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Remote control for Windows 10


yardameus
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yardameus

Hey everyone.  Just looking for expertise from other out there.  Until now I have been using an old iphone and Hipporemote as a remote control for using Emby (theater and classic) and Kodi.  Now that I've upgraded to Windows 10 on a couple computers, and the iphone is getting older (starting to notice battery is swelling and not holding charge very long).  I was looking to get a more standard home theater remote control and was wondering about what is a good choice.  I know that I can probably use a logitech harmony, but I was curious if there were cheaper alternatives (don't need all the bells and whistles)??

 

Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance.

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jasonmcroy

I am not sure what direction you want to go with this, but I use a simple Flirc dongle that I ordered about 2 years ago and it works great for me. It just emulates keyboard buttons and shortcuts that you can easily set up within the program itself. I currently use a Harmony 650 remote but prior to that I used a simple universal remote that could separately control my TV, Receiver and the programs within Windows 10. It works great for me. 

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yardameus

I'm probably a bit in between using this and the expensive harmony remote.  This option is not beyond my capabilities, but I would like to find a little more user friendly option if possible.

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ebr

I made the move to the new Harmony hub with the simple remote about a year ago and it is so much better than those other huge, clunky things with tons of buttons or touch screens.

 

The remote is very small and comfortable in the hand and actually has most every button even an htpc app would need.

 

Of course, lately, I've been using the Fire or NP remote mostly which is even smaller with fewer buttons.

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mellomade

The trouble I've always had with remotes is that you often don't just want to control the HTPC - you might also need control over an AVR and a TV as well.  My living room has a Kodi box, a Roku box, an Apple TV and a surround AVR to switch between multiple HDMI inputs before routing to the TV.  I used to use the Harmony but they still use IR for the hub - which compared to serial and IP control is the most unreliable of the bunch.  With newer IP controlled devices the feedback provided to the device allows macro commands to be very reliable.

 

FWIW - I have stuck with the iOS device using Roomie Remote.  It has been the most robust and feature rich remote control I have ever found.  The activity functions allow you to program a single button that will, for example, power on your TV and AVR plus launch the Netflix app on the Roku while simultaneously making sure your AVR is on the correct HDMI input.  Another button could switch into the Movies section of Kodi while making sure you are on the correct inputs for your setup.  Device feedback ensures that command automation executes reliably and quickly.  It also has a Media Guide that can display/launch playback of the contents of your Movie and TV library from Kodi within the app - and it will even open web pages from within the app so you don't have to exit.  I've been experimenting with the Emby web client from with the app and it works well.

 

I know you said you wanted to move away from iOS - but you might want to check this out before you do.  I haven't found a better remote control.

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  • 2 months later...

I use a Harmony One with an older Microsoft IR receiver.  Works great.  

 

Hi Logos302,

 

I just did a clean install of my HTPC with Windows 10 and Emby Theater (I have Emby Server running on Windows Server 2011). I have a Harmony One remote and a TSDX-IR14 USB receiver. Installed the Logitech MyHarmony desktop app and am having trouble choosing the correct Manufacturer / Model to get things working properly. I eventually landed on "Microsoft / Media Player TSDX-IR07" but with mixed results. Can you share your settings? BTW, not using any TV functions, just movies, music, and photos.

 

Best,

Jay

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Tried that and came up with this:

 

 

564bfbb7cc5b7_Capture.png

 

My case is an Antec Fusion Remote Black with the dreaded iMON IR software and ridiculously bright LCD display (which I covered in electrical tape 6 years ago). I bought a generic USB IR receiver but can't find a match for it under "manufacturer" as it was probably a Foxconn unit sold under 20 different brand names.

Edited by 888Jay
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Cerothen

Like @@ebr I also transitioned to the Harmony Home Control Hub. In order to control the home PC I went to amazon and bought these http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0050PUGZE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

so that I could get the IR dongle, I then registered it as a windows media remote in harmony and it has been working just fine ever since.

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I'm just configured it as a media center remote (It's an option)  course now that I'm using kodi I've kinda added another options a microsoft keyboard as well

 

I took your advice and used the media center setting (ignoring the warning) and, after some tweaks to the power buttons, it's working great.

 

One more question: Is there a key combination that can be mapped (to menu, for instance) that will return Emby Theater to its initial start up screen? After finishing a movie would like to go back to that. I use ESCAPE from a keyboard but that doesn't appear to be among the available Harmony commands.

 

Thanks again for your assistance.

Jay

Edited by 888Jay
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Logos302

I don't use Emby Theater so I don't know what key combo would do this, sorry.  I'm hoping to use it once the new version it release, currently use Emby for kodi and I'm not a fan, but the current emy theater just isn't working very well for me.  

