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post #1 of 12 Old 03-19-2016, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Can my universal remote be programmed to power on/off my computers

I'm considering purchasing a desktop computer which will be placed on the floor and using my HDTV as the display device. Rather than having to reach out and/or down to the computer on every occasion for turning it on or off, can I possibly program my "One for all" brand RC ( model# OARUSB04G) to accomplish these tasks? (and perhaps other functions as well?)
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-20-2016, 05:59 AM
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It largely depends on the computer & IR setup.
You can get a usb ir receiver for your PC (these often come bundled with pc media remotes). But you want to make sure your computer has a "wake on usb" option in the bios.

For example, mine does not, so while I can power down, restart, even navigate the desktop with the remote, I cannot start the pc from a powered down state.

I'd say many people with a HTPC leave it on 24/7.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-20-2016, 07:54 AM
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Sleep/wake with your remote plus an IR dongle for the PC is easy. Completely power off and back on is hard and usually requires additional hardware installed inside the PC. I highly recommend you go with sleep/wake, in which case mouse or keyboard activity will do the trick without a remote. Your PC uses virtually no power during sleep anyway, so power off is of no benefit.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-20-2016, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting...

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Originally Posted by thebard View Post
It largely depends on the computer & IR setup.
You can get a usb ir receiver for your PC (these often come bundled with pc media remotes). But you want to make sure your computer has a "wake on usb" option in the bios.

For example, mine does not, so while I can power down, restart, even navigate the desktop with the remote, I cannot start the pc from a powered down state.

I'd say many people with a HTPC leave it on 24/7.


I am surprised that you can even navigate the desktop with the remote. At least I know now to consider a usb ir and to check the bios first.
Thanks for your reply.....it's a big help.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-20-2016, 10:32 AM
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While you can navigate with the remote, it's very awkward since you are limited to an 8 direction pad for the mouse and no qwerty. Use a smartphone app or wireless keyboard/mouse instead (like a k400).

A remote is more suited to playback and menu navigation (arrows).

There are basically 4 types of dongles for PC - MCE (RC-6), Ortek, Diamond (NEC) and what I call generic. All but NEC can do mouse navigation. The generic ones are the really cheap $6 jobs on eBay. Avoid them at all costs. They use a very strange custom protocol and are missing many core functions, like record.

We have upgrade file for every type for your remote in the JP1file section. You can also get MCE codes from Simpleset.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-20-2016, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Didn't know that

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Sleep/wake with your remote plus an IR dongle for the PC is easy. Completely power off and back on is hard and usually requires additional hardware installed inside the PC. I highly recommend you go with sleep/wake, in which case mouse or keyboard activity will do the trick without a remote. Your PC uses virtually no power during sleep anyway, so power off is of no benefit.


That simple thought just hadn't occurred to me.....thank you mdavej

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windmaker View Post
I'm considering purchasing a desktop computer which will be placed on the floor and using my HDTV as the display device. Rather than having to reach out and/or down to the computer on every occasion for turning it on or off, can I possibly program my "One for all" brand RC ( model# OARUSB04G) to accomplish these tasks? (and perhaps other functions as well?)
As others have indicated, powering on the computer is the trick. I believe that some computers have the option for Wake-On-LAN to work even if the computer is powered off but since that means it would have to draw power to the network card even when powered off, it probably isn't going to be available (or, perhaps, wise) for something like a laptop. Of course, anything that allowed power-on would have to draw power from somewhere to be triggered by a remote control. If the WOL option would work for you, however, there is an Android app you could install on your phone which would allow triggering the WOL packet (I imagine the equivalent is available for IOS).

I remember, some years back, seeing a relatively low-cost kit which was inserted in the line between the power button and the motherboard which added an IR (or was it RF?) receiver to allow remote power on/off but I tried to find it for my own use a few months back and couldn't locate it so, it may not be available any more.

Personally, for remote control of my home-theater PC (but not power-on) I use a wireless keyboard connected to my main PC and VNC to remote into the home-theater PC, but that's because I have a monitor to my main PC mounted on the table next to my recliner. For those without such luxuries a wireless keyboard dedicated to the home-theater PC would be more appropriate. But the power-on issue is still an issue. I don't really have an issue because I don't power-off the home theater PC (and after a power outage it reboots). My main problem comes from some weird but highly infrequent bug which happens when playing back a show through MythTV. Occasionally it will get stuck in a loop of about 1-second where it just keeps playing the same scene over and over -- at that point the computer's network card stops responding and everything except that loop goes dead so I have to walk over to the computer and reboot it. Most annoying.

