The ultimate remote control for HTPC??? Anyone use iRule ??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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it looks interesting to me... and lets you use your tablet or smart phone as the remote- custom design it all on the PC.. and it connects with WIFI so it works any room in your house.


What do you people use to control your theater and HTPC ?

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post #2 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 11:40 AM
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I am pretty sure a lot of people do not agree that iRule is the ultimate remote control.

Way too complicated. In the end, you are still limited by what your devices can support. That means you need IR blaster, an expensive one too. And who wants to charge their remote every other day?


I use a JP1 IR remote along with custom software on HTPC to translate the IR code to PC operations. I can control everything from Windows Media Center to my Roomba. Batteries last for months.
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post #3 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 12:04 PM
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I am just about to put iRule into production after many years with Harmony remotes.

I became increasingly disenchanted with the line-of-sight requirement with IR and there was always some glitch that irritated the wife and kids.

With iRule, everyone will be able to use their phone, a wall mounted tablet or a dedicated 7" Samsung GalaxyTab as remote, at any time.

IP control is infinitely more reliable than IR.

The only thing I dislike about iRule is the web based design tool. I wish it was a native Windows application.

IRule is not for those with limited time or patience, though, as it takes some effort to set up.


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post #4 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 12:20 PM
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I've used AirMouse and have it setup on my Nexus and my wife's iphone. It's really for those, I'm too lazy to grab the keyboard to type in a web search moments.

My main usage is handled by flirc on a 6ft USB extension cable that is fixed to the top of my TV. Flirc drives all the normal keyboard shortcuts I care to teach it, which drives me through WMC with ease. I used a learning universal remote, which allows me to teach it the volume up, down, and power commands from the TV manufacturer's remote. HDMI-CEC powers on/off the receiver with the TV, and allows the TV volume to control the receiver

For sleep I use the settings menu from WMC, or the exit shortcut (Mapped Alt+F4 to a button labeled exit). Alt+F4 from the Windows desktop brings up the Shutdown/reboot/sleep menu as well.

I've setup and used the mediabrowser remote, which is a nice visual but mostly gimmicky for my tastes. It's usually quicker for me to just navigate the menus with the old u, d, l, r, enter sequences
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post #5 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I like how Irule is webased. If your PC dies... your retain your settings auto backed up to the cloud. That is good for a PC geek who might swap systems or reinstall often. smile.gif

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post #6 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 01:36 PM
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I use iRule, and while it sounds really cool on paper (err, html?), I usually go back to my harmony 650. That being said, it can be useful in some circumstances. Here's a tip: resist the urge to put every single button on your remote (direction pad, play, pause, seek, etc.) on the interface. Using a directional pad on a touchscreen will NEVER be as comfortable as using a physical directional pad on a remote. You do not want to have to look at your tablet/phone while attempting to navigate an interface on your TV. It's just a silly idea from the start.

I actually completely redid my iRule interface yesterday. It basically looks like this: the home page is an 'activities' page that let's you chose what you want to do (watch TV, play a DVD, etc.). From there, it launches you to a page that only has a few things on it. My 'watch TV' activity just brings you to a page that has a mute button (volume on the TV can be controlled from the tablet's physical volume buttons), a power off button, a back to activities button, and then a link to the Ceton companion app in the middle. Then I can view the channel guide from the Ceton companion app and select the show I want to watch. The Ceton companion app takes care of launching the show on my Xbox 360 extender. Notice that none of those actions require me to be looking at the TV while I do them. My XBMC activity page is similar. Instead of the Ceton app, it launches the Yatse XBMC app.
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post #7 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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so would you recommend it for me?

My issue is that my system is in AV closet and not line of sight for IR

In that room I have a projector, bluray, Denon 3312 AVR, HTPC, CableBox, Xbox360, etc...

My AVR has dual HDMI out which I run the second under the floor to the living room.

My HTPC runs on both the projector and the plasma TV I have in the living room. We watch on both.

So I was thinking the irule would be nice since it works over wifi. I can control the HTPC from the living room.. even though the HTPC is in the closet in the other room.

