What type of set up do you have now, and what are you using to control it? Is you wife comfortable with your current setup?
IMHO the best way to control an HTPC is with a Pronto, using Girder and an IRMan. This gives you the most flexibility and control, and if you work at it you can get the interface to the point where it's just as easy to use as a traditional non-HTPC home theater.
The only downside is that creating custom UI's in Pronto and writing macros in Girder can be quite a bit of work. Fortunately, for popular applications you can probably find existing GXR's and CCF's that people have already done, which you should be able to use with little or no modification.
To get an idea of what I'm talking about, you could take a look at the AccessDTV interface available in the software section of my web page. I've also done a complete interface for the upcoming TheaterTek DVD player, which will be available shortly.
I have WinDVD set on autoplay. My wife and kids insert the DVD and use the mouse right next to the PC to select audio and start the movie. Pretty simple and takes a few seconds only. Not really much different from navigating the initial DVD menu with a remote on a standard player.
This approach does not lend itself to multiple remote interactions, but we usually watch straight through anyway.
I have never learned how to master Girder and programm my Marantz learning remote (have to do this one day ), so I'm going an easy way: RF controlled trackball mouse sitting on the table next to my right hand.
If you want the easy setup with high WAF (wife acceptance factor), load only the minimum software and use TheterTek player. If you need a custom resolution, load Powerstrip 3 and set this resolution as a video card's default. Set the PS3 to lad automatically and apply the custom res upon startup. Then install the TT player and you are set.
When the HTPC is booted up the PS3 will start and apply resolution settings. Then, when you insert a DVD, the TT player will start automatically. All the features are accessible via the mouse control (well, almost all, but chances are that if you set the TT player correctly, you won't need to use the features that are accessible from the keyboard) and the DVD navigation will be a breeze.
I use a combination of Girder, IRman and Talisman to create an easy to use interface. Girder and IRman along with a learning remote serve for control whilst Talisman lets me create a nice non-PC looking visual interface to replace the Windows desktop. My receiver came with the learning remote and it already had buttons for CD, DVD, etc so I just mapped just buttons to Girder and the associated apps (MusicMatch, PowerDVD, ATI TV, etc). I can control the whole htpc from the remote without touching keyboard or mouse.
In a testament to the success of my efforts, my girlfriend has said that my system is really easy to use. She uses it all the time. In fact when she went over to her sister's house once she couldn't get the DVD player to work (they have a non-HTPC setup) and said "why don't you just get a system like Lester's, it's so much easier to use!".
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