why hasn't anyone mentioned flirc?

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realityisterror Offline
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I heard about flirc from the wiki, but I couldn't find any mention in the forums. The product has just started shipping very recently, and I had a little trouble verifying exactly what it does from the website. After emailing back and forth with the developer (and getting super quick and helpful replies) I went ahead and ordered it.

First of all, it works exactly like you would expect. You get a little USB flash drive style dongle rather than a big receiver like the MCE remotes. For my HTPC this was a huge advantage; I just plugged in to the mobo USB header and leave it inside of my polycarbonate case. The developer has software out for OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu. There are GUIs for each, but also a command line configuration utility in Ubuntu.

So essentially you can use whatever remote you want and seamlessly integrate with the rest of your home theater setup. I've been using the universal remote from my satellite provider under one of the AV settings. If you're using the CLI it's as simple as running flirc record left and then pressing the button you want to tie to left. Flirc then sends key presses to XBMC (or whatever else you want to run) so you can use the same keymap that you use with a keyboard.

At practically the same price as most MCE remotes I feel like this is a no brainer and more people need to hear about it. Infinitely configurable and it should work with close to any IR remote. I love being able to use one remote for everything.

edit: I just saw that the developer has updated the site with a lot more information on how it works. flirc.tv
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jasonkotzin Offline
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Post: #2
realityisterror Wrote:I heard about flirc from the wiki, but I couldn't find any mention in the forums. The product has just started shipping very recently, and I had a little trouble verifying exactly what it does from the website. After emailing back and forth with the developer (and getting super quick and helpful replies) I went ahead and ordered it.

First of all, it works exactly like you would expect. You get a little USB flash drive style dongle rather than a big receiver like the MCE remotes. For my HTPC this was a huge advantage; I just plugged in to the mobo USB header and leave it inside of my polycarbonate case. The developer has software out for OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu. There are GUIs for each, but also a command line configuration utility in Ubuntu.

So essentially you can use whatever remote you want and seamlessly integrate with the rest of your home theater setup. I've been using the universal remote from my satellite provider under one of the AV settings. If you're using the CLI it's as simple as running flirc record left and then pressing the button you want to tie to left. Flirc then sends key presses to XBMC (or whatever else you want to run) so you can use the same keymap that you use with a keyboard.

At practically the same price as most MCE remotes I feel like this is a no brainer and more people need to hear about it. Infinitely configurable and it should work with close to any IR remote. I love being able to use one remote for everything.

edit: I just saw that the developer has updated the site with a lot more information on how it works. flirc.tv

Thanks so much for starting the thread.
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eskro Offline
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not bad but, doesnt seem to let you map alot of buttons :/

oops, looks like i've read too fast..

i guess it can map any keyboard keys after all and for ~$30 CAD...
(This post was last modified: 2011-06-13 07:34 by eskro.)
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darkscout Offline
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I wish that he'd offer the option of pulling the IR receivers and replacing them with a 1/8" headphone jack and then a 1', 6', 10' cord so your HTPC can be about anywhere and just run the cord out. Only option I see now is running a USB cable out.

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Inglorious Offline
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Nice! I've been looking for this kind of product for a while now. I'll definitely be ordering one!

I'm currently using a Universal Remote (One For All) with the HP receiver but I never liked it. For some reason, I would rather use the remote that came with my cable box (Scientific Atlanta 8300HD PVR) as it feels more comfortable.

I'll be using a short USB extension though, I hope that won't cause an issue.
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eskro Offline
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Scientific Atlanta 8300HD PVR, whats you cable company? videotron?
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Inglorious Offline
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eskro Wrote:Scientific Atlanta 8300HD PVR, whats you cable company? videotron?

Yes. Always liked their remote control, but was bummed out by the fact it couldn't be used to control my HTPC (Revo 3610). Looks like this will solve the issue Smile
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jasonkotzin Offline
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Post: #8
Just wanted to again thank you for starting the thread.

Also, I've been trying to incorporate as much feedback as I can. Something not shown on the video located on the homepage is the keyboard controller view. You can link any buttons on the keyboard with remote keys.

A lot of people have been saying it has been a bit painful to lookup XBMC keys, Boxee Keys, and WMCE keys. So something we're trying to push in the next week or two is more controllers. There will be a XBMC, Boxee, and WMCE controller view with all the shortcuts.

For example, no need to look up which keyboard keys do a 'toggle closed captions' for either of the three media center apps.

[Image: Screen_shot_2011-06-13_at_12.04.29_PM.png]

We will break up the icons and put them in separate controller windows, as those are the total combined for the three apps.

We'll update the video to demonstrate this as well. Thanks again.
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eskro Offline
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Inglorious, where your from, i have videotron too Tongue

jasonkotzin, your the flirc author?
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burritoboy9984 Offline
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Post: #10
Looks awesome, wish I would have seen this before buying the mce remotes for my htpc's...