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post #8 of 27 Old 10-22-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

so would you recommend it for me?
My issue is that my system is in AV closet and not line of sight for IR
In that room I have a projector, bluray, Denon 3312 AVR, HTPC, CableBox, Xbox360, etc...
My AVR has dual HDMI out which I run the second under the floor to the living room.
My HTPC runs on both the projector and the plasma TV I have in the living room. We watch on both.
So I was thinking the irule would be nice since it works over wifi. I can control the HTPC from the living room.. even though the HTPC is in the closet in the other room.

I personally would never give up a physical remote. Even though I've made iRule work, it's only meant to complement my Harmony remote, not replace it. There are plenty of RF based remotes like the Harmony 900 that I would look into.
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post #9 of 27 Old 10-23-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

so would you recommend it for me?

Definitely. I think gestures on iRule devices compensate pretty well for the lack of physical buttons.

And if you put in some effort you can achieve a very high WAF compared to a glitchy IR setup.

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post #10 of 27 Old 10-23-2012, 04:15 PM
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Why not just get an IR remote control extender?
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post #11 of 27 Old 10-24-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

I am pretty sure a lot of people do not agree that iRule is the ultimate remote control.
Way too complicated. In the end, you are still limited by what your devices can support. That means you need IR blaster, an expensive one too. And who wants to charge their remote every other day?
I use a JP1 IR remote along with custom software on HTPC to translate the IR code to PC operations. I can control everything from Windows Media Center to my Roomba. Batteries last for months.
There is no need for an IR blaster to use iRule to control a PC. I control mine via IP. This provides control for Windows Media Center, XBMC, and J. River Media Center. It is not particularly complicated to control a complete home theater, including an HTPC, using iRule.

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post #12 of 27 Old 10-24-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

so would you recommend it for me?
My issue is that my system is in AV closet and not line of sight for IR
In that room I have a projector, bluray, Denon 3312 AVR, HTPC, CableBox, Xbox360, etc...
My AVR has dual HDMI out which I run the second under the floor to the living room.
My HTPC runs on both the projector and the plasma TV I have in the living room. We watch on both.
So I was thinking the irule would be nice since it works over wifi. I can control the HTPC from the living room.. even though the HTPC is in the closet in the other room.

If you're using XBMC, download the Constellation app. - It's a remote control for your XBMC on your ipad/iphone. It's fantastic. It even has full SAB integration. I think it's $7

If you're using JRiver's Media Center, it has a built in web-remote. Simply bookmark your HTPC's IP Address from any web browser, and boom... Full control of your Media Center.

These solutions apply to controlling your HTPC only...
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post #13 of 27 Old 10-24-2012, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Goff View Post

There is no need for an IR blaster to use iRule to control a PC. I control mine via IP. This provides control for Windows Media Center, XBMC, and J. River Media Center. It is not particularly complicated to control a complete home theater, including an HTPC, using iRule.

How do you turn on your TV then?
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post #14 of 27 Old 10-24-2012, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

How do you turn on your TV then?

Some TVs actually support networked commands to turn them on, which iRule can use. Otherwise you need an iTach IR blaster.
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post #15 of 27 Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM
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Touch screens suck for remote controls because you can't use them very well without looking at them. For that, real buttons are much better. My home theater remote of choice hasn't changed in years... URC MX line.

I can see augmenting a setup with something like an iPad (e.g. whole house audio control) but not for the main remote in a home theater.
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post #16 of 27 Old 10-25-2012, 11:00 AM
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Can't agree more! The buttons that I use most are Skip Ahead, Skip Backward, Fast Forward and Play. Obviously, I don't want to look down every time when I try to press them.
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post #17 of 27 Old 10-25-2012, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

If you're using XBMC, download the Constellation app. - It's a remote control for your XBMC on your ipad/iphone. It's fantastic. It even has full SAB integration. I think it's $7
If you're using JRiver's Media Center, it has a built in web-remote. Simply bookmark your HTPC's IP Address from any web browser, and boom... Full control of your Media Center.
These solutions apply to controlling your HTPC only...

Mediabrowser I have set up.

I never honestly gave the others enough effort to catch on.

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post #18 of 27 Old 10-25-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

How do you turn on your TV then?

You can buy an IP to IR part ... and place it where you equiptment is.

