Getting ready to build my first htpc, what to use as a remote? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll be doing a windows 7 machine, with mediabroswer, and possible XBMC.

I've got all my hardware/software figured out, but I'm not sure what to use for remote control.

I've be running everything to my TV via my Denon AVR, and my htpc will be on all the time, the AVR and TV will be turned off when not in use.

The wife does not want to use a mouse/keyboard to watch TV, so I'm looking for remote control options and I'm not sure what's going to work best..

I'm looking at installing Plex for streaming video's to my ipad, and it looks like the Plex IOS app has some remote control functions? Do those work well for everyday use? I could setup my ipad, iphone, and the wife's iphone as remotes.

Is there a better remote app I should be looking at?

Is an IR or bluetooth WMC remote the better way to go?

Does an affordable remote exist that can control the htpc, change volume on the AVR, and power the TV and AVR on/off as well?

If I could find something that can also change inputs on the TV and AVR that would be awesome, but using their remotes isn't the end of the world.

I do plan to add a wireless keyboard/mouse but my hope is that those will only be needed for "administration" purposes.

So what's your favorite remote control setup and why?
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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Everything I've seen recommends the Harmony Series from Logitech. I have a Logitech Harmony 650 in the mail as we speak. I would check those out.

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

Everything I've seen recommends the Harmony Series from Logitech. I have a Logitech Harmony 650 in the mail as we speak. I would check those out.

If you're speaking specifically to Universal remotes (and not keyboard remotes), the Harmony 1 is sick and it was even on sale at BestBuy a week ago for like $50... don't think that's still going on. Still, I'd recommend that over anything.

Also, I'd pick up the dongle that's sold with the Rosewill RHRC-11002. You can email rosewill and they will sell the dongle by itself for like $7. That will allow you to power on your box without having to use any CIR trickery. Of course, you can buy the remote as well, but it's the dongle that you really want from that getup.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I imagine that would work well to control all of my devices..

So can anyone confirm that the 650 would be able to control the htpc (navigate menu's, play tv shows/movies, pause, etc.), I know it would be able to control my TV, AVR, and bluray player no problem.

Can keyboard input be done via remote? for say recording a tv show or searching on netflix?

The ultimate goal is for it to be easy to use for the wife.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:11 PM
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Explain this dongle thing to me. I have a little HP IR Receiver coming in the mail already. Would this be in place of that?

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BigB_117 View Post

Thanks, I imagine that would work well to control all of my devices..
So can anyone confirm that the 650 would be able to control the htpc (navigate menu's, play tv shows/movies, pause, etc.), I know it would be able to control my TV, AVR, and bluray player no problem.
Can keyboard input be done via remote? for say recording a tv show or searching on netflix?
The ultimate goal is for it to be easy to use for the wife.

I too need simplicity for zee lady in my life. Kids as well... I'm hoping I can do everything I could with my WD HD TV Live remote on there. God I hate that little box... but the remote did all of the things you were just asking. I bought my remote with the understanding that it can be set up to do all of these things. We shall see what they tell us.


Also, I too will have a keyboard/mouse but only for administration purposes as well.

Don't make fun of me for my stupid questions!
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

Explain this dongle thing to me. I have a little HP IR Receiver coming in the mail already. Would this be in place of that?

That'll work.

The Rosewill is just a slightly cheaper alternative. I picked a Rosewill (not that one but the one with the large dongle) for $9 on a shell shocker with another code that somebody posted a few months ago. It is perfect for me as it has feet and is stable without using two sided tape.

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post #8 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

Explain this dongle thing to me. I have a little HP IR Receiver coming in the mail already. Would this be in place of that?

The answer to your question (depending on what you purchased) is probably and most likely yes. The dongle provides you with the opportunity to power the device on from what's basically a cold state, just like you do with your TV. I probably should have added that there might be some consideration depending on what equipment you're using. If you don't have a dongle/receiver, generally speaking, you end up having to do stuff on the motherboard to make the power thing work.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Would this remote work as well?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16880101002

I know it wouldn't control my other devices, but it has the dongle and it's a little cheaper..
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigB_117 View Post

Would this remote work as well?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16880101002
I know it wouldn't control my other devices, but it has the dongle and it's a little cheaper..

