Using iRule, EventGhost & USB-UIRT as universal remote

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
DJVege Offline
Donor
Posts: 231
Joined: Jan 2009
Reputation: 2
Rainbow  Using iRule, EventGhost & USB-UIRT as universal remote
Post: #1
Finally got this up and running! Everyone probably already knows this can be done, but just posting to show it anyway.

Goal: Use a phone/tablet device with the iRule application to control XBMC and IR devices (TV, AV receiver etc…Wink. In my case, the iPad 2.

My panels are setup with the appropriate logic (ie. Can't run XBMC if the AV receiver and TV aren't on etc...), and I use the one device to run everything!

Quick summary of how it works:

* Press button on iRule panel (On iPad).
- This broadcasts a UDP packet with specific payload to HTPC wireless network card
* Eventghost plugin "Broadcaster" picks up the UDP packet as an event, and fires off the matching action.

Will post my panel screenshots when I get home.

Advantages:
* You can tailor each panel with custom buttons and links per activity (XBMC, Watching Digital TV, Foxtel etc...).
* One remote to do everything. (Power on IR devices, change TV channels, and navigate through XBMC; Can also run other PC apps if you want).

Disadvantages (that I've noticed so far):
* Slight delay between pressing a button on the iPad 2, and the action being done on screen. When I say slight, i mean less than 0.2 secs. Slightly longer than the Firefly, but not an issue for me.
* Going from a standard remote with physical buttons to an iPad where you're just pressing icons on a screen might take some getting used to. With a traditional remote, you can feel around for what button you want to press, whereas on an iPad or iPhone, you'll most probably be looking at what you press. (This issue can be minimized with appropriate button placement on your iRule panel....)
* You can't use the iPad and hold it at the same time in one hand (like a traditional remote), though you can with an iPhone.

EDIT:

Another disadvantage I've discovered (and this is comparing an RF remote to utilising the iPad over wireless) is that, if for some reason your network card goes offline, loses its IP etc.., you have to get off your fat *ss, attach a mouse, and manually renew your ip. With an RF remote, you simply have a batch script to do this, and assign a button on the remote to action it in eventghost. No need to move. Smile

I find that sometimes when the HTPC is left alone for a long time, even if it doesn't sleep/hibernate, the wireless card can simply lose it's ip and re-enabling the adaptor resolves it.

A fix is to schedule a task to check if the NIC is online, and renew/enable if not.... but I haven't done this yet.

...DJVege...
HTPC: G840 + GT430 + 2GB RAM + 30GB SSD
Remote: iPad/iPhone + iRule + USB-UIRT // FireFly RF Remote
Software: XBMC Eden + Eventghost + Win7
(This post was last modified: 2012-01-23 00:36 by DJVege.)
find quote
DJVege Offline
Donor
Posts: 231
Joined: Jan 2009
Reputation: 2
Rainbow   
Post: #2
iRule Panels
-------------

Home Screen (all you can do is power on, and go to advanced buttons for AV Receiver and TV. Will also make an advanced panel for the PC).
[Image: irulehome.jpg]

Activities
[Image: iruleactivities.jpg]

Digital TV
[Image: iruletv.jpg]

XBMC
[Image: irulexbmc.jpg]

The activity panels have all the buttons frequently used.

Still working on my device panels. These panels will simply have every remote IR button/code possible. Just in case they are required sometime.

Also, after using this for a while, the panel layout might change according to what I find is easiest.

...DJVege...
HTPC: G840 + GT430 + 2GB RAM + 30GB SSD
Remote: iPad/iPhone + iRule + USB-UIRT // FireFly RF Remote
Software: XBMC Eden + Eventghost + Win7
find quote
seth.feinberg Offline
Donor
Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 2
Post: #3
Sorry to bump an old thread but I can't believe nobody posted/thanked you for putting this up! I'm running into a very specific issue with limitations of my Harmony 900 and 2 PC's connected to the same blaster (see here) and am looking for some open source or easy method of just using a tablet as a full Universal remote.

I'm nervous about the reliance on WiFi and what looks like the necessity that, without USB-UIRT, all the devices need to be connected through Ethernet, or use WiFi (shudder). Can you speak at all about the integration of the USB-UIRT?
find quote
PatK Offline
Donor
Posts: 3,442
Joined: Mar 2010
Reputation: 75
Location: Canada
Post: #4
You'll get a bit more attention with a new thread. There's a lot of great posts without a thank-you, it's enough that XBMC developers have given their time and effort, we all try and help out in whatever way we can, donations are a sure fire way to get noticed, but buried in old threads is not likely to bring as many responses as could be from those who know.
find quote
seth.feinberg Offline
Donor
Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011
Reputation: 2
Post: #5
(2013-09-06 20:12)PatK Wrote:  You'll get a bit more attention with a new thread. There's a lot of great posts without a thank-you, it's enough that XBMC developers have given their time and effort, we all try and help out in whatever way we can, donations are a sure fire way to get noticed, but buried in old threads is not likely to bring as many responses as could be from those who know.

Yeah sorry I suppose. I've never been fully clear on whether its worse to bump an old thread or litter the forum with a new one. In either case, I replied to this older thread because it was exactly what I was looking for and was hoping, just maybe, to get a response/update from the OP. No disrespect to the decorum of the forum was intended.
find quote