MCE remote help please - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Just finishing up my htpc build and I need a remote. Couple quick questions.

1) I haven't picked a case yet so idk if it'll have built in ir or not. Is there an internal ir receiver that'll work with any ir remote I can get instead of having a USB dongle hanging out the front of the case? I'd rather drill a hole in the case and have a little flush mount lens than have a dongle.

2) I'd like a remote that gives me full media center 7 functionality (blu-ray, streaming netflix/hulu and tv tuner)and also let me power on and off the tv and pc at the same time, and control the tv volume without having to switch modes on the remote. I'd prefer the pc volume to be a constant. Like if you were to program your TiVo or cable box remote to work with your tv, the channel buttons change the channel on the box, but the volume buttons control your tv volume.

Doesn't need to have any fancy LCD or touchscreen. AA or AAA batteries are preferred over a dock or anything like that.

Will this do what I want? (gyration remote)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gyration-Motion-...ht_10410wt_948 edit: nvm. In reading, it appears that it doesn't do volume "punch through". So much for that.
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 05:24 AM
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Gyration requires you to switch modes each time you want to change volume. There is no "perfect" remote for the HTPC, you just have to decide the features you can live without. I'm running a harmony 688 with a generic USB dongle, works fairly well. The only thing I don't like about it is no mouse/keyboard control, have to break out the wireless for some functions.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 05:36 AM
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The original MS MC remote will do all this. I use them all the time, and still haven't found anything better. It's designed from the ground up to control Windows Media Center, but can also be programmed to control the TV power and volume seamlessly.

Still can't beat it, although they look a bit hard to find at the moment. The USB IR receiver is also a bit 'large', but has a good wide angle of reception, so can be hidden out of sight.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 06:03 AM
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second vote for the microsoft MCE remote. but I am finding it hard to find the one with the TV power button and volume control on it. Most everything I find anymore is the one without the TV power button
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Why is it hard to find? Discontinued? What's the model number? So only the official Microsoft one is worth buying and none of the off brands?
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh I think I see. You're talking about this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16880100851

They're not making it anymore and haven't released a similar replacement? Fail!
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 07:45 AM
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it's not that third party ones arent worth checking out, it just that over the years I tried many, too manyreally, other remotes and I still like the look and feel of the original. It's smaller, fits comfortably in your hand, has backlit keys, TV power and volume punchthrough and is simple.

Yes I believe it is discontinued which is making it harder to find. The flood of ones on ebay are the ones without the TV power button on them which to me is essential.
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post #8 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 07:46 AM
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yesp thats the one I was about to do the smae thing. As I said there are a ton of MS MCE remotes on ebay but none of them have the TV power button (or at least very few if any do)

My perfect remote is this remote with mouse gyration and programmability for my other devices like AV receiver lol.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hm looks like the xbox 360 remote doesn't come with a tv power button or a receiver. Guess that's not really a good option either. So basically the remote I need is discontinued with no replacement :/
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:21 AM
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if this is indeed the picture then this would be the remote

http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-Media-...item255a5ef0c2

this one pictured has the tv power button
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:32 AM
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 08:42 AM
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no doubt there are a ton of MCE remotes out there

The black one above from newegg from my experience I hated

neither have the tv power button or volume punchthrough though
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nintari View Post

if this is indeed the picture then this would be the remote

http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-Media-...item255a5ef0c2

this one pictured has the tv power button

>_< auction ended about 30 seconds before I woke up
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-06-2010, 04:10 PM
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I still love my harmony 550. Though I need to clean it, the contacts are losing pushiness (that's a technical term)
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xilpaxim View Post

I still love my harmony 550. Though I need to clean it, the contacts are losing pushiness (that's a technical term)


Does that have a functioning "green button"? I am finding threads about logitech changing the green button functionality of it's remotes and they no longer work as a media center green button...

I thought I'd get a lot more input as everyone must have a remote to control their htpc. I don't think I'm very demanding, just a quality media center with "punch through" so I can have power and volume control of my tv without switching modes. Blahhh
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalCS84 View Post

Does that have a functioning "green button"? I am finding threads about logitech changing the green button functionality of it's remotes and they no longer work as a media center green button...

I thought I'd get a lot more input as everyone must have a remote to control their htpc. I don't think I'm very demanding, just a quality media center with "punch through" so I can have power and volume control of my tv without switching modes. Blahhh

With the Harmony, you just program the green button where you want it. Mine is just the default, it is button marked "start". And even when in Media Center mode, it is set up so my AV Receiver controls the volume. That is the beauty of the Harmony, plus it is very easy to setup using the web site.
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post

With the Harmony, you just program the green button where you want it. Mine is just the default, it is button marked "start". And even when in Media Center mode, it is set up so my AV Receiver controls the volume. That is the beauty of the Harmony, plus it is very easy to setup using the web site.

will the harmony also let you power your htp in and out of suspend mode? I read about a lot of remotes that have trouble with this.
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post #18 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 05:16 AM
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Yes the Harmony will allow power up out of suspend. You need to program a separate button for it since WMC doesn't have separate on and off commands.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-07-2010, 10:16 AM
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I use the Harmony One to power up computer and control my receiver volume.

I have a Antec Fusion Remote case right now but want to switch to a case that doesn't have a built in IR port. Where can I get a IR dongle for a case without IR screen/receiver already installed? A small dongle out of the front of case doesn't bother me.
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-08-2010, 09:40 AM
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I received a Diamond/ATI MCE remote (with green Button) for free when i bought my ATSC tuner card from Newegg. I embedded the USB dongle behind the VFD faceplate on the Thermaltake case I used, so it is invisible.

Having had a disappointing experience with the Harmony One and HTPC, I now use a Universal Remote (URC) 200 (probably $30 on flEaBay). I cloned all of the WMC functions that I needed. It has all of the OEM WMC codes, but also does "punch through" to directly control the receiver volume and muting. Plus, it chords macros, so it will turn on and set up the TV and receiver in one shot, just like the harmony units.

I vastly prefer the hard buttons of the URC to the touchscreens of others, FWIW. YMMV.

I found that the effort of making only one remote the end-all for the HTPC was far more expensive and time consuming than the value of having slightly less clutter. I got it down to the URC for movies and TV, an RF Lenovo micro keyboard remote for general computer use and whole-home volume control, and a wireless keyboard and mouse for games or longer computer sessions. All three remain connected to the HTPC concurrently without problems. The three are better for me than any one product that I could find.

Oh, and I also love having an old Griffin Powermate knob that I used to use on my Mac. It sits by my feet, on the magazine shelf of my coffee table. I can roll on or off volume smoothly with my big toe, without putting down my beverage, or tap it with my foot to mute if I get a phone call, for example. So, I guess that is FOUR human interface controllers, mostly hidden out of sight.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-08-2010, 10:01 AM
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Oh, and I also love having an old Griffin Powermate knob that I used to use on my Mac. It sits by my feet, on the magazine shelf of my coffee table. I can roll on or off volume smoothly with my big toe, without putting down my beverage, or tap it with my foot to mute if I get a phone call, for example. So, I guess that is FOUR human interface controllers, mostly hidden out of sight.


Nice!!!! lol
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-10-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Is the harmony 610 any good? These decertified ones are going to be neweggs shell shocker on Tuesday. Not sure on the price yet but I'd guess $25-$40 or so. Has terribad reviews there but I was wondering if anyone here was using one trouble free?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...A-_-80-111-032
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-10-2010, 02:23 PM
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I bought the one listed below from amazon. I programmed my Logitech Harmony 300 to control the main functions. I didn't need the mouse/keyboard functions, so I mainly got it to get the ir receiver. Overall, it works and is really inexpensive.

http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-USB-R...3526174&sr=8-6
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-10-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

Gyration requires you to switch modes each time you want to change volume. There is no "perfect" remote for the HTPC, you just have to decide the features you can live without. I'm running a harmony 688 with a generic USB dongle, works fairly well. The only thing I don't like about it is no mouse/keyboard control, have to break out the wireless for some functions.

Generic dongle? What software did you need along with it? I have a harmony remote as well and the case I want doesn't have space for the external 5.25 lcd/remote screen like the one that is in my current case.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-13-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalCS84 View Post

Is the harmony 610 any good? These decertified ones are going to be neweggs shell shocker on Tuesday. Not sure on the price yet but I'd guess $25-$40 or so. Has terribad reviews there but I was wondering if anyone here was using one trouble free?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...A-_-80-111-032

785 (otherwise known as 720 in NA) is arguably the most solid of the Harmony cheapies.
http://www.harmony-remote-forum.de/h...re.php?lang=en
And it's still around, even though it's discontinued....

Do some google searches on it versus the HOne and you'll see it's the arguably the best value.

Of course you can pay a lot more and get a bit more functionality with the 900 (cept no sequences, lame).
But once you look at higher-end Harmony's, you may as well look at "real" universal remotes from URC etc.
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