Many people are using the XBMC software to control their HTPC (home-theatre PC) for entertainment and so on, and an interesting controller for these systems has been demonstrated by Andrej Rolih. As he was tired of pressing the pause button to force an elapsed time display, Andrej instead built a controller that displays this information and offers other controls in a neat, Arduino-controlled package:
It relies on an inexpensive serial to USB cable, and some extra code to run on the host PC - however it's the base for an inexpensive and professional control system. For details and discussion, visit the Arduino forum and Andrej's github page. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+ - so follow us for news and product updates as well.
For your own projects that require user input and an LCD - save time and move forward with the Freetronics LCD & Keypad shield which contains a bright 16x2 character LCD and five buttons that can be read from only one analog input pin: