[WINDOWS] HOW-TO easily get MCE Remote working flawlessly in XBMC with EventGhost

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mjfuller44 Offline
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Post: #46
I'm new to XBMC - first time posting on this forum - and I absolutely love it!

Unfortunately, there are a couple of sticking points that I can't get around, and so can't quite give up on Vista Media Center just yet.

One of my issues is the remote control.

On Vista Media Center, I use a simple, cheap, imitation-Microsoft Media Center Remote (Speedlink SL-6399) which is identical to the Microsoft version but a couple of quid cheaper. Like the Microsoft version, it works effortlessly with Vista Media Center.

After trawling through endless forum threads on XBMC over the last three weeks, and trying both IRSS and EventGhost, I simply cannot get my remote control to work with XBMC.

With EventGhost I can just about get it to lauch XBMC from the green button, but it launches VMC as well, and whilst every input works fine on VMC, the EventGhost recognises no input other than the initial green button, and hence I have nothing to 'map' commands to.

As for IRSS, I have followed all instructions I can find on these forums, but I just get nothing at all.

In XBMC, by default I can use the left, right, up and down arrows, and the "OK" to work, so I can do some limited browsing through the media center, but no other keys respond in XBMC. So once I start playing a song, a video, a picture slideshow, etc., I can't get out of it as I can't "stop" it or go back.

What gets me, is although I'm not gifted enough to deal with coding or get my head around all the various threads in these forums, I am a typical media center user who would happily abandon Vista's Media Center and pay for/donate for something as wonderful as XBMC if only I could get something as basic as remote control to work! As would at least three of my work colleagues, my brother, my mother, and probably anyone else who I show this media center to.

Incidentally, one of my colleagues has a Mac and finds that it just works effortlessly "out-of-the-box" with his little Mac remote control thingy, and his version of XBMC ("Plex") has configuration settings for chosing the remote control within the XBMC application.

I'm sure the developers have no need to get XBMC to work "out-of-the-box" with a remote control such as mine. The excellent keyboard operations for XBMC are obviously more suited to people who spend much of their time "coding" on a keyboard in front of a single monitor. As opposed to someone like myself who uses the computer for all sorts of things, who wants to run the media center on a "3rd monitor" (a 32in HD TV), and wants to just sit on the sofa with a simple, cheap, widely available remote conrol. Whilst I personally love XBMC and would like to persist with it, my wife is never gonna get her around around anything that doesn't operate as simply as Windows Media Center, however good it looks.

If Microsoft can get a simple, bog-standard remote control to work without extra, complicated 3rd party programs, then aren't the XBCM developers missing a trick here?
(This post was last modified: 2008-11-10 16:40 by mjfuller44.)
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mebby Offline
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Post: #47
mjfuller44,
I'm also having difficulties with the remote control aspect of XBMC for Windows but please don't forget that it's still in Beta so they aren't done yet.

I've also used XBMC on a modded Xbox and I was absolutely blown away with the level of customization that they allowed me to do with the remote.

I had activity buttons set-up on my Harmony remote that allowed my kids to go straight to only THEIR movies and I had buttons for just my movies as well as home videos, weather, music, photos, etc.

XBMC for Windows has that functionality too.

Are you using a 64bit version of Vista? I am, and that's why EventGhost can't recognize the IR commands from the remote I bought. But I'm starting to find workarounds. It can detect the keyboard buttons presses that I do if I add in the keyboard plugin. On the XBMC Wiki there is a listing of keyboard shortcuts. At a minimum you could use those to map your remote to get a pretty robust form of functionality from your remote through EventGhost.

I'm half way there. If I could simply get EventGhost to recognize my IR commands in Vista then I'd be golden.

Don't give up just yet and please remember that this is not a finished product and the people working on it are busting their butts for no monetary reward.
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Ashex Offline
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Post: #48
I've got two questions

How does one have Ghost load the xml file on startup?

