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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use XBMC and Vista Media Center with a MCE remote with EventGhost - Printable Version

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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO use XBMC and Vista Media Center with a MCE remote with EventGhost - LaTropa64 - 2009-04-10 08:59

I know this won't be for everyone but if you happen to be wanting to use XBMC and Vista Media Center, I've spent at least 3 days playing with the remote and eventghost and think I've finally found the best way to set it up so that both will work.


1. Download the latest EventGhost beta http://www.eventghost.org/downloads/ (currently 0.3.7.r851)


2. Run EventGhost as an Administrator on Vista (it took me quite a while to figure this out, it just doesn't work right without admin privileges)


3. Go to Configuration > Add Plugin > Remote Receiver > Microsoft MCE Remote. UNCHECK the option to Disable HID service.

[Image: 8zjkfo.gif]


4. Go to Configuration > Add Plugin > Other > Task Create/Switch Events

[Image: 24e6ckl.gif]


6. Add a New Folder and name it XBMC


7. Go back to the very top of the list and make sure Configuration Tree is highlighted. Add a New Macro > EventGhost > Enable an item. Select the XBMC folder you just created.


8. Add another new macro. This time choose "Disable an item" and again choose the XBMC folder.


9. Now start XBMC and close it back down. You'll see over in the log file, two events show up: Task.Activated.XBMC and Task.Deactivated.XBMC. Drag Task.Activated.XBMC over to the "Enable: XBMC" macro and the Task.Deactivated.XBMC to "Disable: XBMC" macro.

[Image: scyfx5.gif]




(continued in next post)


- LaTropa64 - 2009-04-10 09:00

10. Now to start populating the XBMC folder. I didn't like how the included XBMC plugin sent commands, so I mapped everything to keyboard shortcuts. Let's start with the pause button... Highlight the XBMC folder. Click Add Macro > Window > Emulate Keystrokes. In the Special key tool section choose Space and click Insert.

[Image: ztemnm.gif]


11. Press the Pause button on your MCE remote. An event will show up in the log. Drag it over to the new macro for the space bar.

[Image: 2gsnaxv.gif]


12. Repeat for all the keys you want to use on the remote. Here's how I set mine up:

[indent]spacebar > Pause
tab > Record
x > Stop
r > Rewind
p > Play
f > Fast Forward
, > Previous
. > Next
backspace > Back
i > Info
pgup > Channel +
pgdn > Channel -
c > dvd menu
f9 > red button
f10 > green button
f11 > yellow button
f12 > blue button
s > teletext[/indent]


13. I also wanted to start XBMC with the teletext button. Select Configuration > Add Macro > System > Start Application. Browse to the XBMC.exe for the executable and be sure to include any necessary command line options, such as "-fs". Press the teletext button on the remote and drag it to this new macro. Adding XBMC.exe to a button not only starts XBMC, but also gives it focus again if it's already started since only one instance can run.

[Image: 15gqesy.gif]


14. When you are done with everything, it should look something like this:

[Image: fejb80.gif]


15. Some of the commands I wanted to work in different ways depending on where you were in XBMC so I setup my userdata\Keymap.xml as follows:

Code:
<keymap>

    <!-- Adds the ability to jump through music and video lists
    by using SMS input with the number keys. Adds ability to
    jump straight to sections with F9, F10, F11, F12 -->
    <global>
        <keyboard>
            <two>JumpSMS2</two>
            <three>JumpSMS3</three>
            <four>JumpSMS4</four>
            <five>JumpSMS5</five>
            <six>JumpSMS6</six>
            <seven>JumpSMS7</seven>
            <eight>JumpSMS8</eight>
            <nine>JumpSMS9</nine>
            <F9>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyVideos)</F9>
            <F10>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyMusic)</F10>
            <F11>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyPictures)</F11>
            <F12>XBMC.ActivateWindow(Home)</F12>
        </keyboard>
    </global>


