How you control your Mac Mini MC from your Couch is different from when your using a regular computer and over the last few years there are numerous new devices with exactly that in mind. Because of the wide variety of solutions available you really can add some polish to your Media Center setup. Below are some tried and true methods of controlling your Media Center that we highly recommend because we have programmed all the buttons and keyboards beforehand for you.

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Remotes

TechnologyInfraredWhat is Infrared? Infrared (IR) signifies a range of the light spectrum that’s invisible to the human eye. Products using IR technology use light in the IR range as carrier medium.

Usage: As the IR technology essentially just uses light, it can’t be used through walls. A direct line of sight needs to exist between IR remotes and their targeted IR receivers. The maximum possible distance between receiver and remote depends on the strength of the signal and the quality of the receiver and is usually a few meters.

Notes: Exposure of IR receivers to sunlight (which also includes light in the IR range) and heat (which essentially is just another, more popular word for IR light) can have a negative impact on the reception of the IR signal and should be avoided. Did you know digital camera’s can see Infrared (IR)? To test a possible flat or faulty remote use your iPhone, iPad or digital camera by pointing the Remote at the camera, pressing the button not working and looking at the digital camera screen you should see a light

Apple Remote, a remote anyone can operate.
There is no better way to be thoroughly entertained by using such a simple control, the iPod styled Remote control feel natural as using an iPod.

Apple® Remote (Aluminum):HardwareAluminumAppleRemote The new Apple® Remote has an elegant and very slim aluminum enclosure. Compared to its predecessor, it features an improved, ergonomic design and an additional button. The remote supports low battery detection and sends its ID (in the range of 0-255) along with every button press. This ID can be used for pairing with most receivers that support the Apple® Remote. We offer a free attached lanyard and additional functionality for multiple Apple® Remotes when used with our Geneicommands solution.

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Apple® Remote (white): The white Apple® Remote is ergonomically designed and a pleasure to use. It supports low battery detection and sends its ID (in the range of 0-255) along with every button press. This ID can be used for pairing with most receivers that support the Apple® Remote. Remote Buddy offers additional functionality for multiple Apple® Remotes when used with the Apple® Built-In IR Receiver. The white Apple® Remote has been discontinued in late 2009. It was superseded by the new aluminum Apple® Remote.

 

Ajax App Free for iPad, iPhone, iPodajaxremoteui_launcher
Use your iPhone, iPod as keyboard, mouse and remote. The Launcher provides quick access to all modules of Remote Buddy’s AJAX Remote (see Picture). Control Remote Buddy with virtual buttons and touch gestures, emulates White or Silver Apple Remote.

Mouse control: reposition the mouse cursor, perform left & right clicks and channel your audience’s attention by highlighting a part of your screen with a nice spotlight effect.

Keyboard: enter a text and type it on your Mac via its virtual keyboard.
Stream media from your local iTunes Library.
** Network Requirements and system requirements for using the AJAX Remote.

 

Apple Bluetooth Keyboard & Trackpad Combo
KetDockTrackIf you are going through all the trouble of making your Mac the hub of all your media, it only makes sense that you would want to continue that theme with the Apple bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. Hengedocks Clique is a frame which allows you to keep the Apple Wireless keyboard and the Apple Magic Trackpad together in one stylish unit.

 

diNovoMini_SmallLogitech diNovo Mini
To me, this is the best keyboard and mouse combination for the simple fact that it looks like neither and does the job of both incredibly well. Coming in at slightly larger than an iPhone, this Bluetooth device features a reasonably full keyboard as well as a trackpad that works very well with just your thumb. Best of all, it’s clamshell design means that when it isn’t in use it is unobtrusive and doesn’t scream “there is a computer somewhere in the room!” It also features two large ‘page up’ & ‘page down’ buttons which are useful when browsing the web. The battery life (which is rechargable) is outstanding, and frequently lasts for days without a recharge.

 

Screen Sharing, Using another Mac
Built into OSX is the ability to take control of any other Apple Computer on your network that has been enabled to do so. While it might seem slightly extravagant to use one computer to control another, it actually has serious benefits. The only down side of this is it does not transfer audio.

One of the main reasons why Screen Sharing works well is because it is as if you are working on the very computer that you are controlling. The screen is in front of you and you have a full keyboard & mouse. Also, assuming your Media Center computer is in Living Room, you could access it and move files around without having to physically be in the same room.

How to Enable Screen Sharing on your Media Center Computer:
1. On your Media Center Computer, go to the Apple Menu and select System Preferences. 
2. Select ‘Sharing’ from the ‘Internet & Wireless’ section.
 3. Click the checkbox for ‘Screen Sharing’ so that it is ON.

How to Access your Media Center Computer from Another Computer:
1. Make sure that you are on the same Wi-Fi network as the Media Center Computer.
 2. While in the ‘Finder,’ click the ‘Go’ menu and then select ‘Computer.’ A window should opened up. 
3. On the left side of that window in the side bar under ‘Shared,’ you should see your Media Center Computer.
 4. Select your computer (single click). On the right side of the window you should see a ‘Share Screen’ button.
 5. Click the ‘Share Screen’ button and be prepared to enter the Login/Password for the Media Center Computer.
 6. That should be it!

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