[WINDOWS] HOW-TO get XBMC for Windows to work with remote control via IR Server Suite

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Cam73 Offline
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Post: #31
I woudl like to add the info from my last post to the first post..so anybody reading this for the first tiem sees it without going tot eh bottom...but i cant work out how...

Is it possible to edit posts? If so how? Am i perhaps prevented as I only registered recently?
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roeroe Offline
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Post: #32
Cam73 Wrote:My remote is this one: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mousea...px?pid=065

I bought mine from my wholesale supplier (in a box o 3) so that wont help you too much... but with the info on the MS page i suspect you can find one easy enough.

Thanks
I went and ordered a few remote one for each PC. Smile
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TechLife Offline
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Post: #33
Keep an eye on it Cam and see if it continues to work...

This is the problem that I have been working on. The service seems to be stopped and not restart when resuming from hibernate. It also seems to randomly stop even if the PC is left on. I tried setting the service to restart on failure and noticed (about 8 hours later) that although the service was still running, it just didn't work until I stopped and restarted it.

If you have this happen, there is something you can try that I haven't been able to yet seeing how you aren't using VMC at all. I have to leave VMC as a backup for the wife. If something glitches in XBMC or with the remote while I'm at work she'll freak out if if there isn't a plan B.

The first part you already did with the disabling the windows actions in IRSS.
The second is to disable all of the services related to VMC. There is a good possibility that one of those conflicts with the input service for IRSS.

I'm trying to free a box up specifically for testing/troubleshooting but just haven't had the time.

Keep us (me) posted! Thanks and good luck! Big Grin

P.S. I have contacted the developer with all of the issues that I and everyone else here has encountered. I haven't gotten an answer yet. From what I can tell this IS and known problem and he IS working on it but I'll update when I have some solid information.
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Cam73 Offline
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Post: #34
Ive been running this for about 4 days now.

In that time i have not rebooted the PC at all.
I have not stopeed and restarted IR Suite.

When i finish watching XBMC i just leave it running.

I have foudn that XBMC starts behaving badly - movies not playing, library missing lots of entries, locking up... so about 2-3 times so far I have come to use XBMC and have had to CAD it and restart it...but i have not restarted IR Suite as yet.

Ill keep an eye on it though.
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TechLife Offline
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Post: #35
UPDATE: From the developer this morning...

and-81 Wrote:I'll post an update by the end of the week. It will fix the Vista suspend/resume bug and will have new imon config.

Thanks for your patience,

Cheers,
Aaron
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Cam73 Offline
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Post: #36
TechLife Wrote:UPDATE: From the developer this morning...

Is this the developer of IR Suite?
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TechLife Offline
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Post: #37
Cam73 Wrote:Is this the developer of IR Suite?

Yes
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supernoman Offline
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Post: #38
Woohoo! One step closer to keyboardless HTPC.

TechLife Wrote:UPDATE: From the developer this morning...
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librajak Offline
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Post: #39
This might be a basic question. Does all the set up work on XP machine?
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GergDees Offline
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Post: #40
librajak Wrote:This might be a basic question. Does all the set up work on XP machine?

Yes, all of this setup works great on XP. I have been testing XBMC on XP for a few days with this remote configuration and it seems to work great. Occasionally the remote buttons stop responding for a moment but they quickly return.
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GergDees Offline
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Post: #41
TechLife Wrote:OK, here's how I did it in Vista with a RC6 VMC remote:

I wanted to use the "Start" (Windows) button on my remote to launch XBMC. By default, this starts VMC. To get around this, do the following:

- Start the "Input Service Configuration" which is the core of IR Server Suite
- Scroll down to "Microsoft MCE" and click "Configure"
- On the "Remote" tab, check the box for "Disable Automatic Buttons"
- The service will then ask to restart to apply changes - let it.

Now, when you press the start button on the VMC remote, nothing should happen. Good...now we can make it do what we want. Big Grin

- Set "Translator" to run as Administrator. If you don't, this will never work Wink
- Open "Translator"
- Click "New" to create a new system wide action.

You will be prompted to press the button on the remote you want to assign the action to. In my case, I pressed start (button code 31730). As long as the code was accepted, you should now see the "Button Mapping" dialogue.

- Click the "Run" tab

I used the the following settings for mine, modify yours accordingly...
Description: Start XBMC
Application: C:\Program Files\XBMC\XBMC.exe
Start Folder: C:\Program Files\XBMC\
Parameters: -fs -p
Window Style: Normal
All other options unchecked

- When done, press set.
- Minimize "Translator" and press the button you chose to launch XBMC.

You can tell Translator to start with Windows by checking the box on the main Translator window but it's just going to be blocked. Of course you can always click the blocked startup programs and allow it to run every time you reboot but that's just annoying if you ask me so leave it unchecked. Create a task scheduler event that runs Translator at startup instead. If you haven't done this before, you'll find this guide handy: http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread....&p=6509411.

Hey TechLife, thanks for the Info. Your remote configuration works great. I wanted a little more functionality from the Start button than just opening XBMC because of an issue I had with standby so I elaborated on your design. I figured others may want the same from their Start button so I thought I would share.

When I resume from standby on my HTPC the XBMC window resumes minimized. The first time this happened I pressed the Start button again which just opened a second instance of XBMC. My HTPC is not powerful enough to run two instances of XBMC so I decided to find a fix. I wrote a simple script that is called by Translator when the Start button is pressed instead of the xbmc executable. The script allows the Start button to have three functions within XBMC instead of just one.

