Ultimate QWERTY Keyboard Remote Control Hardware Guide for HTPC (Home Theater PC) use

  Thread Rating:
  • 3 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
Tcalp Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov 2010
Reputation: 3
Thumbs Up  Ultimate QWERTY Keyboard Remote Control Hardware Guide for HTPC (Home Theater PC) use
Post: #1
QWERTY remotes are going to be the next big thing IMO. And I'm certainly in the market for one, although most of the ones I want haven't hit the market just yet but I figure I would share some of the options that are either already out, or on the way based upon the research that I have done.

NOTE: I haven't a clue what will/won't work with XBMC as this is a new guide.



Motorolla NYXboard

Estimated Street Date : [unknown] end 2010 /early 2011
Communication Method : Infrared
Price: (no price announced) estimated ~$50-100
What you should know: Out of any company releasing 'qwerty' remotes, Motorolla will probably have the easiest to use keyboard area from their experience in the cell phone industry which has had 'qwerty' phones for some time so that they have worked out their 'micro' keyboard faults. Also this is one of the only (if only) remotes to have a switch detection built in so that you cannot mis-press buttons on the wrong side of the remote.
[Image: motorola_nyxboard.jpg]
Note: Also some websites are reporting that this a a recharging 'green' remote using high capacity capacitors with a 60 second charge / 2 week life -- this isn't true.



Philips Dual

Estimated Street Date : January 2011
Communication Method : Infrared
Price: ~$149.99
What you should know:
The Philips Dual is certainly a wonderful looking remote, and has enough buttons on the front side for XBMC uses, but may not have enough buttons to become your 'replacement' remote for all your home theater needs. This remote has a gyro inside which allows for 'movement actions' to be performed (not sure how useful this is in the real world), and I'm fairly certain that the gyro on this also performs like the Motorola NYXboard turning one side on / off. Personally this is the remote I am most excited about.
[Image: philips_dual.jpg]


D-Link Boxee Remote

Estimated Street Date : Soon!
Communication Method : RF
Price: ~$49.99 amazon.com listing (available now if you purchase 'D-Link Boxee Box')
What you should know:
This unit makes use of RF technology, it is unclear on what command interface is used or if it will even include a RF adapter. The Boxee is a very sleek/simple remote which many people have been drooling over, however it may not have enough buttons on the front that one might want, but comes pretty close. As seen in the picture below it is also a little bit smaller then I originally thought.
[Image: dlink_boxee.jpg]



Tivo Slide

Estimated Street Date : Available Now
XMBC Full Functionality : ... Not Yet ... (see XMBC thread discussion here)
Communication Method : Infrared & Bluetooth Combination
Price: ~$69.99 amazon.com
What you should know:
This unit ?seems? to make use of both Bluetooth & Infrared communication. There are a few XBMC users playing around with this remote already, if you a pc/xbmc guru and have some $$ to spare feel free to pick one up and join in the development of this remote. I have to say that I am fairly impressed with the remotes overall layout, aside from the 'main' remote area which offers more then enough buttons for XBMC, the keyboard area still offers a navigator/select pad which is a huge plus as you will be able to continue to navigate XBMC without constantly switching back and forth, and they make use of a number pad instead of a 'key shift' button with them overlaying on other keys.
[Image: tivo_slide.jpg]
a massive product shot can be found here


Vizio Vurio

Estimated Street Date : Available with select LCD TV (unsure if this product will be able to purchase separately in the future)
Communication Method : Bluetooth
Price: unknown
What you should know:
This unit makes use of Bluetooth technology, it is unclear on what command interface is used. For now you'll have to run out and buy the 'correct' TV. Hopefully Vizio will make this remote available as a separate purchase in the near future (or for those who see this remote and like it, try calling Vizio service and see if you can buy a 'replacement' direct from them?).
[Image: vizio_vurio.jpg]


Cideko Air (mouse) Keyboard

Estimated Street Date : On Market
Communication Method : RF
Price: ~$84.99 purchase at amazon.com
What you should know:
While this isn't technically a 'remote control' and more of a mini keyboard, many HTPC users may find this preferable. The 'Air Keyboard' has a built in gyro mouse should you want to control you PC outside of XBMC. The unit is RF signal (includes adapter) so you will require a USB port to be available. It still has all the 'media' buttons one would be looking for including a navigator pad on the top left, and as seen below is quite a compact little unit so it can sit in many living rooms / home theaters without having to be hidden away like a full sized keyboard.
[Image: cideko_airkeyboard.jpg]
(have about 10 remotes (I think) .. will add/edit as I go
(This post was last modified: 2010-11-24 17:26 by Tcalp.)
find quote
Targettio Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Aug 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #2
This thread has a lot of potential if you keep it updated Big Grin

Keep up the good work
find quote
mobious Offline
Donor
Posts: 438
Joined: Dec 2009
Reputation: 0
Post: #3
Dont forget the include the Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard!
find quote
Spaggi Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 179
Joined: May 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #4
And the Logitech DiNovo! Very satisfied with it Wink
find quote
rbrohman Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Jan 2010
Reputation: 1
Location: Kitchener, ON
Post: #5
I have a gyration remote that works great as a remote and a mouse. But I still end up reaching for the BT keyboard on occasion. Anything that can combine both of these devices would be most welcome.

