whats a good remote control for HTPC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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whats a good remote control for HTPC?

I'm having a hard time finding one that's on WiFi and not infrared. I'd like to use it in 2 rooms
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 12:53 PM
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I like to use my iPad as a remote with the XBMC remote and a mouse and keyboard app. Works great in the dark too and supports multiple setups.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
I'm having a hard time finding one that's on WiFi and not infrared. I'd like to use it in 2 rooms
I use unified remote with my android phones & tablets. It's very easy to use.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
I'm having a hard time finding one that's on WiFi and not infrared. I'd like to use it in 2 rooms
For Windows Media Center, I use the Ceton My Media Center app (for iOS or Android phones or tablets). It'll work for your HTPC and any Extenders, any room in the house that you have WiFi. You can even configure it to work over Data on your cell, so you can change the channel and schedule recordings without WiFi.

My primary gripe with My Media Center? No on-off capability. I've spoken with Ceton and formally suggested this functionality be added... a long time ago. I have no idea why they wouldn't want you to be able to power off the device using the app... particularly with just how beneficial an occasional power cycle can be for their very own Echos...

I also have the Windows Media Center passcodes added to my Logitech Harmony 650. Certainly not the most cost-effective option, but in a lot of ways more convenient than constantly having to navigate to an app... and it allows for Power on-off.
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for suggestions guys. I'm looking for an old school remote. I've considered mini keyboards but I already have a Logitech one with horrible range. I need something that will be reliable over WIFI
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-12-2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
Thanks for suggestions guys. I'm looking for an old school remote. I've considered mini keyboards but I already have a Logitech one with horrible range. I need something that will be reliable over WIFI
Sorry, but "old school" and wifi in the same device does not exist. Do you mean RF?

If your keyboard has horrible range, get a USB extension and move the receiver. Then you'll get your full 30' range.

If you truly want wifi, a smartphone/tablet app is pretty much your only option. If you'll accept RF, then many traditional remotes will work fine. I use the Xsight Touch RF remote. It's very affordable and very sophisticated and feature rich, controlling 18 devices with full macro/activity capabilities, pronto hex import, favorites, touch screen, and 6 10' IR blasters (if you get the RF base).

Just about any IR remote can be turned into an RF remote using a Next Generation RF system. Doesn't work on Harmony or any remotes that use battery packs.

I've seen one cheap RF MCE remote, but can't remember where. It wasn't universal, so I never looked into it any further.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-13-2014, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't know anything about RF. Sounds like that's what I need. How about a cheap remote under $50 for media center that can also control TV and denon receivers? Basically the receivers and the TV can be controlled thru infrared but the computer thru RF

Edit: I need to control volume controls and mute on the receivers, power on/off on the TVs
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-13-2014, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
I didn't know anything about RF. Sounds like that's what I need. How about a cheap remote under $50 for media center that can also control TV and denon receivers? Basically the receivers and the TV can be controlled thru infrared but the computer thru RF

Edit: I need to control volume controls and mute on the receivers, power on/off on the TVs
If everything is connected via HDMI cable, the pulse eight CEC box might be an option for you. Nothing more "old school" than using your TV's remote to control your HTPC and other peripherals.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-13-2014, 07:48 AM
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All you need is a universal RF remote. It will control everything. They're $40 and up, including the options I posted earlier. I wouldn't even attempt to find an RF MCE remote that can also control a TV.

The pulse 8 thing would work too but is more expensive and complex. RF remotes have been around for years and are designed to do exactly what you are trying to do. You can do it all with an old cable TV remote and a Next Gen RF system for $40.
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-13-2014, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
I've considered mini keyboards but I already have a Logitech one with horrible range. I need something that will be reliable over WIFI
What is your range? My mini keyboard works fine over 20ft and through 1 wall
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-13-2014, 02:46 PM
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If you don't mind using IR you might consider searching eBay for the remote HP built to go with its x280n (Smart Media Connect) Windows Media Extender. The remotes were widely available a couple years ago. It a universal remote /WMC remote with a full complement of WMC buttons. The only drawback is that it is not a learning remote. I use it to power cycle my Denon and my Mits 92" DLP.


I use the cable device button which I have programmed as a Microsoft PVR. I have several of these remotes. I have one of the WMC extenders but don't use it. I bought these remotes on eBay. I had one fail but the others have working fine for several years. There are device buttons for the HP extender, for TV, for Cable, for DVD and for Aux. I use the Aux for the recievers and it has punch through to allow audio control while in another device. No macros. Works great! The codes were on the HP site.

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post #12 of 25 Old 08-14-2014, 05:37 AM
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Look into OpenRemote (free) for use on a tablet. I'm using it with EventGhost to control everything and have never had a single issue in the 6 months I've been using it so far.

Oh and since I don't have time to "pretty up" touchscreens anymore, I just use their auto-generated buttons and it works well.
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-16-2014, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by juniperpansy View Post
What is your range? My mini keyboard works fine over 20ft and through 1 wall
My piece of crap won't work any further than 5 feet...forget another room. Not much further than my couch
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post #14 of 25 Old 08-16-2014, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gtgray View Post
If you don't mind using IR you might consider searching eBay for the remote HP built to go with its x280n (Smart Media Connect) Windows Media Extender. The remotes were widely available a couple years ago. It a universal remote /WMC remote with a full complement of WMC buttons. The only drawback is that it is not a learning remote. I use it to power cycle my Denon and my Mits 92" DLP.


