Windows 7 Media Center Remote Control Recommendations? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am putting together a Windows 7 Media Center PC. I was looking for recommendations on the best wireless remote to control this system. Are there any Windows 7 certified remotes out on the market yet? If not, should I wait until there are, or has anyone had success with existing remotes and Windows 7? I have the RTM version of Windows 7 Pro, but I imagine that if a remote is compatible with the RC version of Windows 7 it should be OK with the RTM version. Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 09:26 AM
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my 4 year old mce 2005 remotes and receivers work perfectly with windows 7. any of the microsoft ones should just work.
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post #3 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 10:08 AM
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If you are happy to have some Apple in your life then there are several good remote control apps for iPhone/iPod Touch. One of the great features is that you can use the iPhone's keyboard for text input, obviating the need for a separate keyboard in the living room. You can also get dedicated apps for Squeebox server/client and no doubt most other things you'd want to control making it a true universal remote.
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post #4 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 10:51 AM
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Any media center remote will work just fine. Actually, you don't really even need the remote, just the USB IR receiver. I use mine with my Harmony Remote 880 and it works just fine.
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post #5 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 10:54 AM
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IR221 (Origenae) can be mounted internally, a less-cluttered option than another box with a usb cord. And it can power on/off the PC.

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post #6 of 55 Old 09-01-2009, 10:57 AM
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Frankly THE most functional, easy to setup and chaepest remote/IR receiver you can get is by Adesso
http://www.adesso.com/products_detail.asp?productid=366
It's about $25 shipped, comes with a MOUSE PAD AND MOUSE BUTTONS!!!, and requires NO drivers.

I spent a year or so using a IR receiver with my Harmony remote, but sometimes you just need that mouse functionality. What a spectacular product.

I'm just as happy with this as I am with my $150 Logitech DiNovo keyboard!

The one small downside is that this cannot bring the computer out of a complete powerdown. But you can do that with the button on the front of your case. And heck, sleep in Win7 works flawlessly for me. And because of the mouse functionality, you can do many common tasks in the windows environment, such as power down the PC.

Oh, and the small external IR receiver can EASILY be mounted internally. The little LED inside the external IR receiver is also easily disabled.
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post #7 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 04:17 AM
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I love the Gyration Media Center Remote, which also functions as a handy air mouse - think Wii Remote style. It works perfectly under Windows 7.
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post #8 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I need to decide if I want to have just one remote to control all my AV components or if I can live with one remote for WMC and another remote for everything else. The Harmony remotes look fantastic, but are a little out of my price range. The adesso looks like it is at the top of my list right now. BTW, does anyone make software I could use with a wireless keyboard to control Media Center? I was thinking that might be a good option if I can program specific keys to specific funtions in MC.
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post #9 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 12:05 PM
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post #10 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcbride67 View Post

Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I need to decide if I want to have just one remote to control all my AV components or if I can live with one remote for WMC and another remote for everything else. The Harmony remotes look fantastic, but are a little out of my price range. The adesso looks like it is at the top of my list right now. BTW, does anyone make software I could use with a wireless keyboard to control Media Center? I was thinking that might be a good option if I can program specific keys to specific funtions in MC.

Keep an eye on Amazon and sites like slickdeals.net. You can pick up a brand new Harmony 880, which will do everything you could possibly need it to, for less than $100.

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post #11 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 12:30 PM
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Any Harmony remote will do what you need, you just need an IR receiver for your HTPC. The Harmony 510 and 520 are about $60 on Amazon. Sort of funny that the most expensive Harmony remotes are limited compared to the cheapest ones because they removed sequences from the 900 and 1100.

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post #12 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 12:48 PM
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I just finished testing several different remotes and will be posting a blog on them shortly.

Basically, I think it depends on what it is you need to control. Just the Media Center or multiple devices? If multiple boxes, what level of control are you hoping for with the other boxes? just on/off or access to numerous functions? Do you need mouse functionality or do you have that with other stuff?

Basic, IR MCE style remotes are very cost effective and do a great job of controlling MCE.

RF remotes are nice. No line of sight needed at some come with mouse functionality, like the Gyration. Some can be programmed to control other devices, but probably won't give you full functionality.

Harmony remotes are very programmable. You can do a lot of very cool stuff, but these are expensive and will likley not offer you any cursor control. They are also IR based but you will need to have the IR reciever arleady or purchase one separately.