Here are the three things the Start button can do now.
  • Start XBMC from scratch
  • If XBMC is running but minimized, it will activate the window
  • If XBMC is running and maximized, the Start button will act as a "Home" button bringing the user back to the home screen

The script was created with AutoIt so it is very easy to modify. I compiled the script into an exe file for portability but unfortunately the script won't maximize a minimized XBMC window without first having the AutoIt script software installed. Below is the script:


If ProcessExists("xbmc.exe") Then
If WinActive("[TITLE:XBMC]") Then
Send("{HOME}")
Else
WinActivate("[TITLE:XBMC]")
EndIf
Else
ShellExecute("C:\Program Files\XBMC\XBMC.exe", "-fs -p", "C:\Program Files\XBMC", "open")
EndIf


The script first checks to see if the process xbmc.exe exists. If it does exist, it then checks to see if the XBMC titled window is active. If it is not active it will activate it. If it is active, it will send the "Home" key. If xbmc.exe is not running, the script will run it similar to how Translator runs it when you press the button. To get the home screen functionality to work, I had to edit the keymap.xml file and change the value XBMC.ActivateWindow(Home) under the keyboard heading from browser_home to home. (The button Browser_Home minimized XBMC and opened my default browser to its home page)

If you would like the same Start button functionality on your XBMC PC, follow these steps.


  1. Install and compile the script to an exe file.

    - Install the AutoIt V3 software available from here.

    - Copy the script text from above into notepad and save it as startbutton.au3 or something similar.

    - Right click the startbutton.au3 file and select "Compile Script". After it finishes a file named startbutton.exe should appear in the same directory as the script.

    - Copy startbutton.exe to the C:\Program Files\XBMC directory or somewhere convenient.
  2. Configure Translator

    - Open translator, select the command that was entered earlier and click "Delete".

    - Click "New", press the Start button on the remote, click the browse button next to the Application box, browse to the directory where the startbutton.exe file was saved and select it.

    - Leave the defaults and select "Set" to create the code.

    - Click "Ok" to close the new command dialog box and "OK" again to close Translator.
  3. Edit the keymap.xml file

    - Browse to C:\Program Files\XBMC\system, right click the keymap.xml file and select "edit". Change the line under "Keyboard" from <browser_home>XBMC.ActivateWindow(Home)</browser_home> to read like this: <home>XBMC.ActivateWindow(Home)</home> and save the file.
  4. Test the remote to see if it behaves as expected.

    - The Start button should now open XBMC, maximized a minimized XBMC window, and go back to the home screen.
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TechLife Offline
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Post: #42
Excellent idea Gerg!

I am always looking for ways to maximize functionality and minimize headaches - especially for the wife who uses it more than I do.

I am definitely going to try this out this weekend if I can't find a little time before!!
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Himod Offline
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Post: #43
Just registred here to say "Ten thumbs up!" to the TS, works like a charm Smile
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bishop7 Offline
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Question  Snapstream firefly (X10 remote)
Post: #44
First of all, I have to say there is a lot of great information here.

I have a Snapstream Firefly and i'm not able to fully get it working with any solution i've tried so far. So far i've tried the default Firefly drivers (Only the directional buttons, the Menu, Info and volume buttons work, all the navigational ones like pause, play, etc don't) the IR suite, a custom IRSSmap (and one for an X10 remote which I learned was pretty much exactly like the one I made) etc to no avail.

The IR suite installs fine and I can see keypresses from my remote showing up in the log. I see in the debug log for XBMC that it is loading the correct IRSSmap.xml file however using the IR suite nothing works except the power button which closes XBMC. From what i've gathered, i'm guessing the issue is with the Keymap.xml file and that the buttons are not being mapped properly to the application.

Does anyone have a custom keymap.xml file for this brand of remote (or a similar X10 remote, could be any one, just so long as I have a template to start with I can kinda configure it the way I want to)? Or, alternatively, any documentation on how to customize the xml file (I have read the wiki and done a few searches, but only found rudimentary instructions on how to customize the file)

Or... is there another problem not related to any of the above?

FYI - i'm running Win XP pro and have tried multiple XBMC builds - 14676 , alpha 3 and alpha 4.
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stilger Offline
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Post: #45
Thanks to the idea of GergDees above I have taken another path to solve the standby and resume problem in XBMC. I noticed just like him that on resume XBMC would be minimized. I did the following using IR Servers Translator:

  1. Enable Start Translator with Windows
  2. Create a PC_Suspend event that does the following:
    Run program:
    Program: C:\WINDOWS\system32\taskkill.exe
    Start In Folder: C:\WINDOWS\system32
    Parameters: /F /IM xbmc.exe
    I also checked Start using SHellExecute and Wait for exit. (though I do not know if ther are needed)
  3. Create a Translator_Start event that does the following:
    Run program:
    Program: C:\Program Files\XBMC\XBMC.exe
    Start In Folder: C:\Program Files\XBMC
    Parameters: -fs -p
  4. Create a PC_Resume event that does the following:
    Run program:
    Program: C:\Program Files\XBMC\XBMC.exe
    Start In Folder: C:\Program Files\XBMC
    Parameters: -fs -p


This allows me to restart or standby the machine and XBMC is stopped and restarted either way. I also could just add XBMC to the startup folder and I would probably not need the Translator_Start event. It would be nice if XBMC support was added to the MCE Standby Tool and it could take care of all of this for us.

Hope this helps someone.
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