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Help with HTPC remote control

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

Id just like to start off by saying, I'm basically brand new to the HTPC world. I just set up my first HTPC last night. Ive read some posts around here, and searched for some answers, but am left with a few questions.

Basically, what I'm looking for is suggestions on the best way to control my new HTPC. I have a machine running windows 7 and am looking to use a few different programs including xmbc, netflix, hulu and steam to start. I have the Antec fusion max case with built in IR receiver. it also includes "Deluxe 56-button remote control and iMEDIAN HD by iMON software for media management and playback ". FYI for the rest of my components I use a Harmony 750 and love it. My ideal control would be via my phone (Galaxy Nexus) or a tablet (Nexus 7).

So after doing some reading, I find that iMon and Soundgraph are not very well supported. After playing around with it, the remote itself its decent, but leave a lot to be desired. I haven't tested the iMon software all that much, but it seems lacking as well. Am I missing something here?

I'm assuming the IR receiver will work with any software, so is there anything else I should be looking for? Any brands to look at or avoid?

Edit: So I've finally gotten to the point where I've read about the android control of xbmc. Is there anything like that for outside of xbmc (controlling windows 7)?

Thanks.
Edited by fido2 - 1/21/13 at 11:47pm
post #2 of 47
This is a much simpler solution than you're probably looking for, but Hippo Remote or Mobile Mouse work great for me. There are profiles for most apps or you can easily build your own.
post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

This is a much simpler solution than you're probably looking for, but Hippo Remote or Mobile Mouse work great for me. There are profiles for most apps or you can easily build your own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

This is a much simpler solution than you're probably looking for, but Hippo Remote or Mobile Mouse work great for me. There are profiles for most apps or you can easily build your own.


Wow. That seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Ill give them a try and add my $.02 later. Thanks!
post #4 of 47
I've used Air Mouse, Wifi mouse, mobile mouse, and remote mouse on my Gnex and Nexus 7

All work smooth for trackpad->mouse and occasional text entry

I've had one problem that persists with all of them, and I'm not really able to work around it just yet. Any administrative UAC prompt from W7 disables the paired server application running in the windows background. This is most unfortunate when you are expecting to sit down with a tablet and control your whole system

I use Yatse for XBMC control. If you turn off bitstreaming you can use your device's buttons for volume control as well smile.gif
post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I've used Air Mouse, Wifi mouse, mobile mouse, and remote mouse on my Gnex and Nexus 7

All work smooth for trackpad->mouse and occasional text entry

I've had one problem that persists with all of them, and I'm not really able to work around it just yet. Any administrative UAC prompt from W7 disables the paired server application running in the windows background. This is most unfortunate when you are expecting to sit down with a tablet and control your whole system

I use Yatse for XBMC control. If you turn off bitstreaming you can use your device's buttons for volume control as well smile.gif

Other than Yaste, which would be your favorite?
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by fido2 View Post

Other than Yaste, which would be your favorite?
There is no other smile.gif

Team-XBMCs official remote works for a lot of others. In my experience it didn't fetch thumbnails as quickly. I also never had a single problem installing Yatse, but I experienced a few when trying to install the appropriate official remote (which at the time was not the one in the Play Store). It just works so well that I've not kept up with any other options
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

There is no other smile.gif

Team-XBMCs official remote works for a lot of others. In my experience it didn't fetch thumbnails as quickly. I also never had a single problem installing Yatse, but I experienced a few when trying to install the appropriate official remote (which at the time was not the one in the Play Store). It just works so well that I've not kept up with any other options

I was playing around with the offical remote for a bit today. Did the job, but I figured there had to be something better. Ill give Yaste a try tomorrow.


How about outside of xbmc? I can't test anything til tomorrow, but Mobile Mouse looks pretty good and HippoRemote even better.
post #8 of 47
I found the imon software to be worthless. Uninstalled and installed eventghost, much better. Makes your normal controller useful everywhere. I also use the official xbmc app occasionally and it works very good. There is also a browser page that you can load, once you set it up within the gui just type the ip into your browser.

You can also control xbmc with a 360 controller. I haven't tried to customize the 360 controller for other apps with eventghost yet...

Lots of options.
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

I found the imon software to be worthless. Uninstalled and installed eventghost, much better. Makes your normal controller useful everywhere. I also use the official xbmc app occasionally and it works very good. There is also a browser page that you can load, once you set it up within the gui just type the ip into your browser.

You can also control xbmc with a 360 controller. I haven't tried to customize the 360 controller for other apps with eventghost yet...

Lots of options.

Yeah, iMon is terrible. Ill be looking into eventghost, thank you.