- Les
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 06:07 PM
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Easy way to power on the PC via Remote Control

The easy way to power on the PC is three steps: (1) Plug the PC into a "Smart Power Strip Energy Saving Surge Protector with Autoswitching Technology" (2) Plug the TV into the control outlet of the same power strip (3) Set the PC Power options in the BIOS to automatically power after power outage.

What this does is rely on the TV getting powered on to energize the power strip, when then energizes the PC, when then powers itself on. Not quite Rube Goldberg, but very effective and reliable.

This does not address how to power off the PC, but others have good suggestions there.

-Alan
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a0167315 View Post
The easy way to power on the PC is three steps: (1) Plug the PC into a "Smart Power Strip Energy Saving Surge Protector with Autoswitching Technology" (2) Plug the TV into the control outlet of the same power strip (3) Set the PC Power options in the BIOS to automatically power after power outage.

What this does is rely on the TV getting powered on to energize the power strip, when then energizes the PC, when then powers itself on. Not quite Rube Goldberg, but very effective and reliable.

This does not address how to power off the PC, but others have good suggestions there.




-Alan
Thanks Alan

Last edited by Windmaker; 03-21-2016 at 06:26 PM. Reason: minor appearance issue
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnoland View Post
As others have indicated, powering on the computer is the trick. I believe that some computers have the option for Wake-On-LAN to work even if the computer is powered off but since that means it would have to draw power to the network card even when powered off, it probably isn't going to be available (or, perhaps, wise) for something like a laptop. Of course, anything that allowed power-on would have to draw power from somewhere to be triggered by a remote control. If the WOL option would work for you, however, there is an Android app you could install on your phone which would allow triggering the WOL packet (I imagine the equivalent is available for IOS).

I remember, some years back, seeing a relatively low-cost kit which was inserted in the line between the power button and the motherboard which added an IR (or was it RF?) receiver to allow remote power on/off but I tried to find it for my own use a few months back and couldn't locate it so, it may not be available any more.

Personally, for remote control of my home-theater PC (but not power-on) I use a wireless keyboard connected to my main PC and VNC to remote into the home-theater PC, but that's because I have a monitor to my main PC mounted on the table next to my recliner. For those without such luxuries a wireless keyboard dedicated to the home-theater PC would be more appropriate. But the power-on issue is still an issue. I don't really have an issue because I don't power-off the home theater PC (and after a power outage it reboots). My main problem comes from some weird but highly infrequent bug which happens when playing back a show through MythTV. Occasionally it will get stuck in a loop of about 1-second where it just keeps playing the same scene over and over -- at that point the computer's network card stops responding and everything except that loop goes dead so I have to walk over to the computer and reboot it. Most annoying.

- Les
Thank you Inoland/Les ~

I just wanted to say that I think I'm going to keep this whole matter as simple as possible by most probably using the cordless mouse/keyboard to utilize the sleep/wake option instead of powering on and off completely.....no universal remote necessary! Thanks again.
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windmaker View Post
Thank you Inoland/Les ~

I just wanted to say that I think I'm going to keep this whole matter as simple as possible by most probably using the cordless mouse/keyboard to utilize the sleep/wake option instead of powering on and off completely.....no universal remote necessary! Thanks again.
Sounds like a plan. If you haven't dealt with wireless keyboards before, I would caution you to shop carefully, unless you are planning to use this with a desk. A mouse on anything other than a desk is generally a PITA. Trackpads and trackballs work better but come with their own issues and annoyances. I use my keyboard in my lap and keyboard and trackpad layout have a significant effect on how well that works.

- Les
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-21-2016, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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T'aint a problem 'tall

Quote:
Originally Posted by lnoland View Post
Sounds like a plan. If you haven't dealt with wireless keyboards before, I would caution you to shop carefully, unless you are planning to use this with a desk. A mouse on anything other than a desk is generally a PITA. Trackpads and trackballs work better but come with their own issues and annoyances. I use my keyboard in my lap and keyboard and trackpad layout have a significant effect on how well that works.

- Les


I've used cordless mice and keyboards for years with both desktops and laptops. Up until a couple days ago when my thinkpad display port died completely (was just an audio loss for a while) I had the laptop on a shelf along side my recliner to transfer the a/v signal to my HDTV, and used a compact cordless keyboard on my lap and a cordless mouse & it's pad on the recliner arm pad. Now I've got to place the heavier laptop on a lapdesk in my lap and have temporarily lost the large HDTV as a computer display, although I do still have an Acer netbook that I rarely use that can put the computer display back up on the HDTV if desired....but it is oh so slow compared to my laptop performance.... .......and so goes the reason for my looking into purchasing another fast (desktop) computer just for use with the HDTV. Thanks again..

Dick
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