Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 29 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
The base itself is also a powerful blaster. I guess in your case, I'd put the base either on top or inside and run a few blasters to each device or group of devices. Blaster cables are about 6' long. The wires are very thin, and the blasters very small.
Thanks. The shelves are open to each other in the back so I could run the cables between them from inside the closet. Being RF I could mount the base behind one of the closed off shelves (it's just cardboard covered in velvet)? I'd pretty much need a six foot cable in each direction to get to the equipment.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:38 PM
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^^^
I'm guessing 6'. If it's really that close, I'll have to measure to confirm. Will do tomorrow.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dbaps View Post
While "I get it" that part of this article is about Tivo Premier, keep in mind what they are doing to the Tivo-HD players. The hardware supports Mpeg-4 but Tivo refuses to port the software to the Tivo-HD. So now I'm watching my HD channels slowly disappear from Verizon. For me I have to go back and count up the cost, three Tivo-HD players, one lifetime subscription, two monthly subscriptions...you get the point. Yes, I will hold on until that HD channel my wife "has to have" is gone.
Wah. Tech moves on, your devices don't. Get over it.

Try telling this 'sob' story to the folks that got suckered into buying Ceton's Echo (as unknowing beta-testers), then watched as Ceton abandoned dev on it within six months. Tivo is way better than this.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^
I'm guessing 6'. If it's really that close, I'll have to measure to confirm. Will do tomorrow.
I appreciate it but don't bother. I tested the tablet out in the room and for my usage (hardly any) it works great and I'm sure the next projector I throw in will be network aware. Worse case I'll put the IR extenders back into play.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:46 AM
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While "I get it" that part of this article is about Tivo Premier, keep in mind what they are doing to the Tivo-HD players. The hardware supports Mpeg-4 but Tivo refuses to port the software to the Tivo-HD.
The TiVo HD is two generations back and TiVo never promises to support legacy equipment forever. No one does.

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Old 08-06-2014, 08:50 AM
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Try telling this 'sob' story to the folks that got suckered into buying Ceton's Echo (as unknowing beta-testers), then watched as Ceton abandoned dev on it within six months. Tivo is way better than this.
How about the Sony DHG people -- Sony won't issue a firmware update that allows them to set the clock.

The problem with the TiVo HD is the same as the Sony DHG -- they were built too well and have kept running without issue far longer than their digital lifespans.

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Old 08-06-2014, 09:15 AM
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Unhappy Wah - not really...

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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Wah. Tech moves on, your devices don't. Get over it.

Try telling this 'sob' story to the folks that got suckered into buying Ceton's Echo (as unknowing beta-testers), then watched as Ceton abandoned dev on it within six months. Tivo is way better than this.

True, tech does "move on." But depending on how fast it moves on, renting may make more sense than buying. It's a trade-off isn't it? For me, you can't measure how much more enjoyment I get out of the Tivo software, adding external storage, and replacing bad parts myself. As I said, I love Tivo. But it's still a choice isn't it?

Now I will go back to my corner until I stop crying...
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:29 AM
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Renting vs. buying is always a personal decision, but IMO usually a foolish one with Tivo given that lifetime units retain substantial resale value. It doesn't cost as much to upgrade as you think if you are willing to bear the lifetime sub cost.

Not to mention that cableCo DVRs almost universally suck compared to a current Tivo.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Now I will go back to my corner until I stop crying...
I think crying is fine. However if one wishes to do such starting a thread or even picking one that's directly related would be more understandable.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:07 PM
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I appreciate it but don't bother. I tested the tablet out in the room and for my usage (hardly any) it works great and I'm sure the next projector I throw in will be network aware. Worse case I'll put the IR extenders back into play.
Glad it worked out.

FTR, my cables are actually 10' (saw your post AFTER I measured).
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:24 PM
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The problem with the TiVo HD is the same as the Sony DHG -- they were built too well and have kept running without issue far longer than their digital lifespans.
There is no such thing as being built "too well". They've lasted longer than the standards they were designed to support, which is a problem with the rapid release cycles companies use these days. We should never encourage companies to make shoddier products that will break sooner, though, as it will only entice them to make worse products that either break or become incompatible with other equipment sooner.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:39 AM
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I've been bouncing back and forth with cable-cutting (if it weren't for the NFL and NCAA-BB). I'm thinking of going this route. I currently have a home-server running Win8. It's an AMD processor and 2gig of Ram. Works well for storing media plus my wife's photography backups. The PC does have an integrated HDMI card into the motherboard. It's really a small-spec PC that I built for being a headless file server. If I can dump media center on there, add a tuner and an IR remote and get a decent DVR solution, I'd be happy with that. I am paying the $10-dollars a month for basic cable service as that was actually cheaper than paying for my cable-internet stand alone. So I'll have that coming in plus OTA if it makes sense (probably not).