As for the controllers, Hippo remote looks the best yet, but sadly its apple only. Might have to dig that old 3G out.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I've had one problem that persists with all of them, and I'm not really able to work around it just yet. Any administrative UAC prompt from W7 disables the paired server application running in the windows background. This is most unfortunate when you are expecting to sit down with a tablet and control your whole system
I had this problem with Mobile Mouse, but Hippo seems to be more immune since it uses VNC. In any case I've turned UAC way down on my HTPC.
post #11 of 47
Is your phone Android or Windows 7,8? - Than use 'Unified Remote' http://www.unifiedremote.com/ It is incredible! When I first had it installed it didn't work very well, but they have gone through a few revisions and it now works amazingly well! It will control any video app, or the mouse, keyboard, browswer, whatever you want!
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I had this problem with Mobile Mouse, but Hippo seems to be more immune since it uses VNC. In any case I've turned UAC way down on my HTPC.

I thought they all use vnc? Some offer additional bluetooth and wifi direct connectivity

The documentation on these apps is ridiculously lacking, not to mention the reviews

Do you use the $5 or free version of Hippo?
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I thought they all use vnc? Some offer additional bluetooth and wifi direct connectivity

The documentation on these apps is ridiculously lacking, not to mention the reviews

Do you use the $5 or free version of Hippo?
I use the paid version to get all the profiles. The free version is fine for basic keyboard/mouse control.

HippoRemote.com has some pretty good docs, faq and setup video. The profile building process is very well documented. WinVNC has it's own documentation, but I'm not sure of the site.

In this case when I say VNC, I mean specifically the WinVNC server service. It appears to hook into windows at a lower level than some other remote access services that others might use. Besides MobileMouse, I haven't tried the others you listed, so I'm not sure how they work. I suppose some install their own services. If you haven't tried Hippo, you should give it a shot and see if it solves your UAC issues. A side benefit of having WinVNC installed is I can also run other VNC apps from my ipad/iphone for full remote desktop capability.
Edited by mdavej - 1/23/13 at 1:46pm
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

In this case when I say VNC, I mean specifically the WinVNC server service. It appears to hook into windows at a lower level than some other remote access services that others might use. Besides MobileMouse, I haven't tried the others you listed, so I'm not sure how they work. I suppose some install their own services. If you haven't tried Hippo, you should give it a shot and see if it solves your UAC issues. A side benefit of having WinVNC installed is I can also run other VNC apps from my ipad/iphone for full remote desktop capability.
Every wifi mouse app I've ever tried requires it's own desktop couterpart installed. I'm thought they use some tiny bundled form of VNC. They also punch themselves a hole in your firewall

I've never used WinVNC, might be more stable. I'll give this a go soon
post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I use the paid version to get all the profiles. The free version is fine for basic keyboard/mouse control.

HippoRemote.com has some pretty good docs, faq and setup video. The profile building process is very well documented. WinVNC has it's own documentation, but I'm not sure of the site.

In this case when I say VNC, I mean specifically the WinVNC server service. It appears to hook into windows at a lower level than some other remote access services that others might use. Besides MobileMouse, I haven't tried the others you listed, so I'm not sure how they work. I suppose some install their own services. If you haven't tried Hippo, you should give it a shot and see if it solves your UAC issues. A side benefit of having WinVNC installed is I can also run other VNC apps from my ipad/iphone for full remote desktop capability.

Just to be sure I'm not missing something, hippo is iOS only correct?
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by fido2 View Post

Just to be sure I'm not missing something, hippo is iOS only correct?

Guess I missed that, but iOS only. Maybe I'll look at valence
post #17 of 47
Looks that way on their website... So hippo is only IOS, and unified is only Android (and apparently Windows phone 7,8)
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
Being stuck on night shift and not being able to test this stuff is killer. Makes for a long week.

So far I have xbmc remote, mobile mouse and Unified remote. Might even have to see if I can find my old iPhone 3G to test hippo.
post #19 of 47
I just use a logitech harmony one for xbmc. I got some rosewill remote for the ir receiver and it seems to work fine. I'm probably going to get an airmouse for when I need a cursor. I want to try out the leap motion control but not sure when they are going to be released. in my experience, I hated tablet/phone control. I don't like touch screen for tv controls. it might seem like a very minor point to have to look down at the remote to control things but I found it to be very annoying. I'd rather have buttons that I can feel. I also hated having to swipe or unlock the screen just to change the volume. It might not look as cool but IMO a good remote is still the most comfortable way to control an AV system.
post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyen78 View Post

I just use a logitech harmony one for xbmc. I got some rosewill remote for the ir receiver and it seems to work fine. I'm probably going to get an airmouse for when I need a cursor. I want to try out the leap motion control but not sure when they are going to be released. in my experience, I hated tablet/phone control. I don't like touch screen for tv controls. it might seem like a very minor point to have to look down at the remote to control things but I found it to be very annoying. I'd rather have buttons that I can feel. I also hated having to swipe or unlock the screen just to change the volume. It might not look as cool but IMO a good remote is still the most comfortable way to control an AV system.

