ASUS Home Theater Gate
ASUS Home Theater Gate is a sleek GUI for browsing the computer for media files and run them with the associated players. Its full functionality is fully revealed in combination with a compatible motherboard and remote control.
Shiny looks, high usability
The media center design flaunts large and nicely polished icons and ensures a clear view of all the options even from greater distances.
A simple menu enables you to browse for all types of media files, from audio and video to images and there is also the possibility to connect to various online radio stations.
Navigating through the system in search of the desired items is not difficult but somewhat cumbersome by the lack of an option that allows jumping quickly from one location to another.
Other than this, there are options for selecting all the items in a folder and adding them to a list of favorites.
Supported media utilities and configuration
Since the application does not have media playing capabilities, this task is outsourced to a list of supported programs. Regular video and music is deployed with the associated program, but in the case of Blu-ray content the list is less extensive.
However, there is support for media players with support for this type of media, such as PowerDVD, WinDVD or TotalMedia Theatre.
Setting up the application is a simple job because there is little to configure. Apart from defining the default locations for media items, making Blu-ray settings and viewing the favorite music there is little left to tinker with.
However, if the motherboard supports it, there is the possibility to enable the tranquil mode, a special feature designed to decrease the noise made by CPU fans.
ASUS Home Theater Gate looks great but there is more to a media center utility than just a pretty interface. However, it should come in handy in a setup with supported devices.