In a couple of unrelated threads people were mentioning being curious about how well Flirc works with XBMC, and I promised a write up after I received and configured mine. I thought it should go in its own thread as it's not the topic of either places I saw it discussed.
So, for those of you who are still looking for a good IR receiver for making your remote (universal or otherwise) I HIGHLY recommend Flirc (http://flirc.tv). At $25 ($20 using the discount code on his order form) it's only slightly over what you'd pay for a cheap MCE remote/receiver, and it does a lot more than one of those receivers.
Basically it shows up to your computer like a USB keyboard, so it needs no drivers whatsoever, and it lets you map buttons from your remote to keystrokes. So if you want to use a Harmony or other universal remote with it (I use a URC RF-20), you start with a remote profile that doesn't control the other devices in your entertainment center, and download the Flirc app for whatever platform you're using to program the Flirc. The versions for Windows and Mac come with a nice GUI where you can look at either a full keyboard or a keymap specific to XBMC, and you just click the key you want to map it waits for you press a button on your remote, and then that button is mapped to the key. So click P on the screen, press the play button on your remote, and move to the next button. On XBMCbuntu I used ssh and the command line utility that comes with the Linux version of the Flirc app to configure the buttons. So type 'flirc record p' and press the play button, then go on to the next key.
I think it took me about 15 minutes to completely program the remote the first time I started playing with it, and I got faster as I went. I recently started over and it takes more like 5 minutes. I even mapped things like ctrl+m to a soft key I titled MUSIC on the RF20, and I now literally have every XBMC key command I use mapped, except for the volume and mute, which I have punched directly through to my DVD/receiver.
I had started with a crappy $7 Windows/MCE remote that it turns out had been sending keyboard shortcuts and not IR commands in the first place, so the IR receiver that came with it couldn't be used with the RF20 and the RF20 couldn't learn commands from the Win remote. Flirc was a HUGE step up and I wish I'd known about it before wasting time on the $7 thing.
DISCLAIMER: My only negative comment is that the Flirc I got doesn't seem to like my Macs. If I try to use the GUI on any Mac to program the Flirc before moving it to the XBMCbuntu box for use, it starts sending stuck key commands after programming one o two buttons. The inventor of the device said in his forums that he uses his with Mac and assures me that this is not normal behavior, and was fairly quick to respond to my requests for help troubleshooting. It works so well on XBMCbuntu that I honestly don't know if I care though. If he offers to try an exchange I may or may not do it, but I wanted to mention the problem in the interest of full disclosure and a fair review. The Flirc project is very young and my own Flirc hasn't been 100% trouble free, but the developer is responsive, the product is ingenius, there are frequent beta firmwares and software updates to support it, and I think the price is good for what you get. I recommend it to all who are patient enough to use something that's barely out of beta and doesn't mind taking a bit of time to configure something.
I hope this helps some people if anyone's still looking for an easy way to make your remote control XBMC.
Joined: Feb 2012
2012-03-06 09:20 Post: #1
(This post was last modified: 2012-03-06 22:43 by digitalb0y.)
Joined: Apr 2010
2012-03-06 18:32 Post: #2
I wrote an article for the front page on XBMC but natethomas has not responded to any other communicay after requesting I write it.
You can find my article here on the wiki:
Flirc now has a forum: forum.flirc.tv
(This post was last modified: 2012-03-28 17:40 by Chris!.)
Joined: Apr 2012
2012-04-17 20:59 Post: #3
Nice device! thanks for this great hint.
I have two questions:
1) Are there any vendors available outside the US? Cause I would like to redruce shipping costs that are mentioned to be at least 17 USD for destination outside the US.
2) Is it possible to use FLIRC with ACPI wake up feature? That means, when I press any key on the remote control, I would like to switch (beside my TV) also the PC to on.
Joined: Oct 2011
2012-09-08 04:59 Post: #4
Does anyone know how to get the discount these days?