Anyone have an good starter guides to follow?

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of going this route.

Anyone have an good starter guides to follow?
Since you are running Windows 8.x you will need to upgrade to Pro (if you aren't there already) before you can purchase/install Media Center. Media Center is included in Windows 7 which is why it's still very popular. 2GB of RAM might be OK but using extenders would probably be out of the question. 4GBs is really the sweet spot.

Tuners, remotes and IR sensors are covered in the first few posts of this thread and still fairly current. Although there are now two versions of the HDHomeRuns... one offers hardware encoding to support DLNA clients via HD. The standard model (linked below) only supports SD DLNA streaming. For WMC they would perform identically.

Software wise it really couldn't be any easier. Run the Wizard and in a few minutes you are good to go. When you select your display be sure to pick CRT (or whatever they call it). This will give you 1:1 pixel mapping... the sharpest image.

If you want you go with less popular tuners that's fine but I would recommend the following... search Amazon (if) the forum is redirecting the links...

HDHR4-2US | http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HD...ords=hdhomerun - $80 at the moment for two tuners.
HDHR3-CC | http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HD...omerun+3tuners - $120 if you need cable support (requires a CableCARD?)

http://www.amazon.com/Ortek-Windows-..._bxgy_pc_img_y - $14 remote and IR sensor.

Last edited by Charles R; 08-12-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:39 PM
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... I am paying the $10-dollars a month for basic cable service as that was actually cheaper than paying for my cable-internet stand alone. So I'll have that coming in plus OTA if it makes sense (probably not).

Anyone have an good starter guides to follow?
Check out the HTPC forum here. It has tons of great info and guides.

Charles will strongly disagree with me, but the Ceton InfiniTV 6 is a great tuner since the latest firmware release. It's an option if you think you'll ever need more than 3 tuners. Ceton also make a 4 tuner model.

There's no need for OTA if you have cable, unless your cable system doesn't carry all your local sub-channels (mine does).

Realize that your are also about to set in motion a chain of events that are going to cost you some significant time and money. First you'll discover that 2GB isn't enough (WMC alone can eat up 1GB without extenders), your drive space isn't enough, video isn't smooth enough, PC isn't quiet enough, cool enough, small enough or fast enough, etc., etc.

Like Charles, I'm on my 4th HTPC in 2 years. I've bought and later sold nearly a dozen tuners and extenders as well. I've only just now reached the point where I'm satisfied will every component.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Charles will strongly disagree with me, but the Ceton InfiniTV 6 is a great tuner since the latest firmware release.

Like Charles, I'm on my 4th HTPC in 2 years.
I think you'll be hard pressed to find one post I have made about Ceton tuners... now their extender perhaps two or three over the years. And actually the PC I purchased roughly two years ago is still my "official" WMC PC (virtually unchanged). Sure, I have built this and that but I typically sell them. Regarding disk space I'm a watch and delete kind of guy and I believe only once I have over 500 MBs of recordings. Most of this week the drive is empty...

My trusty old Dell (also my desktop) towering over a HP Chromebox (which runs XBMC/WMC client).
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:36 AM
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Check out the HTPC forum here. It has tons of great info and guides.

Charles will strongly disagree with me, but the Ceton InfiniTV 6 is a great tuner since the latest firmware release. It's an option if you think you'll ever need more than 3 tuners. Ceton also make a 4 tuner model.

There's no need for OTA if you have cable, unless your cable system doesn't carry all your local sub-channels (mine does).

Realize that your are also about to set in motion a chain of events that are going to cost you some significant time and money. First you'll discover that 2GB isn't enough (WMC alone can eat up 1GB without extenders), your drive space isn't enough, video isn't smooth enough, PC isn't quiet enough, cool enough, small enough or fast enough, etc., etc.

Like Charles, I'm on my 4th HTPC in 2 years. I've bought and later sold nearly a dozen tuners and extenders as well. I've only just now reached the point where I'm satisfied will every component.
This is AVS, I think we all understand were taking the "red pill".

The PC, has an AMD 2.5Ghz Dual Core 64-bit processor although only a 32-bit Win8 OS. The motherboard supports 4gig of Ram and I can easily upgrade. It already has an 120gig SSD for the OS and 12TB worth of other drives. It's been in service for quite awhile. First with Windows Home Server, and then migrated (with the addition of the SSD) to Windows 8 due to the storage pools functionality.