Its a good price too.
Buy it. You can keep the remote as a back up if you decide to get a Universal Remote down the line.
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Its a good price too.
Buy it. You can keep the remote as a back up if you decide to get a Universal Remote down the line.

Thanks, I went ahead and ordered that one to get me started. I'll add a nice logitech remote once I get things up and running.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 02:24 PM
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Does anyone know of an eithernet based remote control driver that could be used to replace the IR remote?
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverinegod View Post

The answer to your question (depending on what you purchased) is probably and most likely yes. The dongle provides you with the opportunity to power the device on from what's basically a cold state, just like you do with your TV. I probably should have added that there might be some consideration depending on what equipment you're using. If you don't have a dongle/receiver, generally speaking, you end up having to do stuff on the motherboard to make the power thing work.

I'm also looking for a remote. Are you calling the dongle the IR receiver, either with or without a USB extension? Wouldn't all IR remotes use such receivers? If so, what would differentiate one dongle being able to power on from a cold state from one that cannot?
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I'm also looking for a remote. Are you calling the dongle the IR receiver, either with or without a USB extension? Wouldn't all IR remotes use such receivers? If so, what would differentiate one dongle being able to power on from a cold state from one that cannot?

this is a big long complicated issue of sorts, if you want to educate yourself ... start here: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=111310

It's also been discussed at length here. In short - just buy the dongle (and the dongle is the part that plugs in to the htpc).
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 05:02 PM
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If you are building a HTPC from scratch, look for a case that supports an IR receiver built in. I (unfortunately) have 3 setups that use iMON software (I then have my Harmony remote setup to run it). 2 out of 3 are good, my main one has the unit unstable (these are part of the high end Silverstone HTPC cases from a few years back). Antec offers a couple cases that seem to do better (one of mine is the Veratis-Antec 2 bay add in module, that is installed in my server tower).

I finally got an iPhone (after paying for 4 of them for the wife and kids) couple of weeks ago. First thing I did was install the Mediamote app on my (iMON failing) HTPC. It works pretty good for basic Media Center UI (running Media Browser within it). The app is free, just have to install it via the "app store" on the phone, then install the "server" component in the PC.


If you can find one, I also have a Gyration Media Center RF remote. It does work very well with the added bonus of programming codes for the TV and (some) AV receivers. Larger sized unit with good button layout (though NOT backlit)
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverinegod View Post

The answer to your question (depending on what you purchased) is probably and most likely yes. The dongle provides you with the opportunity to power the device on from what's basically a cold state, just like you do with your TV. I probably should have added that there might be some consideration depending on what equipment you're using. If you don't have a dongle/receiver, generally speaking, you end up having to do stuff on the motherboard to make the power thing work.

I read through some of thread that you posted in message #14 & was left with the impression that an internal CIR receiver typically will turn on the HTPC from a cold state.

However it seems from reading the above you say "The dongle provides you with the opportunity to power the device on from what's basically a cold state".

So I'm confused, is the internal CIR the best way to wake a PC from a cold stats or is the dongle/receiver the way to go?
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I read through some of thread that you posted in message #14 & was left with the impression that an internal CIR receiver typically will turn on the HTPC from a cold state.
However it seems from reading the above you say "The dongle provides you with the opportunity to power the device on from what's basically a cold state".
So I'm confused, is the internal CIR the best way to wake a PC from a cold stats or is the dongle/receiver the way to go?

the dongle i linked to circumvents the need for CIR (consumer infrared). Besides doing "stuff" to the inside of the pc, you will also need a receiver that's exposed to the outside (usually involves drilling). So in short: just buy that dongle. If you want to learn more, just do a google search for Consumer IR and you'll get all the reading you need.
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-18-2012, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BigB_117 View Post

Thanks, I went ahead and ordered that one to get me started. I'll add a nice logitech remote once I get things up and running.

I also ordered & just received the Rosewill RRC-126 remote.

The software installation appears to configure how the remote turns on the PC. The instructions state there is no uninstall procedure for PowerConfig.exe. Do you know if this shows up in Windows uninstall programs?

You can choose TV or PC mode. What is the difference? Wouldn't you be watching the TV through the PC?

Is there any reason to choose to have PowerConfig.exe autorun when Windows boots up?

Anything that you can pass along from you new experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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