I have a Windows 7 HTPC with a 4-tuner Ceton CableCard PCIe card. I built this nearly two years ago in an Antec HTPC case that came bundled with an iMON remote control and related sensor. I have an RF20 universal remote control (with the iMON software emulating an WMC remote) and I use one of the WMC remote profiles programmed into the RF20.
I have no complaints about my Live TV and DVR experience. My problem is that I frequently have to flip to my remote keyboard/mouse and fire up a browser session for some of the streaming services I use (namely Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, HBO Go, and Spotify). To the extent possible I would rather not flip to the keyboard/mouse because my easy chair is a hair out of range from the sensor, and my luddite wife relies on my being there for these services (I don't say that as an insult – we have different attitudes on technology).
Any tips on how to change how I'm using these services to simply my life?
Amazon – I usually end up launching a browser session and use the browse the “regular” amazon site until I find what we want to watch. The browser isn't always easy to see across the room.
Pandora – I had this going fine through XBMC until about a month or so ago. It seems it breaks every few months and someone needs releases a patch to make it work. I probably need to wipe everything with this script as I can't get it run for more than a couple songs before it cuts out.
HBO Go – see Amazon. The font is small regardless of what I do.
Spotify – I only recently signed up for this service, so my experience is limited. I tried SpotiMC, and it's not quite what I want. One feature we really enjoy is the radio feature (similar to how Pandora works), but SpotiMC does not include this feature. I imagine there is a way to launch the Spotify app from WMC, but we would need the keyboard/mouse again.
I've also tried using the apps like UniversalRemote that turn my android devices into keyboard/mouse; but the process is just too clunky.
Is there anything I can do to avoid switching input devices? Any way to streamline and maintain the “10 foot interface” ? Am I asking for too much?
I'm willing to consider new apps, a remote upgrade, or anything else. Also, I also recently invested in a micro HDMI cable for my android tablet to connect to my AV receiver. I may just give up with Spotify on WMC and stream from my android tablet. I can't get the Amazon Instant Video app ripped from the Kindle Fire to work, but that's a completely different topic!