I went ahead and updated it to Win8.1 with WMC (I was already on pro) last night. I just need to pull the trigger on the tuner.

I have a popcorn hour C200 media player that I use to play Bluray rips with full HD audio off of this PC. The machine doesn't play anything, it only serves up the files. When WMC records a show, what is the filetype in? Is it possible that I could just build some scripts, copy the shows over to one of my "media" drives and then just watch recorded TV content from my Popcorn Hour? That would limit what the PC itself has to do since it won't have to show any video. I'd only need it for Live TV or TV already in process of recording.

More questions:

My mother-in-law lives with me. Her mother (my grandmother-in-law) lives with my mother-in-law's sister but the family deal is that my mother-in-law pay for cable at the house where my grandmother-in-law lives. I'm thinking I could get my mother-in-law to just add a cable-card to her account and then use it our house because she subscribes to an español package Anywho, my mother-in-law doesn't have a TV in her bedroom, she has traditionally just used my theater or watched content on her laptop ala Netflix or the like. If she used WMC on her laptop to access an HDHomeRunPrime what issues are there? Can more than one WMC see a networked tuner? Can I assign two tuners to my PC, leaving one tuner for laptop? Can we somehow share all three?

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Old 08-13-2014, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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More questions:
  • WMC records using a file format that few players play natively. XBMC will and I'm sure there are others. You can create scripts to convert the format relatively easy once the recording has completed.
  • Video playback requires very little horsepower so I wouldn't worry about taxing the PC.
  • Tuners can be shared (on the fly) between various WMC PCs. Also a WMC PC (her laptop) can access another WMC's recordings as well so recordings can be shared. If they aren't copy protected that is... not an issue with OTA.

Last edited by Charles R; 08-13-2014 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:30 AM
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In that case you should avoid WMC altogether. Use some other PVR software and skip copying/converting altogether. With WMC, you'd just record directly to your media drive and view live/recorded TV on extenders.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:33 AM
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In that case you should avoid WMC altogether. Use some other PVR software and skip copying/converting altogether. With WMC, you'd just record directly to your media drive and view live/recorded TV on extenders.
He did say he was using basic cable. If the channels he wants to record are not clear-QAM and he requires a cable card tuner he has no other choice than WMC.

If using OTA, NextPVR records to .ts files. I used NextPVR initially and found that I could chase-play a .ts file on the WDTV Live-SMP while the recording was in progress. Only problem was the Live-SMP does not have skip-forward/back functionality to zip through commercials.

@scubasteve2365
That brings up the as-yet unmentioned caveat of dealing with commercials in your recordings. Regardless of the recording format, if you want to use the PC as a central DVR for full-house streaming of the recorded content, the extender boxes have to have some way to allow convenient skipping of commercials. Conventional media players like WDTV Live and Mede8ter do not have skip functionality and using FF leaves a lot to be desired.

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:51 PM
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Not true. Cable card tuners work fine with other PVR software like Media Portal or Sage. MB3 works using WMC as a back end. The only limitation is copy once. Copy freely is fine. Clear QAM is only required if you don't have a cable card at all. Basic cable won't have any copy once premium channels anyway. So no, WMC isn't a requirement.

It's pointless to record with WMC if you intend to move/convert/watch with something else. Why lock yourself into wtv files?

Last edited by mdavej; 08-13-2014 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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It's pointless to record with WMC if you intend to move/convert/watch with something else. Why lock yourself into wtv files?
Some streamers support native WMC files such as XBMC. So nothing is required and if you do wish to convert the files it's rather easy. I have tried XBMC with several back-end PVR solutions and I'll take WMC running WMCServer. The little Chromebox I posted an image of is $150 and outside of streaming everything in the world (via OpenELEC) it is a wonderful WMC extender. One you could use on your PC as well... say Windows 8.x without upgrading to Pro and Media Center.

I don't see it much if any different than when I used TiVo. It uses its own file "format" but it's very easy to convert it to a standard file. So you aren't locked in per se. A lot of people run scripts to transfer their recordings to a NAS/storage server, remove commercials, and whatnot... why not tag a file conversion once it's done.

Now I agree the further you move away from traditional WMC viewing/clients the more painful the solution. I just find it not so black and white.

Last edited by Charles R; 08-13-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:09 PM
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The only limitation is copy once.
That is what I was referring to. Open source solutions don't have the cable labs DRM support.

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Old 08-13-2014, 04:28 PM
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... which the OP isn't affected by if he uses cable card on basic cable, hence no WMC requirement.

My point was why pick one solution then jump through hoops because it doesn't work the way you want. Pick a different solution to begin with or mix it up as Charles said.