I want to be able to hold down the key have have it keep going, when I had it at 0.15 repeat delay, it wouldn't work, if I set it to 0.1 it would repeat too quickly, so just a quick press would be a double press. Anyone else have this issue?
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slippy Offline
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Post: #49
How much is the windows media center remote? I did some google searches and there seems to be many different versions!
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rernst Offline
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Post: #50
NineT9mustang Wrote:Thought id give my input on this application Smile

I'm using XBMC-Windows on Vista Ultimate x64

The whole setup with EventGhost is absolutly flawless. No problems at all...

But, In the beginning, boy did I have some trouble! It probably took me 1-2 hours of reading, and trial/error, but I eventually got everything working Smile

Here were some issues I had, and how I solved them, which most of you probably knew

XBMC Plugin not getting added...
I simply had to delete the XBMC Plugin, then close EventGhost and add it again, and it was fine

Buttons getting pressed more then once (And increasing the Button Release Time-Out did nothing but make it worse)... I disabled everything but the plugins for XBMC and MCE Remote.

Certain Buttons (Such as the Main Green one) would activate stuff for XBMC and Vista MCE... I just disabled the whole Keyboard Emulation stuff, this way everything that was pressed with the remote only did stuff in XBMC, Not Windows or anything else

Couldn't get the Green Button to launch XBMC (Or it would atleas launch XBMC and Vista MCE)... Add Action > System > Start Application > XBMC.exe > Add Command -fs so itd launch in full screen

These problems have been discussed in the thread, but I thought id share my experience, love the program so much, made my XBMC-Windows experience 1,000x better Smile

My two cents as I managed to get it working flawlessly:
-------------
Certain Buttons (Such as the Main Green one) would activate stuff for XBMC and Vista MCE... I just disabled the whole Keyboard Emulation stuff, this way everything that was pressed with the remote only did stuff in XBMC, Not Windows or anything else
-------------

The reason this happens is because you have keyboard emulation *and* the XBMC functions active. The proper way to avoid this is to define a 'Global context' which launches XBMC via the green button. Before that happens it is actually quite handy to have the up/down/left/right buttons working as keyboard. When you launch XBMC you switch to a context (like Winamp or VLC player, if you don't know how that works I can explain) which 'only activates' the XBMC folder.

That way you have the buttons available in any other application and no duplicate events in XBMC.
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rernst Offline
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Post: #51
slippy Wrote:How much is the windows media center remote? I did some google searches and there seems to be many different versions!

Get it from Newegg. It is a clone but only 30 bucks and works great.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6880381001
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Berz Offline
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Post: #52
xbdeelo asked this question:

I just started using Eventghost and so far it's been great. My only issue is that my cursor arrows (up, down, left, right) are sluggish. Also when I press and hold it goes at about 1/2 speed when scrolling through my movie collection. I have the button release timeout for the MCE plugin at .15 and autorepeat at.6. That's about as good as I've been able to get it but I am use to the XBOX remote on the original XBOX which is lightning fast in comparison. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I must say that after some hours configuring EventGhost I have stopped using IR Server Suite which didn't work as great as this software. The only thing at the moment that bugs me is the sluggish feeling when repeatingly tapping navigation keys. They seem to respond a little too late. So if I press the down arrow three times quick, I'll have to wait (maybe a half second) for the resulting three steps down the list.

It's not a big deal, but I'm used to instant response when I hit the keys repeatingly.

Anyone experiencing the same issue? I have also tried adjusting the time out values in the plugin..
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mjfuller44 Offline
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Post: #53
I got my remote control from Aria PC in Manchester (UK) for just £11. Cheap as chips! It's fine for Windows Media Center, and I bought on the advise that it's not worth spending more for Media Center purposes.

My problem is that EventGhost doesn't seem to acknowledge the signals other than the green button. I have got as far as making a command that opens XBMC when I first press the green button, but it opens WMC as well. After that, I get nothing from my remote control in EventGhost, although in XBMC I can use the up, down, right, left and OK (which I can do anyway without EventGhost). What is really annoying is that whilst EG is installed, I can't even use these buttons in WMC anymore; I have to uninstall EG and reboot my PC to get back the use of remote control in WMC.Sad By the way, I'm on 32-bit Vista, NOT x64 (for now, at least).

