The present invention relates to a tethered digital butler consumer electronics product and method. The tethered digital butler, of a price and form factor suitable for consumer electronics markets of developed and developing countries, includes a communications and multi-media console and a wireless remote. The remote may resemble a handheld personal computer (HPC), a palm-held personal computer (PPC or PDA) or a smart phone, but has a low cost and feature set supported by the console that is novel in the consumer electronics market. In particular, this disclosure relates to combining telephone service, device control and, optionally, a fingerprint reader for easy user identification/authorization and personalization. As another option, a camera can be incorporated into the remote, thereby enabling video conferencing and other visual features. Alternatively, the remote may be packaged separately from a console and sold to interact with capabilities of a communications and console, set-top box, multi-media PC or other consumer electronics device from a different source, such as one running on a Windows, OS X or Linux platform, with or without telephone capabilities. The remote may include a media reader and remote USB port.