I subscribe to the KISS principle. So I stick with WMC and WMC extenders. No other clients, no scheduled tasks to move files around. I can't build a client as cheap as my extenders ($50 on average). My HTPC server cost the same as Charles' client box. With 5 clients in my house, I won't pay $150 per node.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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With 5 clients in my house, I won't pay $150 per node.
Actually, you'd be saving hundreds. It's not what it costs rather it's what it performs and or replaces. The Chromebox has an Intel Haswell Celeron CPU (does 24Hz perfectly), supports dual displays and is powerful enough to play any and all HD audio and video via OpenELEC. I'm not aware of anything close to its price (I'm talking new... don't do used) that matches its features.

Now you aren't looking for such performance I understand which makes perfect sense for your installation. I also like to keep things simple and I'll use an Xbox 360 E (Black Friday $99) for any location what only needs to function as an extender. Right now I have zero of those locations.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:37 PM
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Tempting but still doesn't work for me. All I need is live and recorded TV. No other streaming of any kind. Chromebox awesomeness would be completely wasted on me. Extenders fill the bill at a third of that price plus give me protected content, of which I have a lot.

I feel like I've thread jacked once again. So IMO, the popcorn hour for live/recorded TV is going to be awkward at best. Do something else. If not an extender or Chromebox, at least a Roku with MB3.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I feel like I've thread jacked once again.
It's good to drift once in a while. It's not like WMC is ever changing and there is new information everyday. As long as one isn't whining (for no justifiable reason ) it's nice to see different approaches to solve largely the same desire. At this point (after two years) I think one is more likely to get useful information not about WMC than WMC itself from reading ongoing posts.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:41 AM
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I feel like I've thread jacked once again. So IMO, the popcorn hour for live/recorded TV is going to be awkward at best. Do something else. If not an extender or Chromebox, at least a Roku with MB3.

How well does the Roku 3 and MB3 work? I just found out that the Roku can do this along with play my MKV movies.

I am already an MB server / MB theater user. How well does the Roku 3 live TV / DVR work compared to WMC? How easy is setup? Do you use Server MC on the backend and how do you get the guide data?

Is the Roku 3 video quality for both Live TV and for playing Blu Ray MKV rips bit for bit? Or at least identical to the same files being played in WMC (in the case of Live TV) or another standalone device like a Dune Smart D1 (in the case of MKV blu ray rips)?
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:50 AM
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Tempting but still doesn't work for me. All I need is live and recorded TV. No other streaming of any kind. Chromebox awesomeness would be completely wasted on me. Extenders fill the bill at a third of that price plus give me protected content, of which I have a lot.

I feel like I've thread jacked once again. So IMO, the popcorn hour for live/recorded TV is going to be awkward at best. Do something else. If not an extender or Chromebox, at least a Roku with MB3.
I won't be looking into playing back the files with my popcorn hour. It was a thought not knowing what format WMC archived in. It was also a thought being concerned what sort of playback quality I was going to get on my machine.

Last night I went to Best Buy and purchased a USB QAM tuner to play with. I plan on returning it (immoral of me I know) but I wanted to see what this was going to be like before going through the hassle of picking up the HomeRunPrime, ordering the cable cards, ect.

I grabbed a few local clear-QAM channels and they played back pretty well. Enough so that I'm ready to move on with the plan with the HDHomeRun Prime. I will be grabbing some encrypted channels and I'm on Time Warner so I believe the copy-once is an issue.

If I end up with a memory problem I can drop 2 more gigs in, upping the machine to 4gig, I'll save that for last.

How does IR control really work with windows. Looks like starting up WMC in full screen on Win8.1 isn't a default option but there is some work arounds for that. I use iRule and a Harmony900. I ordered the remote linked above from Amazon this morning, with it, is there a button or anything that will launch WMC or make it full screen if it's not already? Or if it's launched already make it the application of focus? I'm trying to conceive how an IR remote can work in a PC desktop solution and it seems like there are hurdles. Once WMC is fullscreen and focused I don't see any issues.

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Old 08-14-2014, 08:32 AM
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There is an agent you can install in windows to give you IP control with iRule or Roomie remote.

Just using the basic remote, the green button brings up WMC in full screen and in focus.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:50 AM
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... and switches to it if already running. IR remote works very well.

To stay 100% IR remote, there's a reg key you can set to bring up an on-screen keyboard for searches when you press OK. Triple tap doesn't work on Ortek, so just arrow around to type.

If you bought the Ortek remote, in Harmony use the Ortek VRC-1100 profile, not MCE or Media Center. Ortek protocol is completely different.

If you're doing a lot of typing, nothing beats a real keyboard like a Logitech k400.
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