My understanding was that this was just the same as a regular Microsoft MCE remote control, but maybe it's not. But I worry about investing in a new, better remote control only to find the same problem. I read somewhere on another post that people have used the Philips SRM5100/10 4-in-1 vista remote control (which can apparently also do your TV, DVD player, and Sky box too) working successfully with EG, but I can't find that post now. Can anyone confirm this?

I also read on another post that the Microsoft MCE remotes and their imitations work "out-of-the-box" with XBMC Live, but on further investigation I'm left baffled at what XMBC Live is. I'm guessing it's no good to me on a regular PC.

Incidentally, I did get frotsen's exellent XBMClaunch.exe to work so that I can open XBMC on my 3rd screen (my 32in 1080p TV), and even got that working from my green button through EG. There is hope for me yet, I'm sure!

I appreciate that this is still in Beta stage, and, if it helps, I'll keep playing with it and offer my feedback as a novice, code-illiterate, end-user. (I use with keyboard for listening to music at work and have some comments to make.)

Please keep up the great work guys, and I swear, if you crack it for the final release, I'll make a proper donation!
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slippy Offline
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Post: #54
Many thanks for your replies about the remote controls

I am after a remote control that can switch on and off media center and XBMC. A remote with light up buttons for in the dark. Vista compatible, good quality, affordable and uses wireless. You know of any?

Many thanks in advance
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JackXB Offline
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Post: #55
How do we reenable the HID MCE remote HID device after it has been disabled by the remote plugin?
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tatanka Offline
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Post: #56
This thread saved me a boatload of time. Thanks everyone!!!

I'm using the LTS remote from Newegg, BTW. It seems good enough, but mine came with a set of pre-corroded batteries.

One problem I noticed... I can get XBMC into the weather screen, but from there, the back button doesn't work. I'm stuck and have to get my fat butt out of the chair to do a mouse click from the PC.

Anyone else seeing this?
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rernst Offline
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Post: #57
ptipton Wrote:Until the xbmc mythtv frontend project is finished I need to use both XBMC and Windows MCE 2005. With the standard XBMC for windows install this is a bit of a nightmare as when your in XBMC if you hit the wrong button by mistake ( eg Live TV, Guide etc) it fires up Windows Media Center.
The perfect situation for me would be to have the remote only work with XBMC when in XBMC with perhaps one button ( say the green button) that started MCE and if possible one button when in MCE that would fire up XBMC.
Would this be possible with Event Ghost? What I really want to avoid is messing up the remote in MCE as the family still use this a great deal for line TV.
Look at Eventghost more closely. It has the ability to work context-specific. For example, when you fire up XBMC you can switch to the XBMC commands. When you go to MythTV, use a different command set. It's a very cool piece of software. I use it all the time.
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slippy Offline
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Post: #58
Can anyone tell me please how does doing movie keyword searches work with the remote?

Does the 0-9 number keys on the remote become letters so you can type in keyword searches in xbmc. Or do you just use the left/right/up/down arrow keys on the remote control to select letters within xbmc for searches?

Many thanks in advance
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james141 Offline
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Post: #59
slippy Wrote:Can anyone tell me please how does doing movie keyword searches work with the remote?

Does the 0-9 number keys on the remote become letters so you can type in keyword searches in xbmc. Or do you just use the left/right/up/down arrow keys on the remote control to select letters within xbmc for searches?

Many thanks in advance

This is an issue I have at the moment, on the Xbox version it used to bring up an on screen keyboard as well as being able to use the numbers buttons to input letters T9 style (like a phone) but this doesn't seem to work for me in the Windows version.
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extension23 Offline
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Post: #60
This thread helped me, and my mce remote now works, however I don't get any of the sounds associated with moving up and down through the menus. I get the sounds if I use the keyboard but not when I use the remote through EventGhost. Any suggestions?
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