up on the list is the Websites button. Here you have a listing of most of the major Internet streaming media providers. Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, TV.com - even Pandora is avalible here. Clicking on these takes you back to the GlideTv browser and opens that particular site. I do wish there was a way to add one to this list though. But we have been told that this listing will increase as the software gets updated. You can also right click on any of these and add them to the shortcuts page.
Just below that is the Apps listing. Clicking this button will open up a listing of the currently install applications that GlideTV can interact with. As you can see GlideTV can open Media Center from right inside. You can also exit or minimize media center to return to GlideTV at any time. The Navigator also works inside Media Center [with a few missing buttons and without the direct channel access. As with the Websites you can also right click any of these and set them as a shortcut.
The last stop on our list is the Settings button. Here you have [you guessed it] all the settings for GlideTV. Most of the settings are very easy to understand. Some of them were unexpected but very cool though. [Like being able to launch the on screen keyboard inside FireFox].
Over all the GlideTV software is very nice and actually does look good on a 1080p TV. GlideTV still has some work to do on the interface [it can still be cleaned up a little] but so far the application is excellent.
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