I'm hoping that the "movement actions" in the Phillips remote would be in addition to the gyro functioning as a standard mouse.
find quote
Targettio Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Aug 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #6
Tivo slide is a very nice remote and near perfect (once it works) but there a couple of pretty big sumbling blocks for XBMC users:

- Tivo has no "Stop" button, and therefore neither does it's remote. If I remember correctly, on a Tivo you hit "Left" to exit a playing video.
- Tivo has no "Menu" button (which XBMC uses to bring up the Context Menu). There is the "tivo" button, but that doesn't do the same thing.
- Tivo has a "slow motion" button, but XBMC doesn't support slo-mo. I've remapped this key to be "Stop". But, now I have to convince the Girlfriend that "If you want to stop the movie, press Slow". Mentally remapping buttons is fine for me, but it kills the WAF.

From the slide discussion thread. I might be worth mentioning the fact there is no stop or menu button in the OP.
find quote
FishOil Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 994
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 14
Post: #7
Not a remote but the LENOVO MINI WIRELESS KEYBOARD N5901 is pretty cool.

[Image: 138.png]
(This post was last modified: 2011-04-26 10:47 by FishOil.)
find quote
teaguecl Offline
Fan
Posts: 428
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 22
Post: #8
Targettio Wrote:This thread has a lot of potential if you keep it updated Big Grin

Keep up the good work

Doesn't content like this more appropriately belong in a wiki?

Habey BIS-6561 silent fanless HTPC + 2GB DDR2 RAM + Intel X25-V 40GB SSD + XBMCbuntu Eden + Tivo Slide qwerty remote | My latest XBMC patch
find quote
MindTooth Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 158
Joined: Feb 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #9
Any news on release dates?
find quote
mobious Offline
Donor
Posts: 438
Joined: Dec 2009
Reputation: 0
Post: #10
I retract my statement, apparently it was the USB port that was faulty.
(This post was last modified: 2010-12-20 23:42 by mobious.)
find quote
vinistois Offline
Fan
Posts: 424
Joined: Mar 2010
Reputation: 13
Post: #11
Logitech Dinovo mini

I used one for 2 years and loved it. Pretty much a perfect device.
find quote
mobious Offline
Donor
Posts: 438
Joined: Dec 2009
Reputation: 0
Post: #12
vinistois Wrote:Logitech Dinovo mini

I used one for 2 years and loved it. Pretty much a perfect device.

Well so far it seems that the issue was a faulty USB port but if it does act up again I will definitely pick up a dinovo as it has everything I am looking for.
find quote
Targettio Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Aug 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #13
teaguecl Wrote:Doesn't content like this more appropriately belong in a wiki?

Well that's what I am working on now.
find quote
FoeHammer865 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010
Reputation: 0
Post: #14
Targettio Wrote:Tivo slide is a very nice remote and near perfect (once it works) but there a couple of pretty big sumbling blocks for XBMC users:

- Tivo has no "Stop" button, and therefore neither does it's remote. If I remember correctly, on a Tivo you hit "Left" to exit a playing video.
- Tivo has no "Menu" button (which XBMC uses to bring up the Context Menu). There is the "tivo" button, but that doesn't do the same thing.
- Tivo has a "slow motion" button, but XBMC doesn't support slo-mo. I've remapped this key to be "Stop". But, now I have to convince the Girlfriend that "If you want to stop the movie, press Slow". Mentally remapping buttons is fine for me, but it kills the WAF.

From the slide discussion thread. I might be worth mentioning the fact there is no stop or menu button in the OP.

So you have gotten this remote to work with XBMC? Do you like it? Is it working well? How about the keyboard working correctly? And the directional pad on the slide?

I have one available to me and was thinking about using it in the future.
find quote
teaguecl Offline
Fan
Posts: 428
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 22
Post: #15
FoeHammer865 Wrote:So you have gotten this remote to work with XBMC? Do you like it? Is it working well? How about the keyboard working correctly? And the directional pad on the slide?

I have one available to me and was thinking about using it in the future.
Yes I have it working, but as I mention in the other thread it is not easy to set up. First, you need to apply this patch to your kernel. That step usually causes people the most pain since most XBMC users (and developers) don't compile their own kernels. Next, the X event system that XBMC uses is not sufficient for lots of keys on multimedia keyboards, which are the keys this remote uses. You can work around this by remapping them, I did so using a program called keyfuzz.
My biggest complaints about the remote are:
- there is no "menu" button, which XBMC makes extensive use of
- there is no "stop" button, which XBMC uses
- the "back" button seems to be placed weirdly. I think it gets used infrequently in Tivo, but I need it a lot for XBMC

I think the remote would work wonderfully if a skin existed that followed the Tivo behavior rules - though I think a lot of it is hard-coded into XBMC and not skinable (Left = Back, for example). I'd be happy to extend the wiki with the instructions as they exist now if anyone wants to try - but so far as soon as people here "recompile the kernel" they give up. Eventually that patch will make it into a mainline kernel, which will simplify things. Or maybe openelec will add support for the Tivo Slide?

Habey BIS-6561 silent fanless HTPC + 2GB DDR2 RAM + Intel X25-V 40GB SSD + XBMCbuntu Eden + Tivo Slide qwerty remote | My latest XBMC patch
find quote
Post Reply