    <!-- JumpSMS isn't needed in fullscreen videos, this keeps
    the number keys working to jump to a time. Also adds aspect
    ratio and 7 second jump back to pgup/pgdn and the codec info
    to c (instead of just the default o) -->
    <FullscreenVideo>
        <keyboard>
            <two>Number2</two>
            <three>Number3</three>
            <four>Number4</four>
            <five>Number5</five>
            <six>Number6</six>
            <seven>Number7</seven>
            <eight>Number8</eight>
            <nine>Number9</nine>
            <c>CodecInfo</c>
            <pageup>AspectRatio</pageup>
            <pagedown>SmallStepBack</pagedown>
        </keyboard>
    </FullscreenVideo>


    <!-- Items below simulate the way music in a playlist are
    queued, deleted and moved on the xbox dvd remote (2,5,0) -->
    <MyMusicPlaylist>
        <keyboard>
            <zero>Delete</zero>
            <two>MoveItemUp</two>
            <five>MoveItemDown</five>
        </keyboard>
    </MyMusicPlaylist>

    <MyMusicFiles>
        <keyboard>
            <zero>Queue</zero>
        </keyboard>
    </MyMusicFiles>

    <MyMusicLibrary>
        <keyboard>
            <zero>Queue</zero>
        </keyboard>
    </MyMusicLibrary>


    <!-- The items below were added because the back button
    wouldn't exit fullscreen music visualization or close the
    dialogue boxes. Also added play to simulate pause. -->
    <Visualisation>
        <keyboard>
            <backspace>FullScreen</backspace>
            <p>Pause</p>
        </keyboard>
    </Visualisation>

    <MusicOSD>
        <keyboard>
            <backspace>Close</backspace>
        </keyboard>
    </MusicOSD>

    <VisualisationSettings>
        <keyboard>
            <backspace>Close</backspace>
        </keyboard>
    </VisualisationSettings>

    <VisualisationPresetList>
        <keyboard>
            <backspace>Close</backspace>
        </keyboard>
    </VisualisationPresetList>


    <!-- Picture EXIF info with i and rotate with return -->
    <SlideShow>
        <keyboard>
            <i>CodecInfo</i>
            <return>Rotate</return>
        </keyboard>
    </SlideShow>

</keymap>


16. Finally, when used with the keyboard commands and xml file above, this is how it all works on the MCE remote:

[Image: 2vkkqqe.jpg]


If you like it mapped how it is in that graphic, you could also just grab the EventGhost xml file that I saved and import it... saving yourself the hassle of mapping everything yourself: http://www.zshare.net/download/58430054fc5c36e5/ or http://pastebin.com/f7b8c60b6






There's probably a better way to do this so I would love some feedback but overall it works pretty well for me. There are a few things I don't like about having this as a hybrid setup (like the recorded tv, epg, live tv, and big green button only work for MCE and volume and mute are done through windows so you don't get onscreen feedback about it in XBMC). I also had played with mapping the commands directly to the XBMC plugin that comes with EventGhost but that seemed to lose a lot of functionality, key repeat rates just weren't right for scrolling and it was almost impossible to double up keys to do different things in different areas with the keymap.xml.


- automated - 2009-04-10 14:15

Great guide, but you should mention the xml files further up Smile


- venealis - 2009-04-10 15:19

excellent write up. only comment is shouldn't on your remote fast forward be in the same direction as play? Meaning FF is to the right? Other than that looks great to me.


- LaTropa64 - 2009-04-10 22:41

automated Wrote:Great guide, but you should mention the xml files further up Smile
Probably. But I had to go through each step and figure it all out so I wanted to give others the opportunity to experience the same joys. Big Grin Besides, most usually want their own custom setup so I'm not sure how useful a direct import would be.


venealis Wrote:excellent write up. only comment is shouldn't on your remote fast forward be in the same direction as play? Meaning FF is to the right? Other than that looks great to me.
Oops... It is in real life. I just messed up the graphic.


