Mac OS X - Pairing a Universal remote

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Zionda Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
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Post: #1
Hi Guys
After searching the forum I want to know if I understand correctly

I own a 2007 MacMini with an IR enabled option
I do not have the original Apple remote

I would like to pair my Sattelite remote control (that has an IR universal remote control capabilities)
I want to be able to use my cable, TV and xbmc with the same remote

Is that possible with the gear I have or I should buy a flirc?

Wanna know if there is any workaround / 3rd party software or drivers I can use to enable that

Edit: maybe under bootcamp with win7?

Thanks ! Smile
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-20 18:36 by Zionda.)
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juramusger Offline
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Joined: Mar 2014
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Post: #2
As I have pondered a similar situation for quite some time I can partly answer:

Under OSX it will work only if your Satellite remote can be programmed to mimic the Apple remote, if and how that could be done should be in the manual.
Under Windows some people have been successful to learn and use another remote's commands with Eventghost, but it depends on the protocol the remote uses. I have not tried this personally as Windows was no option for me.
Flirc is awesome, I have bought one recently and it gives you a lot of freedom to do what you want to do. Jason (the sole developer) is also a very nice guy helping almost everyone who has issues personally.

From my experience I recommend Flirc, it made a lot of headaches disappear and is quite future-proof. The choice is yours however!
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DBMandrake Offline
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Post: #3
As far as I know the built in IR receiver in a 2007 Mac Mini can't learn any other remote's beside the Apple Remote - at least not in Mac OS.

I also tried to use it under Windows XP and found that the Apple IR driver in Windows does not pass through the code for one of the buttons, even if you try to use software like event ghost, making the IR receiver useless (for XBMC) under Windows.

Worse still, there seems to be either a hardware or OS driver flaw with the 2007 Mac Mini which makes the built in IR receiver unreliable for XBMC !

I have both an original Apple Remote, and also a Logitech Harmony One which I was for a long time using with the "Plex" profile which allows you to use lots of extra buttons in XBMC beyond the basic set of buttons on an Apple remote.

The problem is that any time the Mac is doing something graphically intensive within XBMC, IR commands from the remote are randomly "lost", so you get lost button presses which is EXTREMELY frustrating to use. Pressing down repeatedly in a scrolling list would cause maybe 1 in 5 button presses to go missing for example, and trying to use the on-screen keyboard was an exercise in frustration.

This problem occurred with the original Apple remote too, so it wasn't a problem with the Harmony remote. The strange thing is the lost IR commands only occurred while XBMC was running, and was directly proportional to how "busy" the graphics accelerator was, but I confirmed by tracing the event messages at an OS level that the problem was NOT in XBMC - it was not receiving any events from the OS during the missed remote button press.

I spent months tearing my hair out trying to solve this problem and finally gave up an bought a Flirc. As far as I can tell its a hardware or driver problem on the 2007 Mac mini and given the lack of other people complaining about it on the forum I suspect only that model of Mini is affected. (Not many XBMC users seem to be using Mini's that old)

Do yourself a big favour and buy a Flirc - there is a bit more of a setup process as I had to do some custom key mapping to get everything just the way I wanted it, but it's infinitely customisable and works 100% reliably with no lost button presses and has a very sensitive IR receiver. (The remote can be pointed anywhere in the room even if the Flirc is on the back of the Mac Mini!)

It can learn almost ANY button from ANY remote and send ANY keystroke as a result of that, so you should have no trouble setting it up to work with the universal mode of your satellite receiver remote.

It will work with any device that has a USB port that accepts a USB keyboard, including the Raspberry Pi making it a very handy thing to have around.

XBMC 13.2 - Mid 2007 Mac Mini, 4GB, 2TB HD, OS X 10.6.8.
XBMC 13.2 - Raspberry Pi 512MB Model B, 16GB SD, Raspbmc.
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-21 10:16 by DBMandrake.)
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