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post #13 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 01:34 PM
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mce receiver, harmony remote and this should give you mouse control.

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/41277.aspx

I've never tried it, though.

one of the nice things about the gyration remotes is they work without an os, i.e. config bios, boot select, etc. the media center ir receiver solutions don't.
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post #14 of 55 Old 09-02-2009, 01:54 PM
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If you want a single remote to control your htpc and other AV equipment i would highly recommend the logitech harmony one. In my case i needed something that was easy for my wife to use. She played around with a number of different remotes and found it easiest to use. Its been able to do everything i want and was easy to setup.

if you just want to turn the tv on/off and control media center i would go with the microsoft mouse. Can be picked up very cheap
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post #15 of 55 Old 09-03-2009, 04:41 AM
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I have been using the Harmony 880 for about a year in my home theater and I love it. I recently bought two more on eBay for $89 each, shipping included. Advertised as refurb, but they were brand new.

I will use the new 880 to replace the MCE remote, so I have just one remote for everything in my music room. Logitech has a plugin for Windows MCE.

In my case it's a bit more complicated because I am using XP, not MCE. There is free program called Eventghost that i will use to control the software on the PC. It has plugins for several popular players and supports the MCE receiver. I just got the receiver yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to install it yet.

If you can afford the harmony 880, it's great: easy to program, good ergonomics, controls almost everything. Don't know about the ergonomics on the other models though.

The cheaper alternative is to use an MCE remote in addition to your others. Just bought one of those (for the receiver) on ebay for $17.90, shipping included from Hong Kong, brand new.
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post #16 of 55 Old 09-03-2009, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcbride67 View Post

BTW, does anyone make software I could use with a wireless keyboard to control Media Center? I was thinking that might be a good option if I can program specific keys to specific funtions in MC.

Sure, MS has an MCE keyboard and so do many others (try eBay for a good deal). I have read many endorments for the logitech dinovo on other forums, but it's expensive.
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post #17 of 55 Old 02-08-2010, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagor View Post

Any media center remote will work just fine. Actually, you don't really even need the remote, just the USB IR receiver. I use mine with my Harmony Remote 880 and it works just fine.

I also have and 880. Where can I get just an infrared receiver? If I'm going to use the Harmony, I don't want to pay for another remote.
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post #18 of 55 Old 02-08-2010, 01:38 PM
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I like using this remote that was included with my HP desktop WMC...

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post #19 of 55 Old 02-08-2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankrum View Post

I also have and 880. Where can I get just an infrared receiver? If I'm going to use the Harmony, I don't want to pay for another remote.

Search eBay for "HP IR Receiver". They should be around $13 to $18 shipped. It is compatible with Eventghost as well.

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post #20 of 55 Old 04-12-2010, 08:57 AM
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Wow this site is great, I always find a ton of information.

I'm searching for a cost effective remote control/extender combination to have my MCE PC viewable through my TV. PC and TV are in different rooms and I don't have an extender like a 360 or anything currently and if there is a way to avoid buying one that would be cool. I'm trying to figure out something that is easy enough for my girlfriend to use. She has the unusual ability to absolutely refuse to learn how to use remotes...

My condo is networked (wired & wireless) if that makes things easier. 50" Panasonic Plasma with SC-BT100 Blu-Ray and cablebox/DVR are my current compenents.
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post #21 of 55 Old 04-16-2010, 10:22 AM
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i had a question about the same thing,,, im looking to buy a IR remote control, for a PC Media Center that im making,, but its not the one that comes with windows, I want to have the XBMC (xbmc.org) media center, when i but a remote control, will it work as long as it comes with an IR reciever? or must my computer have a TV Tuner in it also??? thanks in advance!
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post #22 of 55 Old 04-16-2010, 11:01 AM
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look at the Lenovo N5901. First one broke and 2d works fine so far. Wife likes it.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=n5901

Drawback is no backlit keyboard. Plusses: cheaper, simple, nice form factor. Street price is 459.95..
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post #23 of 55 Old 04-25-2010, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibsa03 View Post

i had a question about the same thing,,, im looking to buy a IR remote control, for a PC Media Center that im making,, but its not the one that comes with windows, I want to have the XBMC (xbmc.org) media center, when i but a remote control, will it work as long as it comes with an IR reciever? or must my computer have a TV Tuner in it also??? thanks in advance!


anyone know?? i dont wanna buy a tvtuner if i can just buy a remote that comes with an IR reciever...
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post #24 of 55 Old 05-03-2010, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric_Margiotta View Post

I love the Gyration Media Center Remote, which also functions as a handy air mouse - think Wii Remote style. It works perfectly under Windows 7.