- venealis - 2009-04-10 23:03

Oops... It is in real life. I just messed up the graphic.[/quote]

I agree. Thanks for all the work.Big Grin


- quebert - 2009-04-11 02:03

nice guide, wish you had posted this a week ago when I was getting into EG. Apparently though my problem also was due to the Harmony software telling the remote to launch VMC for every damn command lol.

I have a question maybe you can help me with, I have 95% of the remote mapped how he likes it. One thing I cannot figure out, I wanted to have one button for him that launches XBMC and goes into party mode. Maybe I think too logic here, but what I did was create a macro and I included an action that launches XBMC and added a 2nd that goes to party mode. Apparently EG only picks up the first, because it'll launch XBMC but won't go into party mode. Not a huge issue as I just told him to press it twice. But I'm curious how to pull this off with a single button press.


- LaTropa64 - 2009-04-11 02:52

quebert Wrote:...
I wanted to have one button for him that launches XBMC and goes into party mode. Maybe I think too logic here, but what I did was create a macro and I included an action that launches XBMC and added a 2nd that goes to party mode. Apparently EG only picks up the first, because it'll launch XBMC but won't go into party mode. Not a huge issue as I just told him to press it twice. But I'm curious how to pull this off with a single button press.
I haven't tried to do anything like that yet but maybe it just needs a small delay after launching XBMC? You can add a delay in a macro. Add action > eventghost > Wait some time.


- quebert - 2009-04-11 02:54

LaTropa64 Wrote:I haven't tried to do anything like that yet but maybe it just needs a small delay after launching XBMC? You can add a delay in a macro. Add action > eventghost > Wait some time.

A delay makes perfect sense, dunno why I didn't think of this ha. thanks man


- LaTropa64 - 2009-04-17 01:38

One other thing I ended up doing was adding a close window event to the power button on the remote:

[Image: fw0tbl.jpg]

This only works because my computer runs 24/7 and I had no need for it to sleep so I went into the windows security policies and disabled sleep and hibernate. Now the power button on the remote acts as Alt+F4 so it closes the currently active window. It comes in very handy.


- CBR900Biker - 2009-04-18 09:20

The site Eventghost ist down .... where can I download the Programm ??

Can anyone help me ?

Thanks
CBR900Biker


- LaTropa64 - 2009-04-19 00:00

eventghost.org is working for me but here's a different link to EventGhost_0.3.7.r851_Setup.exe: http://www.mediafire.com/file/omcmwjdymjz/EventGhost_0.3.7.r851_Setup.exe


- ptipton - 2009-05-11 16:48

Am trying this with windows XP MCE 2005 and almost have it working but have the following issues:
1. When in windows media center and start XBMC , XBMC starts "behind" windows media center.
2. With eventghost loaded when I try and play Live tv I get a set top box error saying that the remote sensor is not connected so there seems to be some incompatibility here ( Without eventghost running Live Tv works fine).

I'm using eventghost 0.3.7 r918 as the latest r965 gave errors at the end of installation and would not run.

Any help much appreciated.


- LaTropa64 - 2009-05-11 17:30

1 can be solved by adding "find window: xbmc.exe" and then "bring to front" commands in your EventGhost macro for starting xbmc.

[Image: i6ku3a.jpg]


I'm not sure about your 2nd issue. Vista Media Center works fine for me regardless of eventghost running. Did you uncheck the disable HID option when you added the mce plugin to eventghost?


- ptipton - 2009-05-12 16:00

LaTropa64 Wrote:1 can be solved by adding "find window: xbmc.exe" and then "bring to front" commands in your EventGhost macro for starting xbmc.

[Image: i6ku3a.jpg]


I'm not sure about your 2nd issue. Vista Media Center works fine for me regardless of eventghost running. Did you uncheck the disable HID option when you added the mce plugin to eventghost?

Thanks. That solved the issue of xbmc opening behind MCE . Cant seem to solve the second problem though. I checked that the diable HID was unchecked and also tried using a a completly different xml file with HID disabled but in both cases when I go to live tv i get the same remote sensor is not connected error