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> Best Htpc Remote Controll, IMOH
btmi
post Dec 7 2005, 08:23 PM
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From a hardware perspective, having tried pretty well every option that is available the BEST option is a single, high quality dedicated universal remote to control ALL of the equipment including the PC. After all a HTPC setup is much more than just a PC and we all have too many remote controls. I will not start a flame war as to which remote is best but offerings by Logitech or my personal favourite the MX-500 seem to be the most popular. This restricts you to IR although there are options that are RF and IR based if distance is really a problem.

To control your PC though you will need a dedicated IR Receiver and software to drive it. There are lots of hardware PC receivers, some of which can both receive AND send IR commands (allowing you control other equipment from your PC). The capabilities vary widely but a brief outline of the readily available options are (in order of price)...

1) Dvico Remote (USB - receive only) - The remote supplied with DVICO units can be used with any program, and can also respond some other remotes. Available from http://www.digitalnow.com.au (in Oz) for about AUD$30. Edit: This is no longer available here

2) IR Man (COM - receive only). This was amongst the first devices of its type and it is robust and reliable. I don't know if it is available in Oz any more but is available from the manufacturer http://www.evation.com for about AUD$40

3) MCE Remote (USB - Send/Receive). Probably the best value of the bunch and is widely available for around AUD$70. This includes an ergonomic remote with backlighting and you do NOT need MCE to use it. For more information about this check out http://www.byremote.com.au/Hip/mce_remote_faq.htm

4) USBUIRT (USB - Send/Receive). Available direct from the manufacturer http://www.usbuirt.com for about $100 this is probably the most popular device around and is robust with a good feature set.

5) IR Trans (USB or COM - Send/Receive). The Ferrari of IR input devices with a host of features. Available direct from the manufacturer http://www.irtrans.com for about $120.

There are also the Tira and Ira devices which I also have used and work well but seem to be hard to get these days.

As far as software to drive these devices are concerned, Girder is the leader in its class which will do pretty well anything, but it is a complex program to configure and the base version costs around US$40. Hip, on the other hand, is easier to program, has excellent support and is free....

This post has been edited by btmi: Sep 14 2006, 10:57 AM


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Guest_dudeski_*
post Dec 7 2005, 10:07 PM
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I dont think there is a universal learning remote product on the market that comes with a USB receiver. I dont like the IR Blaster concept of the MCE Remote.

The MX-500 does look very nice ( but is it tax deductable? smile.gif )

My best option for total control of my AV universe is probably:
- Dvico remote (for USB/PC)
- A Palm Tungsten E2 (or similar)
- NetRemote or NoviiRemote
- Girder or HIP
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btmi
post Dec 7 2005, 10:58 PM
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Because the only place you can buy a MX 500 at a reasonable price is by mail order from the US you don't pay GST anyway!

Again in my opinion, a dedicated remote beats any pocket pc because

1) Hard buttons allow you to use it via touch rather than by sight
2) Batteries last anywhere between 3-6 months
3) On the MX 500, even if the batteries die, all of the commands are stored in EEPROM and so they ar not lost.
4) It is less likely to slip down he back of the couch

This purchase has the best WAF rating after the Topfield...


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Guest_dudeski_*
post Dec 7 2005, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (btmi @ Dec 7 2005, 10:58 PM) *
1) Hard buttons allow you to use it via touch rather than by sight


Yes - the WAF factor is very important. I think I will go with a hard remote.

This one looks like what I want.
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btmi
post Dec 7 2005, 11:21 PM
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I have heard good things abou this Zensonic remote...it does not have the ergonomics of the MX-500 but it is about $50 cheaper by the time you factor in the post.


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Guest_dudeski_*
post Dec 8 2005, 10:52 AM
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QUOTE (btmi @ Dec 7 2005, 11:21 PM) *
I have heard good things abou this Zensonic remote...it does not have the ergonomics of the MX-500 but it is about $50 cheaper by the time you factor in the post.


Aussie Deals has them for $170 - I think I'll get this smile.gif
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btmi
post Dec 8 2005, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE (dudeski @ Dec 8 2005, 10:22 AM) *
QUOTE (btmi @ Dec 7 2005, 11:21 PM) *

I have heard good things abou this Zensonic remote...it does not have the ergonomics of the MX-500 but it is about $50 cheaper by the time you factor in the post.


Aussie Deals has them for $170 - I think I'll get this smile.gif

You won't be disappointed...I have had mine for over 2 years and it hasn't missed a beat.


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PhilbyJ5
post Dec 14 2005, 12:26 PM
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This is a great topic btmi and one which will help a lot of people take their HTPC from being just a "pc under the telly" to an integrated digital media device.

I have a Accent 100g HTPC case from HTPC Australia. It comes with a built in display and IR USB receiver in the front panel.

The best thing about the receiver is the iMon software that comes with it. The software allows you to easily map keyboard key presses to any button on any remote control. It means that I use the standard Yamaha remote control from my Yamaha RV-2400 Receiver to control everything on the HTPC - Meedio, Zoom Player, Internet Explorer....the works. The WAF is very high - a single remote to control the receiver source, volume and HTPC apps!

The software allows you to import and export key mappings. I have provided my Zoom Player mappings to a few people and all they had to do was map the ZP functions to their chosen remote control.

iMon also do a USB receiver for adding to an existing PC - iMon Station. It comes with the great iMon software and two friends have bought them from Auspcmarket under CaseMods > Remotes. The remote itself is OK but as I mentioned above, the power of the software is letting you use en existing remote if you want to.

Without a doubt, it's the iMon software and the use of my Yamaha remote that has made control of my home theatre a thing of simplicity!
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Angry
post Mar 23 2006, 09:30 PM
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"[quote name='PhilbyJ5' date='Dec 14 2005, 12:26 PM' post='41337']
This is a great topic btmi and one which will help a lot of people take their HTPC from being just a "pc under the telly" to an integrated digital media device.

I have a Accent 100g HTPC case from HTPC Australia. It comes with a built in display and IR USB receiver in the front panel."

Do you know if any one sells the RF version as my HTPC is down stairs ?
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Guest_daft009_*
post Apr 2 2006, 08:31 AM
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QUOTE (btmi @ Dec 7 2005, 08:23 PM) *
1) Dvico Remote (USB - receive only) - The remote supplied with DVICO units can be used with any program, and can also respond some other remotes.


Eyo still sell these. i bought one for myself. smile.gif
http://www.eyo.com.au/prod_J-Dvico-MCE-Spe...Controller.html
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Guest_dudeski_*
post May 5 2006, 01:17 PM
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QUOTE (btmi @ Dec 8 2005, 11:33 AM) *
Aussie Deals has them for $170 - I think I'll get this smile.gif

You won't be disappointed...I have had mine for over 2 years and it hasn't missed a beat.


Yes its working gr8, only it has problems learning codes from the Dvico remote, tried everything, holding buttons down for differetn lengths, sat in a dark room teaching it IR codes.

The USB receiver registers about 1 in 3 button presses from the MX500. Is there any way to make it more reliable? maybe I should capture the signal from the Dvico remote into my PDA, clean it up? and retransmit to MX500? What a hassle sad.gif
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