Which one are you using? The link is broke.

Anyone using the Gyration GYR4101US Air Music Remote?

http://www.amazon.com/Gyration-GYR41...913976&sr=1-25

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post #25 of 55 Old 05-03-2010, 01:18 PM
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I am using the Lenovo combo keyboard/trackpad. I like it as much or more than the W7MC remote that came with my ATI HD 650 tuner.

Bonus is, it is RF, so I can control Boxee/xbmc/Pandora/etc from another room, if need be.

Search here, slickdeals.net or techbargains.com.

When it is on sale for $36 shipped, it is a steal.

Otherwise, something like this should be the ticket for under $30: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-007-_-Product
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post #26 of 55 Old 05-03-2010, 05:00 PM
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Quote:


Anyone using the Gyration GYR4101US Air Music Remote?

I owned that remote for about three days before returning it. It's actually a fantastic remote for WMC7, but the arrow buttons are simply too small. I was so used to navigating my Firefly without ever looking at that I couldn't get used to the Gyration. Probably not an issue for most people. I loved the fact that you can play music anywhere in the house using the LCD screen.
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post #27 of 55 Old 05-05-2010, 10:47 PM
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Has anyone here had problems with the Harmony 880 and the Dell RC6 IR Receiver? I have the receiver and am looking at at Windows 7 Media Center remote and figure I might as well just get the 880 to control all my other electronics.

Can the 880 put the MC to sleep and wake as well as program for the Green Button
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post #28 of 55 Old 05-06-2010, 06:01 AM
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for MCE control I absolutely love the Microsoft remote I have, but have been hard pressed to find more of them lately.

The one I have is the standard one but it has a power button for your TV and has punch through for controlling the volume on your TV as opposed to the PC.

I have the gyration air remote and while it works well and has multiple device support, I dont like it because it doesnt support punchthrough for TV audio. when I want to change the TV volume I have to press TV then volume then press Pc to continue using Media Center. I also found that some of my devices dont have codes so I have to program every button and it seems like the memory is limited for programming as I can only get so far then it wont allow me to program any more buttons.

I've played around with the lenovo mini keyboard / trackball as well and loved it. I suggested it to someone at work and when it came in I played around with it for a while and wish I had bought one for myself.
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post #29 of 55 Old 05-06-2010, 02:56 PM
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Scallia;

I am using the Gyration MCE Air Music remote with a new Gateway X2840-01 HTPC. The remote was purchased new off EBAY for $ 39.USD, and delivered in 2 days.

As mentioned, this is the same technology found in the Wii, and using the remote will give your arm a good workout until you learn to work with it.

Comments:

1. It does work well 3M to 10M away from the PC as a mouse. Center control button moves the mouse, with the two attached " wings " to the button being the Left and Rick click features.

2. No instruction manual came with the package: I do not know the function of a few buttons, and could use one.

3. The remote can sync to the Flatscreen and DVD, but I have done this as yet.

4.. It is very good to use with MCE, but I do not use it for music ( I have a B&O system I am used to using ). I did try the music feature and it does provide a listing of my PC music files.

At the remote top, the screen provides the following information:

-PLAYLIST,
-ALBUMS,
-ARTISTS,
-GENRE,
-NOW PLAYING,
-OPTIONS.

Regarding the latter (OPTIONS ), this appears to be limited to SHUFFLE, and REPEAT OFF.

The remote came with a USB-RF key, placed into a USB slot in the back of my PC, next to a Bluetooth and Optical key. No problems thus far with either keys being placed next to it.

It reportedly can turn the PC on and off, but I prefer to do this manually. It is great for reading mail. news, and launching the MCE features. Serious PC work on documents, or photography indicates the remote is a bit slow to the race, so I switch to a BT Di Novo Edge keyboard and mouse for more accuracy and speed.

More to follow: I hope this information is useful to someone.
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post #30 of 55 Old 05-07-2010, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss 4 View Post

2. No instruction manual came with the package: I do not know the function of a few buttons, and could use one.

Did you go to their web site?

http://www.gyration.com/index.php/us...e.html#support

Click the link for the instruction manual PDF.

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