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Hi all, I was just wandering what people are using to control their HTPC? I have heard that for keyboard+mouse solution, logitech cordless media board is very good and convenient. Does anyone use the above logitech keyboard with their HTPC?


As for the remote, I currently using harmony 880. How do I use that to control my media center? Do I need to buy MCE remote or just the infrared receiver? Does anyone have any recommendation for either the MCE remote or the infrared receiver?


thanks
 

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I use:


Logitech Dinovo Edge (keyboard with integrated trackpad)

Logitech Harmony ONE

USB-UIRT IR receiver


The keyboard/trackpad is for when I need to do configuration or anything non-movie related, like open a web browser and look something up.


The Harmony ONE is programmed to see my HTPC as a Windows Media Center PC, but it does not matter what you program your Harmony with if using USB-UIRT, so long as the IR codes are unique to the rest of your equipment.


I use a program on my HTPC called EventGhost which recognizes the USB-UIRT and allows me to handle the IR events. For example, when EventGhost sees the MCPC IR 'GreenButton', it loads XBMC. When it sees 'BlackButton', it loads Winamp.


The UIRT approach is nice because it will recognize all incoming IR codes. This adds flexibility. For example, if I send 'Mute' to my Pioneer receiver, I can also receive that signal in EventGhost and do something about it on my HTPC if I want.
 

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I use a Pinnacle Media Center remote with Vista. It works pretty well with PowerDVD, too - no drivers needed with Vista.


I also use a Logitech MX3200 laser USB keyboard/mouse combo.
 

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Just ordered an Microsoft mce remote, microsoft entertainment desktop 7000, and an harmony 880. Supposedly the IR receiver is pretty decent that comes with that remote, and it was $26 only. Or I'll probably be ordering the usb-uirt in a week or so.


I went with the desktop 7000 over the dinovo edge, since its easier for me to use the mouse than the trackpad. And it was around $117 from amazon.


I tried a gyration keyboard+mouse as well as the dinovo mini and weren't happy with them. gyration keyboard pairing with the receiver would stop working and would have to reset it everytime I rebooted or just after a little while of use. Mouse would always work though. It was the air plus an optical mouse.


Didn't like the dinovo mini. Size was too small to use. for light users it would probably be ok.
 

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Keyboard + Mouse: Logitech diNovo Edge. Only use it when doing maintenance or other stuff I don't usually do. It's expensive, but I really like it. I've tried the Gyration keyboard and air mouse thing. I didn't like them at all, but that's just me. The diNovo mini is too small for my tastes. I've also used the MCE IR keyboard way back when I used MCE 2005. It was a nice keyboard, but I hated the fact that it was an IR keyboard.


Remote: Universal Remote Control MX-810 + MRF-350 RF Base Station + USB-UIRT. My remote has similar capabilities that the higher end harmonies have. I programmed it to be a device that I do not own (I chose some obscure VCR+DVD combo device) to act as the "htpc device".


Software: Girder + a lot of other stuff. Girder does all the interaction between my remote and other programs (dvd player, front end, etc). I highly recommend something like Girder or Eventghost if you go the non-Media Center route.


You can use your Harmony, with MS Media Center, by buying the MCE IR receiver and programming your harmony to emulate the MCE Remote. While I do like the USB-UIRT, if you're going to be using MCE, then I recommend sticking with the official MCE IR receiver. The USB-UIRT and MCE IR receiver are both widely supported if you ever decide to use something other than Media Center.
 

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I just got an Adesso (WKB-3000UB) a few weeks ago. It is a wireless mini keyboard w/optical trackball (which I believe is the same as the nMedia wireless one as well). So far it has worked well. It says 100 ft range, which for me means it works down the hallway and down the stairs.


I think it is fairly well laid out with the trackball, buttons, and scroll wheel. Has a number of media buttons as well. Since it is a 'mini' some of the keys are in different spots (i.e. delete, and there's no number pad), but I really haven't found any gripes with it. I'm not sure how the battery life is yet, but at least it shuts itself down unlike another wireless Logitech I have where the mouse eats batteries once a month. I looked at the diNovo's too, but just didn't like the trackpad style for the 'mouse.'


As others have said, your Logitech remote should do fine, just buy the IR receiver. I have a 550 and use it with the Imon system that came in my Antec Fusion case (which is compatible w/MCE remote, so I just load the MCE or even Fusion Case or Imon IR codes into the 550). It works OK (the Imon software can be a bit inconsistent), but I'm not sure I'd recommend the Imon systems as they seem to be quirky. On the site for the Harmony's there are a lot of the IR receivers listed too, which you could then load into your 880 (i.e. no need to map the MCE necessarily).
 

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I've been poking around on Newegg looking at MCE remotes but all of them are listed Vista only. Are the "backwards compatible" for use with MCE 2005? I have a Harmony remote and would like it to be able to control the HTPC, is buyign the MCE remote/receiver the best way to go or should I go with the USB-UIRT instead? Where is the best place to buy the USB-UIRT?
 
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