Seems to work well by reports

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post #19 of 27 Old 10-29-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post

Touch screens suck for remote controls because you can't use them very well without looking at them. For that, real buttons are much better. My home theater remote of choice hasn't changed in years... URC MX line.
I can see augmenting a setup with something like an iPad (e.g. whole house audio control) but not for the main remote in a home theater.

So you think a traditional HTPC remote is the best choice?

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post #20 of 27 Old 10-29-2012, 11:25 AM
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Nobody can answer that. It's a matter of personal preference. Many like myself and mslide prefer a real remote with real buttons. Others prefer the wow factor of an iOS/Android based remote. I'd rather something cheap, functional, simple and durable than something that looks pretty. I don't think anyone is recommending a traditional HTPC remote. Those are far too limited for a home theater. A decent universal is the best choice in our opinion. Just buy something you can return and try it.


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post #21 of 27 Old 03-23-2013, 07:19 PM
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My apologies for bumping an old topic, but as this was on the htpc section, and i was looking for something relating to htpc for irule use, i came upon this thread.
I started using iRule recently along with my universal remote as a secondary remote. Surely iRule fantastic if you are having multiple components, and keep switching between each of these, have and HTPC, media server or xbmc, iRule is invaluable. Also, its a neat application.. sexy to use.

It does need lot of paitence and a lot of reading before you get into it. Its not an out of the box solution, and does need lots of manual input, but once you are set, there is no looking back. If you have a dedicated theater room, all you will ever need is irule.
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up with a URC remote that does RF

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post #23 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 12:58 PM
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The holy grail is still a fully functional universal remote that also has a mouse and full qwerty keyboard. Does iRule have an integrated touchpad and qwerty like Mobile Mouse or Hippo Remote? If it did, I would consider it. Otherwise, I'll stick with a regular universal and fire up a keyboard/mouse app as needed. While iRule is very powerful and looks beautiful, like all touchscreen remotes, it's a distraction from what I'm watching, since it can't be used by feel, like a normal remote that has buttons. So I view it more as a toy and something to impress guests, not a really functional tool.


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post #24 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

The holy grail is still a fully functional universal remote that also has a mouse and full qwerty keyboard. Does iRule have an integrated touchpad and qwerty like Mobile Mouse or Hippo Remote? If it did, I would consider it. Otherwise, I'll stick with a regular universal and fire up a keyboard/mouse app as needed. While iRule is very powerful and looks beautiful, like all touchscreen remotes, it's a distraction from what I'm watching, since it can't be used by feel, like a normal remote that has buttons. So I view it more as a toy and something to impress guests, not a really functional tool.

Yes it does have an integrated touchpad, there are options in the iRule builder to use cursor thus allowing a touchpad area, plus air mouse kind of functionality too. smile.gif
Here is a fantastic video which shows the above.


I use URC too, but the main reason i went with irule is cos i could integrate my Home Automation adding macros for lightings, curtains etc, all on ipad.. the wife has her irule setup on her phone too, with minimalistic options, as for me, i love to use irule with xbmc, on the ipad, and adding an app on the iphone is handy.
Surely it cannot replace a Universal remote, but once you setup irule you will love to pick up your tables and show off in front of your friends.
I have mine something setup extremely similar to this.. plus home automation functions.



Look at the video above and ask .. can this be done as flawlessly through Universal remote?
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-19-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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After all this time I am still searching for the ultimate remote and control solution... tongue.gif

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post #26 of 27 Old 10-19-2013, 03:38 PM
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I use it, and yes, it is the ultimate remote control for me. Lights, AVR, subwoofers, TV/Projector, buttkickers, coffee machines and HTPC - all can be controlled with mine, although I have to add more of the IP control stuff on the HTPCs for JRiver. I have become lazy and have not even programmed half of what I intended to. It's so versatile, but not necessarily cheap if you don't already have an iPad. It does take time though, and I too wish it were a PC application that could store the data to the cloud, rather than web based.

For those who say they need to look at a touchscreen to implement their most commonly used command, this is simply not true with iRule. You can program gestures like an upward swipe to increase volume, a two-finger swipe to change channels etc. I have a couple of iPad stands as well, so the iPad is right next to me, but out of the way when I sit down. I can post some pictures later.

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post #27 of 27 Old 12-13-2013, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm still interested in setting this up. Does it work better on a tablet or a phone ? Does it matter ?

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