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New Remote Controls Computer Media

A computer already has much of the functionality of a home-theater system. Now it can benefit from one of the most common home-theater accessories: the remote control.

Keyspan’s Digital Media Remote, or DMR, a $79 accessory shipping now to retailers, allows computer users to control the multimedia applications and systems running on their Windows and Macintosh desktop and portable computers. This includes DVD, CD, MP3 and QuickTime Players, as well as presentation programs such as PowerPoint.

“DVD, QuickTime and MP3 are becoming standard elements of today’s personal computing experience,” said Mike Ridenhour, Keyspan’s president. “The Digital Media Remote is a perfect compliment.”

The remote consists of two components: a 15-key infrared remote and an infrared receiver unit that connects to the USB port on a Windows or Macintosh computer. The receiver unit can sit either on a table top or on the side of a portable machine. The DMR comes with “key maps” for controlling QuickTime, RealPlayer, WinAMP, leading brands of DVD players and several presentation applications. A default key map can be modified to work with any devices or applications that don’t have a predefined map. Also, new maps may be downloaded from Keyspan’s web site at