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Best remotes for HTPCs?

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truckerCLOCK

Senior member
Dec 13, 2011
217
0
71
Are there any devices that are RF input (to the PC), with a universal remote IR function as well?

I currently use a Rii which is awesome for input once the PC is on. But I still have to turn the TV on with an IR remote, as well as the speakers. If I find an all in one solution, I will add a IR power on to the PC as well.

It looks like nMediaPC has a product called the HTPCKB100, but reviews are really bad, and it looks a little too big. If the Rii had IR, it would be perfect!!
If you want to add IR power on/off ....Simerec PCS-2
 

Coldkilla

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2004
3,945
0
71
The wireless logitech K400 sucks in my opinion. It's not backlit, the right clicker takes a second or two to find in pitch blackness and is not natively accessible to your right hand thumb. Scrolling on the touchpad is annoying, and the arrow keys are placed inward on the keyboard, forcing you to hunt around for them in the dark.

My iPad works great with xbmc. Though I will most likely be in the market to look for a cheap IR sensor that will allow it to work with my Harmony 880 remote.
 

Mloot

Diamond Member
Aug 24, 2002
3,023
7
81
I don't think we can link to Ebay, but if you search for "OEM Microsoft Windows Media Center Remote Control Kit", you will get the one I bought from the same seller a few months ago. Works like a charm.

I also have a black version that came with the MCE kit of my Hauppauge tuner card, but that one did not have any labels on the buttons. This one looks nearly identical, except the buttons are labeled, which was a big plus for the wife and kids.
 

roguerower

Diamond Member
Nov 18, 2004
4,564
0
76
The wireless logitech K400 sucks in my opinion. It's not backlit, the right clicker takes a second or two to find in pitch blackness and is not natively accessible to your right hand thumb. Scrolling on the touchpad is annoying, and the arrow keys are placed inward on the keyboard, forcing you to hunt around for them in the dark.

My iPad works great with xbmc. Though I will most likely be in the market to look for a cheap IR sensor that will allow it to work with my Harmony 880 remote.
Agreed. I don't know why, but mine has horrible range. Unless it can clearly "see" the USB receiver it won't work. I'll be loooking at some of the items on here.
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,648
41
91
I've had a rii like this for over a year
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004I4...6814895&sr=8-2

Also have one of the Lenovo things
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005L2...6815519&sr=8-2

The Rii is smaller and cheaper but the Lenovo is better built. Like them both but would get another Lenovo if I were buying today.
Fascinating! I have those two as well, as well as the first-gen Lenovo (with a trackball, not the sensitive nub)...

All three highly recommended, but the Lenovos are easier to hold.
 

Kelvrick

Lifer
Feb 14, 2001
18,441
5
76
that looks pretty awesome. i want to try it too. could be an ultimate last resort remote. meaning not one you use for normal use like tv watching and such... but when you need to switch the activity youre doing with your pc then you grab this because it can do everything.
I ended up ordering something similar to that today on amazon. Will update when I get it and give it a little use. Will be using with XBMC.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005C6CVAE
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
I don't think we can link to Ebay, but if you search for "OEM Microsoft Windows Media Center Remote Control Kit", you will get the one I bought from the same seller a few months ago. Works like a charm.

I also have a black version that came with the MCE kit of my Hauppauge tuner card, but that one did not have any labels on the buttons. This one looks nearly identical, except the buttons are labeled, which was a big plus for the wife and kids.
Nice call on this. I ended up buying two of them. After my original OEM wore out I bought the knockoff version, and it sucks. This is by far the best MCE remote, and these are new. I was looking for these off an on for the last couple years, but for some reason never came across these on ebay.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,363
247
106
OEM Microsoft MCE receiver with a Logitch Harmony for MC7 duties, Lenovo thumbpad for PC stuff (web browsing, etc.)
 

Vinwiesel

Member
Jan 26, 2011
163
0
0
I use a cheap less-than-$9 generic IR remote I got off of Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/SANOXY-Wireles...remote+generic

Edit: I like these, because they are driver-less, in both XP and Win7.
I have a couple of those, and they work great. Batteries last forever. Range is pretty good up to about 3 meters, then becomes less reliable after that. I've had good luck getting the buttons to work with VLC and Winamp.

Clearly it has pretty minimal control. No typing, etc. but you can click through folders, exit applications, and launch your media. The good part is you can run an extension to the ir receiver and place it anywhere. As said above, no drivers, just plug it in and the computer sees it as a mouse and keyboard.
 

lotus503

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2005
6,502
1
76
I use a snapstream firefly, actually 3 of them, can be had on fleabay for about $25 bucks, Coupled with Eventghost you can do some cool stuff.
 

Sureshot324

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2003
3,370
0
71
I use one of these

It's an air mouse/thumb keyboard. It's similar to using a wii-mote, except it uses a gyro instead of an IR pointer. It takes some getting used to once you do it works great.
 