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Luke

the new emby theater out of the box will implement most of the windows media center keyboard shortcuts that are documented by microsoft:

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/media-center-keyboard-shortcuts#1TC=windows-7

 

it will also support out of the box some special media keys that are found on various remotes and keyboards. out of the box it will also support gamepads, but whether we'll automatically choose the buttons you're desiring for OK and Cancel will probably be hit or miss, and won't likely won't be perfected until we have onscreen configuration for it.

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danielpugh

I have harmony hub and ultimate remote. Personally prefer physical button remote as easier in the dark and phones run out of batteries.

 

It controls the TV, av receiver and htpc. The software isn't perfect but good enough. The keyboard accessory has never worked properly though.

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the new emby theater out of the box will implement most of the windows media center keyboard shortcuts that are documented by microsoft:

 

Thanks for that. It's been many years since I've had to program my Harmony One and I forgot all about adding the MCE Keyboard. It also occurred to me that I made a mistake on my initial attempt by choosing "Windows Media Center" as the device instead of "Windows Media Center SE" which gives the full set of available commands.

 

I mapped:

Exit = Alt+F4

Menu = Win+2 (second item on my taskbar)

 

Now I can exit and restart Emby Theater if needed.

 

Also mapped:

Guide = backspace

Info = i

 

It's all working pretty slick right now! Can't find any way to toggle subtitles on/off with a single button but can get to them through the Info screen.

Edited by 888Jay
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the new emby theater out of the box will implement most of the windows media center keyboard shortcuts that are documented by microsoft:

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/media-center-keyboard-shortcuts#1TC=windows-7

 

it will also support out of the box some special media keys that are found on various remotes and keyboards. out of the box it will also support gamepads, but whether we'll automatically choose the buttons you're desiring for OK and Cancel will probably be hit or miss, and won't likely won't be perfected until we have onscreen configuration for it.

 

Sounds good. Really do need a way of configuring it. E.g. some remotes like the Mele F10 Deluxe I just bought to try, sends the Media Skip and Previous key presses and the Home key for the Home button. ATM that skips forward and back 5 min in Emby Theater. No good... (And seems like a pain to intercept with a 3rd party tool and remap.) [side note the Mele F10 seems to learn IR commands fine, but it's not sending them for my TV and receiver.]

 

Perhaps even just a config file like Kodi uses - wouldn't be a horrible idea if it was compatible with their XML files.

 

I bought a pulse 8 CEC adapter too. Works OK with their tray app, but PITA, built in support would be much better.

(Spent about half an hour trying to get the transport keys (play/pause etc) on my Panasonic IR TV remote to pass through via CEC with no luck. Managed to map enough controls to other buttons though. TV remote is still IR though.)

 

I'm amazed there still really doesn't seem to be a nice remote solution available. Seems like the ideal at the moment would be a good RF TV remote, that you can use CEC to control Emby Theater, and the receiver if you have one.

 

Gamepad support would be nice. Could make an OK controller - wireless and enough buttons. Pretty much just need to support Xbox controller others basically emulate that. But next would be PS3 and Steam Controller.

 

~

 

You'd mentioned simplifying keys and just needed DPAD, OK/Enter, and Back. Assume that means while playing media you could  do something like using OK to play/pause, left/right to skip forward/back and up/down for volume. These buttons may as well be useful...

(Asides from those: mute, options/context and maybe a home button would be useful.)

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  • 6 months later...
jonselin

@@888Jay @@ebr @@Cerothen I must be missing something- I got this remote https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DDN1SHK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (same as cerothen I think), I can use the remote it comes with but when I try to get it to work with Harmony I can't get it to react at all. I've tried adding:

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Device: Windows Media Center SE

 

and

 

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Device: Windows Media Remote

 

But when I send commands (from harmony phone app or harmony remote) nothing happens at all, is there some other calibration step that needs to be done?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Cerothen

@@888Jay @@ebr @@Cerothen I must be missing something- I got this remote https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DDN1SHK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (same as cerothen I think), I can use the remote it comes with but when I try to get it to work with Harmony I can't get it to react at all. I've tried adding:

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Device: Windows Media Center SE

 

and

 

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Device: Windows Media Remote

 

But when I send commands (from harmony phone app or harmony remote) nothing happens at all, is there some other calibration step that needs to be done?

 

Sorry for the delay. I am pretty sure I used the IR learning functions on Harmony to teach the harmony remote all the commands I wanted to use from the original remote. It takes a few mins and that way you don't need to buy a more expensive IR receiver like the flirc. Since setting it up for each TV room its been a set and forget type setup and I haven't needed to think twice about it since.

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  • 11 months later...

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