Best XBMC Remote? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-06, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Best XBMC Remote?

What's the latest, best XBMC remote that's not a Harmony? I want one that is easy to program things like a button to cycle or toggle subtitles.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-07, 01:50 PM
 
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If you want to use an Android device, look in Play for an app called Yatse.

By far the best XBMC remote app I've ever come across. You can control every aspect of XBMC with this app. I have it installed on all Android Tablets and phones so I can use anything close to me.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-07, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have Android on my phone and tablet, and I have used Yatse. Pretty cool how it works. Do you know a quick way to turn subtitles off and on with it?

But aside from that, I want the controller to be easy enough for my wife, and she prefers to feel of a remote in hand. I also sometimes like to leave my phone charging while watching tv.

I purchased a remote off ebay, but I guess it was the wrong one. It's some kind of complicated mess to program buttons. I just figure there must be a much better remote out of the box to use with a program so feature rich as XBMC.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-07, 05:25 PM
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The answer will will be found by customization XBMC to work with the remote, not the other way around. XBMC is highly configurable, but it's not obvious and often requires editing configuration files. One answer can be found by searching for "shortcut to subtitles - XBMC Community." (I would post a direct link but that's not allowed.) The solution adds a keyboard shortcut that invokes the subtitles script in XBMC. Some extra work will be required to find a suitable key on the remote. There are XBMC add-ons that can help to find or remap keys and provide extra subtitle functionality.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-07, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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That's very disappointing. The other feature I'd love on a remote is the ability to just start up XBMC from the Windows desktop. Right now I have to use a scrolling pad on the remote to slide over to the XBMC icon to click it.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-07, 11:26 PM
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It is possible to remap the WMC key on MCE remotes to start another program such as XBMC. It's fairly well documented on a few sites. Unfortunately, it involves registry editing and can be a bit tricky to get right. Some programs include it as an option but I'm not aware of such an option in XBMC. It should also be possible to map the 4 MCE remote colour keys to start programs but I've never tried it. If you want XBMC to automatically run on startup, just put a shortcut to in in the Start menu startup folder.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like I've got some more research to do. I don't want XBMC to just start up all the time. I still use my computer hooked to my tv for other stuff. But I'd like that when I want to watch something on XBMC, I can switch the inputs on my tv to go to my computer, and then use the XBMC remote to hit one button to startup XBMC.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 07:03 AM
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Should be possible. It works flawlessly on my mac mini running XBMC. Clicking the menu button on the remote starts XBMC if it isn't already running.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Which remote do you have?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 08:30 AM
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The one you don't want to use that is mentioned in your first post.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Grrrrr..... I use a Harmony for my basement HT system, but my wife has trouble with them when she hits a button and it doesn't register, and you have to "reset" the Harmony by re-pressing the activity while avoiding pointing the remote at any device. Harmony people understand. haha

Anyway, I'm testing out an Android app called "Remote Launcher" as a way to start XBMC using my phone before switching to Yahtse as a remote. This would be a cool way for me to control XBMC, but I still need a remote option for my wife.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 01:28 PM
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To be honest if that is her issue with a Harmony then you will have the same issue with any IR remote. I have about 8 Harmony remotes in our house and we are on the sccond or third generation with them and the wife and kids are now used to them.

You could get the Harmony 900, or Ultimate that are RF remotes with IR blasters that you put in front of the components. That way it doesn't matter what direction the remote is pointing in when the buttons are pushed. Theoretically smartphones make good remotes but the lack of tactile feedback is a big issue, especially if you "ride" the remote while channel surfing or watching PVRed shows. It is far better to be able to operate the remote with your hands on the TV.

Another option would be a remote that can send IP commands via WiFi. I assume that XBMC can be controlled via IP commands and most newer TVs and AVRs can also be controlled via IP, at least the ones with ethernet/smart functionality.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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The issue with Harmony remotes is not something you experience with a normal remote. With a normal remote, you point to the tv and press power. If the tv doesn't power up, because you were blocked, you can try, try again until it turns on. With a Harmony, the remote might trigger the tv to turn on, but not the cable box.

Oh, and never mind my stupid tv not having discrete codes to switch directly to a source input. It only cycles.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 05:19 PM
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Those are issue with the devices, not the remote. No remote can completely resolve them. Lack of discrete codes or input cycling are important issues but they can be worked around easily by programming soft buttons or using the Harmony help system. It's no worse with a Harmony and it's usually a lot easier with a Harmony that juggling several device remotes. In addition, I've often found discrete codes in the Harmony database that do not exist on OEM remotes. Other programmable remotes will work, maybe better, but they are usually harder to program or significantly more expensive.

The real issue here is that you need a good IR receiver, as well as a good remote. I use one from eBay that is branded 'PC Remote' with a Harmony. The remote itself is OK but far from the best in use. The best thing about it is that the receiver has lots of input codes, practically anything you might need and more. I just programmed the Harmony with the codes I required (there are many more than there are keys on the Harmony.) So, $10 for the generic remote plus receiver and $50 for a cheap Harmony (or another fully programmable remote) is the hardware investment. Then hack Windows to start XBMC instead of WMC with the media button (or another unused key) and the problem is solved.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 2013-10-08, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry guys I appreciate the help, but I'm looking for ideas on the best remote for xbmc that is not a Harmony. I am an avid Harmony user, since before the Logitech purchase, so I know its advantages, and it's limitations.

Btw the Android app Remote Launcher works well to startup XBMC. And with Nova Launcher, I set my yahtse icon with a swipe gesture to access Remote Launcher. So I swipe the yahtse icon and it starts up xbmc on my pc, and then I hit the yahtse icon and I've got the yahtse remote. Pretty cool for an Android remote setup.

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