Q: Htpc Control

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Zapatka, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. Patrick Zapatka

    Patrick Zapatka Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a bit confused on this subject, so am hoping that someone can shed some light...

    When putting together an HTPC, what software is used to control the entire system? For instance, in the HP HTPC's, the system is driven by Windows XP Media Center Edition and a remote control. However, that version and remote are only available with that computer - not available any other way.

    So what other options are there and how successful in integration with HTPC?

    Thanks for any help.

    Patrick
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Software wise, I like uICE (http://www.mediatexx.com/). Cheap ($20) and will work with darn near any remote available. I've interfaced it with my AMX touchscreen using the generic serial port driver.

    There are all sorts of various infrared receivers and controllers that can be purchased. Hopefully others will chime in here, as I haven't personally bought any of these.

    Check the "Supported Devices" page @ mediatexx.com (http://www.mediatexx.com/hardware.htm). There is a whole list of available equipment. FWIW, I have heard good things about the "IR Man" receiver.
     
  3. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    You should also look into the ATi Remote Wonder...that remote is GREAT. It's not made for HT purposes, but it's really good at what it does, plus it's RF not IR, so you don't need line-of-sight.
     
  4. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    in addition to remotes wireless keyboards and mice help a lot as you can just set them on the table/couch without any problems and use the PC just like any other desktop.
     
  5. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Joe. The Remote Wonder is great for most HTPC control. While it has a couple of shortcomings, they can easily be addressed by the purchase of a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. RF is MUCH easier to use than IR.

    It can be purchased seperately or with ATI's All-In-Wonder cards (7500, 8500, or 9700), which should be high on your HTPC list anyways. Worth a look. [​IMG]
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I use the IR Man. It's a quite inexpensive device (around $30) that attaches to any free serial port. It's used with a freeware program called Girder. With this combination, I can do practically anything with my Pronto remote that I can with with a mouse and keyboard.
     
  7. Hal_J

    Hal_J Agent

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    i use a $40 wireless keyboard with an integrated trackball up in the corner. its really thin, and doesnt have all the numpad junk off to the side, so it's pretty small. its black and looks nice. slicker than a typical big clunky pc keyboard. (im typing this right now with it. it's IR, and i disagree about rf being better. this came with a teensy sensor that sits on the rack and its not noticeable at all. i face the equipment when i type/surf/watch a movie, so line of sight is not an issue. its sitting on my lap. i tested with the rf keyboards and mice we have at work (logitech i think?) and even with new batteries, they were finicky from more than 6 feet away from the receiver. pretty lousy. (maybe there is something better out there now, but the thing i have is great for 40 bucks.

    its a qtronix scorpius 990p. i got if from central computer in san joser. they may still have some, and theyll ship.

    ive also played around with using my palm pilot as an all in one thing, but havent gotten too serious about that.

    for another pc i have inthe house i have an IR keyspan media remote thingy. this is hooked to my LRPC. (laundry room PC [​IMG] ) this pc serves mp3s to a stereo for the our patio/garage/ and kitchen area. the remote is the size of the credit card, and does volume, song advance, shuffle, stuff like that. winamp/musicmatch accept the commands flawlessly. i will say that for *this* machine the IR stinks, cause the pc is back in the laundry room with the stereo etc and so i have to snake the sensor out for it to work. but its not a huge deal. one properly placed ir repeater will allow me to use the remote in all the places. (benefits of a tiny house. [​IMG])

    YMMV.

    hal
     
  8. cristo_may

    cristo_may Auditioning

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