Is there a Universal Remote App for a Laptop? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there an application similar to iRule or Roomie (which are made for iPods, iPads and iPhones), but that runs on a PC? A spare laptop with 802.11 controlling my A/V equipment using a iTach box would make a great coffee table remote.

I have been happily (after the initial effort to set it up) controlling things with a Harmony 890 Pro for several years, but it has now broken. The interface port broke off inside the unit when trying to revise things to add a Blu Ray.

Rather than sinking money into a waning product, I noticed that there have clearly been notable advances thanks to the "There is an app for that" world. It seems many are using their mobile devices as a universal remote control using apps like iRule or Roomie, but I have not yet embraced the smart phone direction... yet.

Why couldn't a laptop have similar robust features (macros, custom buttons, universal control, zones) using iTach equipment to make the TCP/IP to IR conversion (for equipment that does not have a Ethernet port). The key difference (pun intended) being it would be point and click, rather than a touch screen like the iPxx (iPods, iPads and iPhones) based solutions.

Anyone know of a good one?
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 07:56 PM
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A good one? How about Control4?

I disagree with your assertion that dedicated handheld remotes are a waning product.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 10:10 PM
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I just discovered TouchControl. It is meant for iPhone/iPod/iPad BUT you can also have a remote on your PC. There is a function in the program for exactly what you're talking about. And it is completely customizable. Give it a look.

http://www.touch-ir.com/
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-29-2011, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

A good one? How about Control4?

I disagree with your assertion that dedicated handheld remotes are a waning product.

I took the OP's comment to mean that Harmony was waning, not handheld remotes in general. I agree with that as each new generation has some functionality removed that its predecessors had. I agree with you also, the ipad type solutions have a WOW factor, but the handheld remote cannot be beat for some uses, such as DVR.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-01-2012, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkbs View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

A good one? How about Control4?

I disagree with your assertion that dedicated handheld remotes are a waning product.

I took the OP's comment to mean that Harmony was waning, not handheld remotes in general. I agree with that as each new generation has some functionality removed that its predecessors had. I agree with you also, the ipad type solutions have a WOW factor, but the handheld remote cannot be beat for some uses, such as DVR.

Yup, the comment was specific to the Harmony 890 Pro, not handhelds in general.

That said, my requirements (albeit far and wide) seem to be pushing handhelds out of the equation. I am looking for affordable, RF (non-line of sight), super macros, multi-zone, fully customizable, 100% reliable and most importantly usable by anyone, not just the technically gifted

The RF part generally means they are not affordable when looking for a handheld solution. When I decided to bite the bullet on price and go with the Harmony because it was RF and customizable, it proved to be reasonably reliable (not 100% but pretty close) but it was a bear to set up and only lasted a couple of years... and they did not stand behind their product - No affordable replacement option nor a solution that was backwardly compatible, which would have meant more time spent setting up a new Harmony model (uhhh, NO - once bit, twice shy).

For me, today's remote technology means:
* RF = 802.11
* Affordable = using a smart device that I have justified for other reasons.

All the other high tech functionality also seems to be pushing me toward a PC or iPxx device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy As Stone View Post

I just discovered TouchControl. It is meant for iPhone/iPod/iPad BUT you can also have a remote on your PC. There is a function in the program for exactly what you're talking about. And it is completely customizable. Give it a look.

http://www.touch-ir.com/

I am definitely going to try TouchControl. So far what I have read seems to meet all of my requirements. I have not looked at Control4 in any depth yet, but the MyHome product says "must have a Control4® system" and to contact a dealer - sounds expensive.

Thank you all for the input. I appreciate it as I now have a direction to take.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-14-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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TouchControl is the app for me. In addition to the functionality in today's leading Remote Control applications, I was looking for 2 additional things that I needed:
  1. Using a laptop PC as the User's remote (the reason for this post) - Many people have wireless laptops and many apps are designed for iPxx devices, yet only TouchControl allows control using a laptop PC as well as iPxx devices as the remote. VERY UNIQUE, VERY USEFUL, IMHO.
  2. Controlling a Panasonic Blu-Ray (DMP-BDT110/210/310) over the network (TCP/IP). With TouchControl's help to figure out HTTP POST and input from mdavej and XARiUS, we cracked this nut too. I have posted the technical details on the command format here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post21491715
TouchControl includes these two requirements at an affordable price, along with the commonly needed functions such as:
  • Customization of remote layouts
  • Macros
  • 802.11 for non-Line Of Sight control
  • IR for traditional control (using a iTach device or equivalent)
  • iPxx as the User's remote
I am very happy thus far. I am not affiliated with TouchControl other than a very impressed user. Check it out at http://www.touch-ir.com/.
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