XBMC – Microsoft MCE Remote Control – Review

21 01 2010

The wonders of XBMC continue. After much research, I finally decided on the MCE Remote Control from Microsoft for my media centre.

MCE Remote Control

MCE Remote Control from Microsoft - Remote and IR unit

As with most new devices, it is simple Plug & Play. It worked easily under Windows and Linux (Running XBMC 9.11 Camelot). I have to thank the developers for adding support for it. I did not want to sit and map my keys using Lirc…

Pros of MCE Remote:

  • Plug & Play
  • Nice Layout, all the buttons in one place.
  • Good Reception with add-on IR receives
  • 2 meter USB cable for IR unit

Cons:

  • Its a Microsoft product…
  • Stop Button is out of the way, not where you need it.

Overall Impression:

  • Awesome Remote
  • Money well spent
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4 responses

26 01 2010
Dave

Yea, awesome remote. Just a little pointer on how to re-bind the buttons for XBMC under Windows… I found that my info key wasn’t doing anything, so in my quest to re-map it, I came across two interesting apps.

My initial plan was to to edit the XBMC\system\keymaps\remote.xml file, and I thought that in order to do that I would need the hex codes of the button presses. Since setting the field in advancedsettings.xml doesn’t work under Windows, after Googling around a bit, I came across an awesome app called EventGhost. This little program is really killer, and it lets you define pretty much any event (think launch XBMC) to any input (think press windows button on remote). Thus, I could solve my problem of the info key on the remote not working, by just binding the MceRemote.Details event to trigger a keypress of the “i” key.

Here’s how: load up EventGhost. Create a new profile. Add plugin > Microsoft MCE Remote (disable HID). Press buttons on your remote to check the names of the events. Add Macro > Window > Emulate Keystrokes. Add Events (remote events).

There’s more at http://xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=48667. It’s an old post on how to set up the MCE remote for XBMC before it had support, but you’ll get the idea.

But, in true Dave fashion, once I had solved my problem, I wanted to solve it another way… so I came across some cool little registry keys (http://sourceforge.net/projects/xbmcmce/files/, download mceremote.zip) for rebinding the actual buttons of the remote in registry. I exported my original registry keys and modified two blocks of hex code:

0f,00,00,00,04,00,06,\ ; Info – was “01,09,02″ – sends C (context menu)
0d,00,00,00,04,03,1b,\ ; Windows – wasn’t mapped – sends ctrl-shift-X – 04,00,29, for escape

Then, I set the shortcut on my desktop to launch with a shortcut key (ctrl-shift-X). Gets the job done, and doesn’t require any other apps. Voila.

11 05 2010
james

Hi,

So i bought a second hand version of this same remote control. However, mine came with a second thinner cord with what looks like a little LED or something at the other end.

Do you know what this is and where i should stick it! (so to speak!)

12 05 2010
deonvanrhyn

Yes, these are IR repeaters. So you can plug them into the back of the main IR (Infra Red) unit, and then place these far away from the unit to extend the range of your remote!

Awesome!

12 05 2010
james

Aha! Thanks for clearing that up!

I can;t see me needing these as the IR unit i was using came with about 6-miles of USB cable!

keep on rockin!

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