I use the cable device button which I have programmed as a Microsoft PVR. I have several of these remotes. I have one of the WMC extenders but don't use it. I bought these remotes on eBay. I had one fail but the others have working fine for several years. There are device buttons for the HP extender, for TV, for Cable, for DVD and for Aux. I use the Aux for the recievers and it has punch through to allow audio control while in another device. No macros. Works great! The codes were on the HP site.
I don't fully underatand. How did you program the buttons? What do you use as the IR receiver? What about volume control?


edit: http://www.amazon.com/HP-Infrared-Re...ireless+remote
how can I program this one?


and can I connect a hp x280n remote to an infrared hp receiver?


My whole plan is to use one remote to control the PC from both rooms, volume control on both receivers, and power buttons on tv and receiver. I'm considering using two remotes. One of them will have this device in it:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A393ZKPVGVX3TX

Last edited by ea7891; 08-16-2014 at 09:56 PM.
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post #15 of 25 Old 08-16-2014, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
I don't fully underatand. How did you program the buttons? What do you use as the IR receiver? What about volume control?
It's just a very limited universal remote. You enter codes for your brand of TV and/or AVR and the power and vol buttons will work those devices. You use the IR receiver that comes with it or any MCE (RC-6) protocol dongle. It may not have codes for your devices.


Anyway, I thought IR wasn't an option for you since it won't work from a different room.


And as I said before, you can probably increase the range dramatically on your existing keyboard by simply moving the receiver.
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post #16 of 25 Old 08-16-2014, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
It's just a very limited universal remote. You enter codes for your brand of TV and/or AVR and the power and vol buttons will work those devices. You use the IR receiver that comes with it or any MCE (RC-6) protocol dongle. It may not have codes for your devices.


Anyway, I thought IR wasn't an option for you since it won't work from a different room.


And as I said before, you can probably increase the range dramatically on your existing keyboard by simply moving the receiver.

I take it back. IR is definitely an option with that remote extender(refer to my edit above). I'm just having a hard time finding a nice remote but I'm thinking of going with the HP one mentioned above.


I would like to have a remote control in addition to my keyboard, which will stay close to the pc.
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post #17 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 06:05 AM
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There are much nicer remotes than that HP at that price. The Xsight Touch is about $25 shipped on eBay and is far better than any media center remote and better than most Harmony remotes. It will control 18 devices, do activity macros, favorites lists with logos, touchscreen, rechargeable battery, largest device database in the world and is programmable from your PC. You can also get an RF base for it for next to nothing. It originally sold for $250 plus $100 for RF.
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post #18 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 07:05 AM
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The Dell Remotes still remain as the best for HTPC in my view.

My biggest issue with high powered devices as remote is battery life. I replace my Dell Remote battery maybe one a year.
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post #19 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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There are much nicer remotes than that HP at that price. The Xsight Touch is about $25 shipped on eBay and is far better than any media center remote and better than most Harmony remotes. It will control 18 devices, do activity macros, favorites lists with logos, touchscreen, rechargeable battery, largest device database in the world and is programmable from your PC. You can also get an RF base for it for next to nothing. It originally sold for $250 plus $100 for RF.
Looks like HP remote is out because it is not compatible with windows 8. Xsight Touch is nice but i'm looking for something simple and cheap
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post #20 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 08:01 AM
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I use $3 JP1 remotes on most of my media center devices. They're cheap and simple, control nearly any TV and AVR, do macros and can do every MCE command. Just search eBay for Comcast remote and get an older silver one. I saw one for $2.50 shipped

Your requirements keep changing. Must be wifi, then RF, then nice IR, now cheap and simple IR. What problems exactly are you trying to solve and what is your budget?
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I use $3 JP1 remotes on most of my media center devices. They're cheap and simple, control nearly any TV and AVR, do macros and can do every MCE command. Just search eBay for Comcast remote and get an older silver one. I saw one for $2.50 shipped

Your requirements keep changing. Must be wifi, then RF, then nice IR, now cheap and simple IR. What problems exactly are you trying to solve and what is your budget?
Sorry about all the confusion.


I wanted to do wifi but then found out about RF and later found out that you can turn any IR remote into RF remote so now any IR remote will do.


My requirements are simple. I want a nice media center remote that will control my receivers and TVs. I have 2 denon receivers. Those HP remotes above look great but now i'm worried about the receiver not being compatible with windows 8. JP1 remotes are a good idea but I don't like their appearance. How do they control MCE?


I think I will get 2 remotes, one will be for the living room and will control my pc and living room receiver. The other one will go in the other room and will have RF transmitter in it. I'm going to use that UFO looking device that I've mentioned above.


I'm pretty much ready to order those HP remotes as soon as I make sure they are compatible with windows 8.1
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post #22 of 25 Old 08-17-2014, 01:22 PM
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I use MPC HC remote and XBMC remote
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post #23 of 25 Old 08-18-2014, 03:44 PM
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There are hundreds of models of JP1 remotes. You asked for cheap, I gave you cheap. The OARUSB04G is a beautiful JP1 remote. But it's more than $3. Since you can put any function on any button, it controls MCE however you want. I gave you a $250 RF remote for $25 and you didn't like that one either. I don't know what else to say besides enjoy those HP remotes.

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post #24 of 25 Old 08-20-2014, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ea7891 View Post
My piece of crap won't work any further than 5 feet...forget another room. Not much further than my couch
Many keyboards have ranges of 10m+ these days so there is that option if you desire
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post #25 of 25 Old 08-22-2014, 02:45 PM
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