Difference between revisions of "MCE remote controls"

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This is why XBMC doesn't currently do things like dragging and dropping icons and things within its windows, since a remote control can't really do that. XBMC is still evolving, and using XBMC on touch screens, and other "2-foot interface" situations are causing XBMC to gain new ways to interface with it. While the "remote is king" is still true, XBMC will continue to add new ways to control it, so watch out for exciting new versions in the future.
 
This is why XBMC doesn't currently do things like dragging and dropping icons and things within its windows, since a remote control can't really do that. XBMC is still evolving, and using XBMC on touch screens, and other "2-foot interface" situations are causing XBMC to gain new ways to interface with it. While the "remote is king" is still true, XBMC will continue to add new ways to control it, so watch out for exciting new versions in the future.
  
=Common controls=
+
== MCE remotes ==
* Traditional remote control (IR or RF)
 
* [[Keyboard]] / Mouse
 
* [[CEC]]
 
* [[Smartphone/tablet remotes]]
 
* Touch screen
 
 
 
== Types of Remotes ==
 
 
 
There are 4 main types of remote controls that are commonly used with XBMC:
 
* [[Remote Controls#MCE Remote|MCE Remote]]
 
* [[Remote Controls#All in One Remote|All in One remote]]
 
* [[Remote Controls#QWERTY Remote|QWERTY Remote]]
 
* [[Remote Controls#Smart Phone Remote|Smart Phone Remote]]
 
 
 
=== MCE Remote ===
 
  
 
MCE remotes are the cheapest and easiest remotes to use with XBMC. They are readily available in most computer hardware stores and there are many available at [http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311&_nkw=mce+remote&_sacat=See-All-Categories eBay] from far eastern sources.
 
MCE remotes are the cheapest and easiest remotes to use with XBMC. They are readily available in most computer hardware stores and there are many available at [http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311&_nkw=mce+remote&_sacat=See-All-Categories eBay] from far eastern sources.
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* [[MS-Tech MC-1200 Remote]]
 
* [[MS-Tech MC-1200 Remote]]
  
=== All in One Remote ===
+
[[Category:Remotes]]
 
 
All in One remotes cover a multitude of devices, starting at the simple universal remotes that don't cost much more than a MCE remote to the $1,500 [http://www.pronto.philips.com/index.html Phillips Pronto]. Probably the most famous all in one remote is the [http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remotes/universal-remotes Logitech Harmony Remotes].
 
 
 
* HOW-TO: [http://www.loggn.de/htpc-media-center-logitech-harmony-reagiert-traege-unter-windows-und-linux/ Logitech Harmony - delay / lag / slow response on XBMC]
 
* HOW-TO: [http://www.loggn.de/ubuntu-lirc-konfiguration-mit-rc6-ir605q-147a-e03e-und-logitech-harmony/ Ubuntu - LIRC configuration with MCE IR Receiver and Logitech Harmony (harmony-profile: Windows Media Center SE)]
 
* HOW-TO: [http://www.loggn.de/linux-ubuntu-lirc-xbmc-mit-logitech-harmony-steuern-lircmap-xml-und-keyboard-xml/ Ubuntu/Linux – LIRC – control XBMC with Logitech Harmony remote – Lircmap.xml and Keyboard.xml]
 
* HOW-TO: [http://www.loggn.de/arch-linux-lirc-konfiguration-mit-mce-rc6-ir-und-lircmap-xml-fuer-xbmc-logitech-harmony/ Arch Linux - LIRC Version 0.9.0, Kernel 3.2 and new Lircmap.xml for XBMC]
 
 
 
As their name suggests, All in One remotes are designed so that one remote can control all the IR (and some times RF) devices in your entertainment room. To achieve this, the remote must be able to produce the IR signals of many different remote controls, this is typically done one of 3 ways:
 
* The manufacture loads the remote with a database of IR signals and when you set up the remote you 'tell' the remote which TV, DVD, Set top box you have and it send the correct signal
 
** This obviously limits you to the list of devices the remote manufacturer puts into the database
 
* The remote is able to 'learn'. The remote has a built in receiver which allows you to 'record' other remote controls signals
 
** This means that as long as you have the original remote, you can control (nearly) any IR device ever made
 
** This feature is more common in more expensive remotes as the receiver is an added cost
 
* A combination of the above. A lot of remotes (e.g. Harmony remotes) use a database system for a quick set up but also are able to learn in order to add other devices or fix mistakes in the database.
 
