Remote for Windows OS ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-05-2020, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Remote for Windows OS ?

Is there a remote that controls Windows 7 like a wireless keyboard does, but without the keyboard part?


Sometimes I watch a program on TNT.com or CBS.com and use the HTPC's browser (Firefox) in order to login. But then I don't need a keyboard, just the buttons for Pause, FF, REW, etc. IOW I don't want to hold a wireless keyboard on my lap for an hour or two. But having a remote on hand, especially with volume control of the AVR, would be nice.


I have WMC remotes but of course they don't control Windows itself.



I know they make remotes with keyboards but the ones I looked at seem a bit large. Do they make any that are more size-like a TV or Blu-ray player remote? Or ones without a keyboard?



Thanks for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-05-2020, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post
Is there a remote that controls Windows 7 like a wireless keyboard does, but without the keyboard part?


Sometimes I watch a program on TNT.com or CBS.com and use the HTPC's browser (Firefox) in order to login. But then I don't need a keyboard, just the buttons for Pause, FF, REW, etc. IOW I don't want to hold a wireless keyboard on my lap for an hour or two. But having a remote on hand, especially with volume control of the AVR, would be nice.


I have WMC remotes but of course they don't control Windows itself.



I know they make remotes with keyboards but the ones I looked at seem a bit large. Do they make any that are more size-like a TV or Blu-ray player remote? Or ones without a keyboard?



Thanks for any suggestions.
HTPC remote control works a bit differently. You buy something like an FLIRC (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBRBWS6) and plug this into your PC. It is a generic IR receiver that can accept input from *any* remote and you can use the FLIRC app and tell it which keyboard key is assigned to each remote signal. You can find any old remote laying around, any universal remote programmed to another device you dont use anymore etc. These can send the unique IR signals to the PC.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-05-2020, 07:45 AM
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For navigating in Windows your best bet is to use a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. There are lots of them on the market that will work. You could try to set up a remote to work in Windows but it is extremely clunky and difficult to use. Nothing beats a keyboard and mouse when working on a Windows desktop. The Lenovo 5902 keyboard remote is compact and works great for this, but unfortunately it has been discontinued. You can still find them on ebay, but usually at a premium price. I see many of them listed without the RF dongle, which essentially makes them useless so steer clear of them. I have them on every one of my HTPCs. The only drawback is that they don't have function keys (i.e., F1-F12). Other than that they have everything else a standard keyboard has. The mouse part is a touchpad that you can operate with your thumb. There's an older model that uses a small trackball instead of the thumb pad, model 5901. It works, but nowhere near as well as the 5902. The keyboard part is pretty much the same but the trackball can be a bit flaky at times. The good news is that you can pick them up fairly cheap on ebay. Again, be wary of the ones with no dongle.

I've tried all kinds of mini-keyboard and trackball combos and I haven't found anything I like better than the Lenovo 5902. The 5902 has a backlit keyboard whereas the 5901 does not.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-06-2020, 09:27 AM
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I have been using Unified Remote with both my HTPC's. It runs as a server and I use a couple of cheap android tablets with the Unified Remote app installed to control the HTPC's. My tablets also have an IR transmitter built in so I can send IR commands from the tablets, too. It sometimes takes about 10-15 seconds for the app to sync with the HTPC on power-up but it works fine otherwise. I even designed my own custom remote once I learned how.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-06-2020, 09:38 PM
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I use these and think they work great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-2-4G-W.../173344526554?

Battery is short lived so I have to charge it almost once a day but that's the only major flaw. They are a little bigger than a typical TV remote.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-07-2020, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekbones View Post
I use these and think they work great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-2-4G-W.../173344526554?

Battery is short lived so I have to charge it almost once a day but that's the only major flaw. They are a little bigger than a typical TV remote.
I've actually got a couple of those. I could never warm up to using them, but it's been quite some time since I have them a try. I seem to recall the touch pad was a bit flaky and didn't respond well. I do like that they have a full keyboard. You can't beat the price so it's certainly worth giving one a try. It's not going to break the bank if you decide you don't like it. There are lots of compact keyboard/touchpad combos similar to this and they don't cost an arm and a leg, but you do tend to get what you pay for.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-08-2020, 01:21 PM
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I justt found out that there's a newer version of the Lenovo keyboard/mouse remote. The model is the N5903. Amazon has them for $29.99 with free shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/Bestseller288...K1M0CB6BTH5Z4E
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-14-2020, 12:50 AM
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I have tried every kind of remote for my HTPC, such as:




USB-UIRT with many custom remotes that I painstakingly programmed in Girder



and many, many others over the past 15 years.


In the end nothing comes better than a standard fullsize media keyboard like this:





There are just too many occasions when you need to do things like web browsing, switch between open windows, access preferences of the media player, use Explorer etc that it's just not worthwhile (to me) to try to use a remote with limited keys.


I like the Microsft Media Keyboard because it has volume controls, and I can program the 3 buttons on the right to do whatever I want. I have one of them programmed to turn the system on and off.
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Last edited by bryan_chow; 01-14-2020 at 12:54 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-14-2020, 06:27 AM
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A wireless trackball mouse really comes in handy
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Logitech-...?selected=true
you can set it on the arm of your chair or beside you on the couch. I operate mine with my left hand because I can roll the ball easier with my fingers, and use my thumb for r/l clicks.

Rob
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-14-2020, 01:29 PM
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My last gyration mce remote finally bit the dust a couple weeks ago, which was by far the best pc remote/air mouse I've used. There are a ton of $10-30 remotes out there and the few I've tried were garbage, there seems to be no quality backlit options out there. I've settled on this one which I give a solid meh.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-16-2020, 07:35 AM
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I am a fan of this model.

https://www.amazon.com/W10-GYRO-Keyb.../dp/B078NT49MJ

It's got a bunch of shortcut buttons and functions that let you navigate and generally use a Windows 10 PC quite efficiently.

Otherwise it's a generic air mouse (like a wii mote) with a keyboard on the back.
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