-Erik

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realityisterror Offline
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Post: #11
darkscout Wrote:I wish that he'd offer the option of pulling the IR receivers and replacing them with a 1/8" headphone jack and then a 1', 6', 10' cord so your HTPC can be about anywhere and just run the cord out. Only option I see now is running a USB cable out.
That could be useful, but there's not much of a difference compared to using a USB extension is there? With USB you have a device with firmware that can be upgraded and configuration can be stored in the device itself. I imagine writing cross-platform software would be harder too. From what I can tell the computer sees flirc as a regular keyboard/HID device.

Inglorious Wrote:Nice! I've been looking for this kind of product for a while now. I'll definitely be ordering one!

I'm currently using a Universal Remote (One For All) with the HP receiver but I never liked it. For some reason, I would rather use the remote that came with my cable box (Scientific Atlanta 8300HD PVR) as it feels more comfortable.

I'll be using a short USB extension though, I hope that won't cause an issue.
That's exactly my reasoning. I don't necessarily care for my satellite DVR's remote, but the seamlessness of having one remote control everything is really important to me. Depending on your physical setup, it might work without an extension. I think Jason mentions on his site that he leaves his behind his Mac mini and it still picks ups signals bounced off the wall.

eskro Wrote:Inglorious, where your from, i have videotron too Tongue

jasonkotzin, your the flirc author?
Jason is the hardware and software developer. As far as I know he's done absolutely everything along the way other than some graphics for the site and application!


This is my flirc setup. It's almost like it was made with me in mind Smile
[Image: kxlgK.jpg]
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darkscout Offline
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realityisterror Wrote:That could be useful, but there's not much of a difference compared to using a USB extension is there?[/img]

USB extensions have limited range and there is not reason to have the entire bulky device on your TV. (Plus USB cords have a minimum bending radius.)

Something like this: [Image: alberts_usb_lirc.jpg-782926.JPG]

Quote: With USB you have a device with firmware that can be upgraded and configuration can be stored in the device itself. I imagine writing cross-platform software would be harder too. From what I can tell the computer sees flirc as a regular keyboard/HID device.

I have no clue where you're going with this nor what it has to do with my post.

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realityisterror Offline
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Post: #13
darkscout Wrote:USB extensions have limited range and there is not reason to have the entire bulky device on your TV. (Plus USB cords have a minimum bending radius.)
I hadn't considered reaching the limit of USB, but I suppose that could be a concern in some unique circumstances. You should be able to get to 15' easily?

darkscout Wrote:I have no clue where you're going with this nor what it has to do with my post.
My mistake, I thought you were suggesting that the 1/8" should connect directly to the computer. I have seen IR blasters like that before, but I don't know what kind of signal they carry.
From your picture it seems like the device you want already exists as long as you're okay with using lirc.
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jasonkotzin Offline
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Post: #14
darkscout Wrote:USB extensions have limited range and there is not reason to have the entire bulky device on your TV. (Plus USB cords have a minimum bending radius.)

Something like this: [Image: alberts_usb_lirc.jpg-782926.JPG]



I have no clue where you're going with this nor what it has to do with my post.


This is USB 1.1, so extension chords aren't going to be a problem. Plus, they don't have to be thick, the thicker ones are for ensuring you don't get power drop to your device and your signal has a heavy duty conductor to get from one end to the other.

Some technical background for anyone interested in me backing up my claims: [All metal has a resistance and capacitance, the longer you go, the higher they get. If you have a fast signal, too much resistance and capacitance wont allow your signal to get from one to zero fast enough. It will 'curve' the edge and decrease your bandwidth. With USB 1.1 12MB/s, this isn't going to be a problem with an off the shelf extension].

The picture you posted in all honesty, looks the same as a flirc on an extension chord. I was extremely concerned with cost. Having two pieces would skyrocket the price.
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jasonkotzin Offline
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realityisterror Wrote:That could be useful, but there's not much of a difference compared to using a USB extension is there? With USB you have a device with firmware that can be upgraded and configuration can be stored in the device itself. I imagine writing cross-platform software would be harder too. From what I can tell the computer sees flirc as a regular keyboard/HID device.


That's exactly my reasoning. I don't necessarily care for my satellite DVR's remote, but the seamlessness of having one remote control everything is really important to me. Depending on your physical setup, it might work without an extension. I think Jason mentions on his site that he leaves his behind his Mac mini and it still picks ups signals bounced off the wall.


Jason is the hardware and software developer. As far as I know he's done absolutely everything along the way other than some graphics for the site and application!


This is my flirc setup. It's almost like it was made with me in mind Smile
[Image: kxlgK.jpg]

Awesome setup.

Yup, from start to finish and in hopes to raise money for cancer research. Here is a little background if anyone is interested: http://www.flirc.tv/fundraising/
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