Jammor

Member
Sep 1, 2012
45
0
0
I've had a rii like this for over a year
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004I4...6814895&sr=8-2

Also have one of the Lenovo things
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005L2...6815519&sr=8-2

The Rii is smaller and cheaper but the Lenovo is better built. Like them both but would get another Lenovo if I were buying today.
Where's the best (cheapest) place to buy a Lenovo N5902? And my son wants to know if it can be used for some very light gaming like roblox or mind craft...
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,648
41
91
Strangely enough, I think Lenovo's own site is actually the cheapest place to get the Lenovo N5902.... unless you go ebay.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
I have played things like defense grid and rush with the Lenovo 5901, which has a trackball.

I have a harder time with the optical sensor thingy on the 5902. It's good enough for moving the cursor a little bit, but I don't find it easy to use a lot like is needed in games.

The 5902 has backlighting, which is better for watching movies and stuff when lights are dim.

Maybe others feel differently, but I think the 5902's backlight was a huge step up for media playback purposes, but the sensor was a step back. I wonder if I just suck at using the optical sensor on the 5902. :shrug:
 
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Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Where's the best (cheapest) place to buy a Lenovo N5902? And my son wants to know if it can be used for some very light gaming like roblox or mind craft...
The lenovo's go on sale a lot. I'd suggest setting up a deal alert at slickdeals and jumping on it QUICK when one pops up for $20-$30. The older version has a trackball and no backlighting, and the new version has an optical trackball-thingy and backlighted keys.

These are useful for very occasional typing but they would not work well for any type of gaming. Its worth having because its small and decent looking on the coffee table, but they are very frustrating to use as a keyboard for more than a few seconds.

My favorite remote control is the Harmony 680, or anything of that older generation of Harmony's. They are very reliable. The newer fancy harmony stuff seems to break on me a lot.
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,596
2
71
I'm intrigued by the Logitech K700 (noticed due to newegg refurb promo) as an alternative to the K400. Though originally around $99 it is now only $31 shipped from amazon and has good reviews despite oddities from being designed for google telly.
 

Jammor

Member
Sep 1, 2012
45
0
0
The lenovo's go on sale a lot. I'd suggest setting up a deal alert at slickdeals and jumping on it QUICK when one pops up for $20-$30. The older version has a trackball and no backlighting, and the new version has an optical trackball-thingy and backlighted keys.

These are useful for very occasional typing but they would not work well for any type of gaming. Its worth having because its small and decent looking on the coffee table, but they are very frustrating to use as a keyboard for more than a few seconds.

My favorite remote control is the Harmony 680, or anything of that older generation of Harmony's. They are very reliable. The newer fancy harmony stuff seems to break on me a lot.
Thx

So is there a device / kb out there somewhere that can

  1. Act as a fully functional HTPC remote (navigate up/down, left/right, play, pause, ffd/skip, rwd/skip, pause, aspect ratio, etc); AND
  2. Allow for light gaming via touch pad or track ball with QWERTY keyboard?
Or, do I need to have both available and can both work at the same time? I found an inexpensive but new HP IR receiver like assassin recommends on his guide...just to figure out if I need both a kb and remote or one device that can do both.

note: I've never used girder or eventghost but am willing to try either if necessary.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
You don't want to run an HTPC without a TV-type remote. Really, you want to have both a keyboard/mouse and a remote. The remote is used far, far more often. You have the IR receiver, now just program any remote (e.g. Harmony) to talk to the receiver.

Since you want to use it for occasional gaming, you should probably look into a full sized wireless keyboard and mouse. It can stay tucked away in a cabinet or under the couch and pulled out when needed.
 

Jammor

Member
Sep 1, 2012
45
0
0
You don't want to run an HTPC without a TV-type remote. Really, you want to have both a keyboard/mouse and a remote. The remote is used far, far more often. You have the IR receiver, now just program any remote (e.g. Harmony) to talk to the receiver.

Since you want to use it for occasional gaming, you should probably look into a full sized wireless keyboard and mouse. It can stay tucked away in a cabinet or under the couch and pulled out when needed.

(raises hand as he prepares to ask dumb question...)


But if I get a separate keyboard and mouse, don't I need a flat surface to operate on? I don't have a coffee table (nor want one)...just sofas and recliner. Perhaps a full kb with built in track ball or something like that?

That's what got me thinking about the Lenovo N5902...the kb w/ built in mouse.
 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,596
2
71
Unfortunately, I need something RF for a setup where IR is not possible/practical due limitation of USB length and wanting to avoid the cable. Otherwise the existing Harmony would be preferable and no keyboard needed.
 

Jammor

Member
Sep 1, 2012
45
0
0
Unfortunately, I need something RF for a setup where IR is not possible/practical due limitation of USB length and wanting to avoid the cable. Otherwise the existing Harmony would be preferable and no keyboard needed.
I briefly looked at that K700 and it looks intriguing (haven't read reviews yet). Didn't look like it had a backlit keyboard though...

Being designed for Google TV wouldn't preclude it from being used with any other DVR or HTPC software though, would it?
 

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