I can't imagine how a small remote control can handle all functions from that box (if it could exist).
I have a harmony remote that controls all the gear in my living room, so a single device should theoretically be easier to control. With proper planning, all you really need is power, a volume control, and the four way up/down/left/right/select pad. Maybe a menu button and/or a mode selector. Those are all I typically use now on a much more complicated system.
I almost forgot about the "standalone" navigation.
Yeah, my car stereo and portable MP3 players have no problem with this using the standard left/right for folder selection and up/down for track selection. I don't know why home players find it so difficult.
It sounds like it only accepts a single, external drive...so storage will be limited. Let's say you could even live with like an external 2T drive or something; file support is extremely stifling (mp3 and DivX??)
My needs are nothing so grand.
I convert our music to MP3 anyway to maintain compatibility with various devices (portable MP3 players, car stereos, etc.), so that's not a limit in my case.
We rarely watch TV in the bedroom anyway, so I would only be accessing a few music videos and whatnot. I have no problem converting them to a single format as long as the player supported that format well.
my advice is to simply go small, with 2 boxes.
Yep, that's what I've done for now. The Yamaha is tiny (maybe 5" high x 9" wide) and works fine for playing CD's and DVD movies. It sounds nice too, not like a cheap boom box. My old Tvix M6500 sits next to that for watching music videos and other miscellaneous shows.
As I mentioned, neither really gets much use, other than playing CD's at bed time. This setup works fine, I was just hoping something newer and better had come along in the last year.