[mythtv-users] RF remote?

Clint Eaker ceaker at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 24 16:18:11 UTC 2007

>From: Clint Eaker <ceaker at mindspring.com>
>>From: Joseph Caputo <jcaputo1 at gmail.com>
>>On 1/23/07, Clint Eaker <ceaker at mindspring.com> wrote:
>>> Now that my myth box seems somewhat stable, the next step is getting
>>> remote control with LIRC working.  I really don't have the time to fiddle
>>> with building a homebrew receiver, so I went out during lunch to buy the
>>> hardware for that.
>>> As much as I tell myself I don't harbor any ill will towards Bill Gates,
>>> there's something inside me that is resistant to using a remote that has
>>> 'Microsoft' printed on it.  ;-P  So I went with the other option I could
>>> find - a Logitech UltraX Media Remote with a USB receiver.  However, after
>>> doing a little googling on that device, I've learned that it's a radio
>>> frequency remote rather than an IR remote.
>>> Logically, it seems like the only difference between the two should be the
>>> hardware in the receiver and remote itself.  So, to get to the point, is
>>> that the case?  Has anyone out there gotten an RF remote with a USB receiver
>>> to work with LIRC or is there no point in even taking this thing out of the
>>> box?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Clint
>>A quick google:
>I saw that post, but didn't realize that HID = standard keyboard.  Thanks.
>>Looks like this remote may not need LIRC at all... just shows up as a USB
>>HID device (a standard keyboard).  However, you might encounter some
>>difficulty mapping the remote's buttons to keycodes... if this is
>>problematic, LIRC might be a better way to go, *if* the remote is supported.
>>LIRC does support some USB remote receivers, such as the ATI Remote Wonder,
>>X-10 Lola and (IIRC) the Windows MCE remote.  RF vs. IR doesn't make a
>>difference to the driver; what's important is that the receiver unit as a
>>whole is supported.  Each USB receiver is a separate case; I'd ask on the
>>LIRC list to see if it's supported.
>Based on this and the other responses (thanks all), I think I'm going to give this
>remote a try.  At first, I didn't think this thing would work at all, but then some
>searching around (and I think it was mentioned in another reply as well) turned
>up the 'edit keys' feature in myth, which sounds like exactly what I need to get
>this thing working without LIRC.
>Downside is that if I ever want to playback using anything other than the MythTV
>internals, I could have a problem.  If that becomes a major problem I think I'll
>need to find a way to configure LIRC.  It looks like LIRC has added support for
>eventX devices, though it looks like getting this to work is a project in and of
>itself.  (Tony, is this how your snapstream firefly interfaces with LIRC?  If so, I
>would definitely be interested in seeing your lirc files).


It looks like my first option is going to be pretty involved.  For the benefit of anyone
else trying to use this remote, here's what I've done so far...

1) Connected the USB receiver to my WinXP box and installed a keyboard testing
program to determine what key codes are generated for the assorted buttons.  I was
a little concerned that I would have to disconnect my standard keyboard to get this
thing to work, however I simply plugged the receiver in and both my standard keyboard
and the remote were able to send key codes to the OS.  The good news was that the
keys that are used 90% of the time (left, right, up, down, enter) are already sending
the same codes from those keys as the corresponding keys on a standard keyboard.
Many of the keys generated key codes that were recognized but don't map to a standard
keyboard at all.  The biggest potential problem was that some keys didn't produce any
response at all.

2) Connected the USB receiver to my MythTV box.  Good news was that the device
was recognized by my existing system configuration and worked fine in parallel with
my standard keyboard here as well.  MythTV responds splendidly to the left, right, up,
down, enter buttons with no configuration changes whatsoever.  But that's where the
fairytale ends.  When I go to 'edit keys', and try to map keys that produce key codes
that don't exist on a standard keyboard, I get an 'unrecognized key' message from
edit keys.  Beyond that, the keys that weren't acknowledged by the keyboard test
program in WinXP weren't acknowledged here either.

I'm not sure if the problem with recognizing the non-standard keys is a mythfrontend
limitation or a mythcontrols limitation, but I'm going to try inserting the codes returned
by the keyboard test program directly into the MySQL key mapping table and see if
that works.  Getting the unacknowledged keys to work will obviously be more involved,
as it doesn't appear that any codes for these keys are even getting delivered to higher
level applications.  That will take a little more research and is probably off-topic for
this list.  I might follow up on the lirc list to see if anyone there knows whether using
lirc with eventX support might be able to interpret these codes (thanks for the lirc files


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