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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,


Can somebody give me some quick pointers as to how I can control my hifi equipment through my HTPC?


I have a Sony TAE 9000 ES preamp, CAL CD transport and a Electrohome front projector which I would like to be able to control using my HTPC. perhaps with a wireless/IR keyboard (which I have yet to get). I was thinking along these lines because a IR keyboard is sure cheaper than a philips pronto -- and I am planning to get the IR keyboard in any case.


I was thinking of getting a logitech wireless/IR keyboard (I already have the logitech wireless/optical mouse). However I was reading some of the threads and you guys use the IRman. My other question is if I get the logitech IR keyboard, do I still have to get the IRman.... I mean it will come with an IR receiver already, right?


I know some of you guys use the pronto/IRman together... but I am thinking of saving some dough... and if it isn't too much of a hassle to control my hifi equipment from a wireless keyboard, that would be probably what I will do.


Also, what software would I need?


Thanks for reading my longish post.


Hope to get some advice from you guys.


TIA.



Infini-D
 

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Infini:


The keyboard will only talk to your computer, not your other devices. So, you can create hot-key sequences that you can send to your computer with the wireless keyboard, but you still need a way for the computer to act on these commands and do something with your equipment. If your components have RS232 inputs, that gives you the connection, but you'd still have to do the programming. Otherwise, you could get an IR-emitter card for your PC, and hook that into an IR distribution box that routes IR to your components. This, also, would require programming.


- Dave
 

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Yes, that was what I meant by an "IR emitter card", although it's a misnomer in this case - it's not a card but a box that hooks up to the serial port on your PC. I actually just got one of those, but haven't hooked it up yet - I'm out of serial ports on my machine and am waiting on a USB serial port extender.


Anyway, this thing still requires the missing link, which is a program on the PC to act on the keypresses from the wireless keyboard, and send IR to the components.


- Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys,


Thanks for replying....


So you guys are saying that there is no PC software currently available which will allow me to use my wireless keyboard/HTPC combination as a pronto (or any other learning remote commander for that matter)?


I hope that is not so....


Will software from girder or x-10 or audrey be able to do this?

(Pardon my ignorance if these software... will appreciate if you could enlighten me on the uses of these software)


Thank you.


Infini-D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Infini-D
So you guys are saying that there is no PC software currently available which will allow me to use my wireless keyboard/HTPC combination as a pronto (or any other learning remote commander for that matter)?


Will software from girder or x-10 or audrey be able to do this?

(Pardon my ignorance if these software... will appreciate if you could enlighten me on the uses of these software)
I have been sort of shocked about the same thing here but I think your fears are accurate. Of course as with most things the technology is here but the product isn't. I think it would be so cool to have a keyboard which could not only be wireless but also learn signals. A combination pronto/wireless keyboard in one device.


I have been looking for an easy solution to this for some time now and I haven't found any. To have one device to control everything effectively just isn't available right now. The pronto gets as close as you can get but you sure can't write an e-mail with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi JP,


I think we are thinking along the same lines... though not exactly alike.


My idea of replacing the pronto with a wireless keyboard/PC/IR emitter combination is something like this.


Using the PC (akin to the microprocessor of the pronto). [surely the PC is eminently able to do so... we are talking about Ghz processors and Gbytes of memory storage] Using the wireless keyboard as a 'keypad' and the IR emitter as the output part of the pronto.


The obvious limitation of this is, of course, that I can control my hifi equipment/projector via the above combination only when the computer is switched on. However, the major part of the usage of my PC and hifi is for DVD playback, watching cable TV etc (yes... as a HTPC), it would be very useful for me to be able to control my HT preamp/front projector via the PC.


Also, since I do not have a remote commmander presently... this would be a very good (and ECONOMICAL) stop-gap measure, or perhaps even as a permanent solution.


I think the hardware is all there already... the software just needs to be written by somebody who is not soft-ware challenged. (Afraid that wouldn't be me)


Any takers? :) :)


Or anybody can tell me if the software already exists?


Here's to hoping :)



Regards,



Infini-D
 

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Infini:


Well, the software almost exists to do what you want, perhaps using Girder and that IR emitter product referenced earlier in this thread. It could probably made a little easier to set up, but, even best case, it may be more work than you're willing to endure. The missing piece in your scenario is how you are going to tell the pc which keyboard sequences map to which IR codes. Say you want control-alt-F6 to turn your projector on, and alt-shift-5 to set your processor source to tape, etc. You still need to learn the IR codes into the emitter, and program Girder to know what keystroke sequences to map to what IR codes. Obviously, there couldn't exist a pre-built software package that would do this for you - there are thousands of possible combinations of components. So, you'd have to set up the mapping of control sequences to keyboard commands yourself. This has to be done even with the Pronto, and it's a lot of work - a lot of trial and error and fiddling before you end up with something usable. Fortunately, much of the work has been done before, in the case of the Pronto, and you can build Pronto applications by downloading pieces of other apps from remotecentral.com. Still a lot of work, by the time you're done, but does save quite a bit of time.


Another thought is to try to use PC-based applications for all your sources - use a PC dvd player for dvd playback, use DScaler for TV, use a pc-based CD player program, etc. That way, you could control most everything from your keyboard.


- Dave
 

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Sorry I have not been online so much last couple of days and I have missed this thread so far but this is certainly possible with plenty of current products that do IR out....


Cheap end of the scale is the RedRat2 ...

You can get 8 zones running (and I hear their owners singing their praises usually a good sign) with a SLinkE ...

There is also IRXpander ...

As well as some DiY options...


All of those are (IIRC) Girder compatible and I would call that my first priority as I use Girder for all my HTPC control and automation...


If you hit the search button above and try the above names and some generic transmit infared etc you will get pages of info from people already doing these setups...
 
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