I'm personally going for a "hybrid" system. I have a harmony as well and plan to use it for control of my receiver and therefore volume and device switching. Once on my HTPC, I'm looking for a tablet/phone remote that can quickly and easily start and switch between programs. The phone/tablet may not be the best solution, but for me it is away (in my mind) to avoid having more remotes out on the coffee table as my phone is always with me.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyen78 View Post

I just use a logitech harmony one for xbmc. I got some rosewill remote for the ir receiver and it seems to work fine. I'm probably going to get an airmouse for when I need a cursor. I want to try out the leap motion control but not sure when they are going to be released. in my experience, I hated tablet/phone control. I don't like touch screen for tv controls. it might seem like a very minor point to have to look down at the remote to control things but I found it to be very annoying. I'd rather have buttons that I can feel. I also hated having to swipe or unlock the screen just to change the volume. It might not look as cool but IMO a good remote is still the most comfortable way to control an AV system.

You can use your d-pad as a mouse on desktop with software like Eventghost. You can setup auto-switching depending on what is currently active.
post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

You can use your d-pad as a mouse on desktop with software like Eventghost. You can setup auto-switching depending on what is currently active.

Sounds like it would be similar to tabbing with a keyboard. Is there a way to simulate a mouse too?
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by fido2 View Post

Sounds like it would be similar to tabbing with a keyboard. Is there a way to simulate a mouse too?

Huh? You can use your d-pad as a mouse, not alt-tabbing. You have to use a separate program to do it, like Eventghost.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

You can use your d-pad as a mouse on desktop with software like Eventghost. You can setup auto-switching depending on what is currently active.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fido2 View Post

Sounds like it would be similar to tabbing with a keyboard. Is there a way to simulate a mouse too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

Huh? You can use your d-pad as a mouse, not alt-tabbing. You have to use a separate program to do it, like Eventghost.
You don't need any software at all for that. My Ortek remote has a 16-direction mousepad, hence the dongle will recognize mouse movement commands from any universal like harmony or otherwise. I do it all the time. I'm not running any IR capture software like Eventghost.
post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 
So just for a bit of a follow up. Out of the remotes suggested, Ive found that the Unified Remote app works very well. It has profiles for almost any media program you could ask for. Worked tremendously well for xmbc. The mouse control was quite good as well, barely any lag.

Has anyone tried to do remote desktop control via a tablet?
post #26 of 47
I do RDP from my smartphone all the time. But I assume you mean using the tablet as a mousepad for real-time control of the HTPC.
post #27 of 47
Thread Starter 
I'm just curious about overall control of the htpc. Desktop and in program control. Unified remote I find is great for a phone app but wondering if remote deskstop on a tablet might be better.
post #28 of 47
On my Android Tablet I use both Unified-Remote (I love it too...) and a Android Remote Desktop App that client that works with WinVNC (androidVNC, I think it is winvnc it works with). Since Unified does not have it own visual interface but your using the interface on the screen/TV (which is the monitor-2... I can't see monitor 1... So there are some cases where I need to be really lazy and not want to walk all the way to the bedroom and do something that is on my main monitor.)

Usually I need to perform some video app action or even a mouse swipe/pinch that is all in the visual of the HDTV. So this is handled very easily and well by the Unified Remote app.

But when I need the Tablet to actually have a visual of my main desktop screen. Then I'll open up 'AndroidVNC'... I will then be able to scroll around my main desktop screen on my tablet.

perhaps this is the answer you seek?
post #29 of 47
Thread Starter 
Yup, thats just enough to get my started. I found Unified remote worked very well for media related functions, but since I have a viewing distance of about 10-12feet on a 50 inch TV, I found it hard to read any text. Whats the name of the remote desktop app you use?
post #30 of 47
You just need to crank up the font size so it's readable from 10'. Remote desktop will work, but is nearly impossible to see on a small screen without a lot of zooming and panning. I wouldn't recommend it for normal viewing. Keyboard/mouse app with big fonts on the HTPC is the way to go. If you insist on using remote desktop, VNC works fine.
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