** This is the best mix of features.
 
 
 
 
 
* [[Default Controls#Universal Remote Control|XBMC Universal Remote Control]]
 
* [[HOW-TO program your Philips Pronto Unviersal Remote for use with XBMC]]
 
* [[HOW-TO Configure your Cyberlink Media Centre Remote for XBMC on Linux]]
 
 
 
* INSERT LINK TO AN ALL IN ONE REMOTE REVIEW PAGE
 
 
 
=== QWERTY Remote ===
 
QWERTY Remotes are a relatively new phenomenon; the rise in popularity of Home Theatre PCs, software like XBMC and IPTV the need for a full qwerty keyboard is growing. Like an [[Remote Controls#All in One Remote|All in One remote]] a QWERTY remote vary in price from the relatively cheap [http://www.amazon.com/KeyMote-Remote-Keyboard-Controller-Playstation-3/dp/B001GIPNCK/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1291636872&sr=8-16 3 in 1 PS3 remote] to over $150.
 
 
 
QWERTY remotes are still in their infancy and as such there are many different types with vastly different features sets and buttons. Currently there are two main designs:
 
* The sliding keyboard, for example the [[TiVo Slide]]
 
* The double sided remote, for example the Boxee Remote
 
 
 
 
 
Each has advantages and disadvantages, and with new QWERTY remotes being launched regularly the rate of development is very high. It shouldn't be long before QWERTY remotes start taking ideas from All in One remotes, so in time we could have a remote with the features of a Harmony One with the keyboard of a TiVo Slide.
 
 
 
INSERT LINK TO AN QWERTY REMOTE REVIEW PAGE
 
 
 
=== Smart Phone Remote ===
 
A Smart Phone Remote is simply an app installed on your iPhone/iPod/iPad or any other smart device capable of communicating with your XBMC machine through the internet. The remote control app can work through your home's wifi or even if you're away from home with the proper external IP address setup.
 
 
 
There are several free and paid apps with various capabilities in addition to basic remote functionalities such as browsing your XBMC library remotely and bringing up a virtual keyboard for Qwerty needs.
 
 
 
XBMC provides official iOS and Android remote control apps that you are welcome to try yourself. To learn more, visit the [http://xbmc.org/about/xbmc-software/ XBMC Software page].
 
 
 
=== Other Remotes ===
 
There are a few other forms of remote and remote-type devices that are also worth noting.
 
 
 
==== Mini Keyboards ====
 
Devices like the [http://www.logitech.com/en-us/keyboards/keyboard/devices/3848 Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard] blurs the lines between a conventional remote and a keyboard.
 
 
 
List of Mini Keyboards here
 
 
 
==== Blue Tooth Remotes ====
 
IR is an old technology now, IR remotes for TVs have been around since the 1950's, and it is starting to show its age when compared to other technologies.
 
 
 
Disadvantages of IR:
 
* Requires line-of-sight
 
* Limited range
 
* Unable to send multiple commands at the same time
 
 
 
This is where technologies such as bluetooth have the potential to replace IR in the future. To a point this has already begun with the PS3 and a select few TV manufacturers using bluetooth remotes.
 
 
 
Most bluetooth remotes are of no use as an All in One as there isn't enough devices out there that use bluetooth, but they are potentially an excellent way to control a media centre. Bluetooth receivers are very cheap these day $5-$10 and can be easily added to a HTPC.
 
 
 
There are only a very small number of bluetooth remotes available at the moment, but this list is likely to grow over the next few years:
 
* PS3 Remote
 
* [[TiVo Slide]]
 
* [http://www.blu-link.com/ Blu-Link Universal Remote] (bluetooth and IR)
 
 
 
== Keymap.xml and Remote.xml ==
 
 
 
* [[Keyboard.xml]]
 
* [[Modifying keyboard.xml]]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
[[Category:Remotes|*]]
 
 
[[Category:XBMC Manual]]
 
[[Category:XBMC Manual]]
[[Category:General topics]]
 

Revision as of 09:08, 21 September 2013

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In XBMC the primary environment was designed for the living room (10-foot interface) and controlling it only with a remote control. While XBMC does support mouse, keyboard, and even touch controls, the remote control is typically how the GUI is designed around.

This is why XBMC doesn't currently do things like dragging and dropping icons and things within its windows, since a remote control can't really do that. XBMC is still evolving, and using XBMC on touch screens, and other "2-foot interface" situations are causing XBMC to gain new ways to interface with it. While the "remote is king" is still true, XBMC will continue to add new ways to control it, so watch out for exciting new versions in the future.

MCE remotes

MCE remotes are the cheapest and easiest remotes to use with XBMC. They are readily available in most computer hardware stores and there are many available at eBay from far eastern sources.


MCE remotes typically come with a usb IR receiver, making them the very good first remote. Because MCE remotes are so cheap, they are often cheaper than a standalone IR receiver, so people often buy them to use the receiver with a All in One remote.


XBMC (v10.0 and later) is set up so that most buttons on an MCE remote work straight away with no editing or setting up. Just connect the receiver and away you go.

MCE remotes split into two main categories:

  • MCE remotes that send keystrokes
  • Windows remotes with (also known as RC6 or eHome remotes) using the Microsoft eHome device driver to send commands


For more details on MCE remotes see: