If you are in the market for an Android TV dongle, then you will no doubt need a remote control to interact with your now-smart TV. The question is, what kind of remote will work best for your situation?
Pre-Packaged Android TV Remote Controller
Most HDMI and USB TV dongle packages come with their own remote controllers, making these the go-to solutions for working with an Android media dongle. These look a lot like your standard TV remote – rectangular blocks with various buttons for you to fiddle around with.
This is a simple solution that gets the job done, although manipulating the Android media interface can be quite cumbersome. This is especially true when inputting text and numbers, which involves a lot of tricky button pressing. Stick to this solution if you want to keep costs down and are willing to bear with a somewhat cumbersome input.
Android-Based Remote Apps
Many a dongle has an app for Android smartphones and tablets. All you need to do is install the right app and presto, your nifty little tablet or smartphone is now a TV remote! The virtual keyboard of the phone also makes inputting text a lot easier, which solves another major headache. You can even install apps that let a TV streaming dongle send video to your Android device.
The downside to using these devices, however, is that you will often need wireless Internet access for the setup to work. You also need to be extra careful when using your smartphone or tablet as a remote control. Dropping and cracking a twenty or thirty-dollar remote is nothing compared to dropping and cracking a device worth a few hundred dollars.
Specialized Android TV Remote Controllers
There are remote controllers out there that are specifically designed to work smoothly with the average dongle. These come with their own keypads for typing in text, Bluetooth systems to connect without Internet access, and miniature touch screens (or pads) to select larger tiles on the computer screen with pinpoint accuracy.
Needless to say you will have to put a little more money into these dedicated Android TV controllers, but the resulting bump in ergonomics will make the purchase well worth it. This is the option for those that are willing to invest in a solid and reliable control system to go along with their Android TV dongle.
Voice and Gesture Controllers
Major tech companies like Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and Google are pushing voice and gesture-based technology into the average home. There are already a few examples of smart TVs that you can manipulate using voice commands and hand gestures. It will only take a little time for that technology to become available for the average Android TV dongle setup.
Such technology is not yet mature enough to be useful for today’s consumer; however, if the problems with reliability and ease of use are overcome, then voice and gesture will be an excellent – if somewhat pricey – method of manipulating the user interface of the average Android TV device.
Keep these in mind and you will be able to find the perfect control setup to go along with your Android TV dongle!