[mythtv-users] low-cost low-grief remote
mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Tue Mar 27 16:11:22 UTC 2007
On Tuesday 27 March 2007 00:07, Angus wrote:
> I've been trying to understand what array of remote options there are
> out there for MythTV, but I haven't been able to piece together the
> information I need. I've been reading about remotes that can be gotten
> on the cheap, but the documentation seems to be completely unaware that
> they all need an IR receiver. My tv card has a remote, with an IR
> receiver, but it seems to be a waste of space, since I haven't been able
> to get it to do anything but get irrecord to fail. Speaking of which,
> I'd like a low-grief solution, meaning something highly compatible with
> MythTV, and simple to configure.
> So can someone recommend a compatible model of remote and IR
> receiver for not too much? I hear that places like Radio Shack and Best
> Buy probably have the material I'm looking for, or in this country: The
> Source and Future Shop.
Others have posted some good comments, but I'd like to clarify some important
facts and distinctions:
1) MythTV is a keyboard-controlled application. MythTV itself has, AFAIK,
no awareness of remote controls. To use a remote with MythTV, you
must have a way to make the remote "look" like a keyboard to MythTV.
Typically, this is the job of LIRC, but there are other options.
2) As you've noted, your remote hardware comes in two parts: The remote
and its receiver. These two items can be purchased together or
3) Remote receiver hardware can be very cheap -- there are build-it-yourself
designs that interface to an RS-232 port that cost just a couple of bucks
in parts. Other remote receivers are more expensive. Many video capture
cards include a remote socket. In any of these cases, you need Linux
driver support for the remote. This could be the standard RS-232 serial
port driver or something more specialized.
4) If you use an IR receiver that's LIRC-compatible, you can configure
LIRC to recognize the codes sent by just about any remote, building
your LIRC configuration atop the low-level driver support described in
#3. Thus, for the remote side of things, you could buy any remote you
see in a local store, or even use an old remote (for a dead VCR, say)
you happen to have lying around.
5) #4 is the theory. In practice, I see lots of posts from people who
have problems getting LIRC configured to understand their remotes.
6) One alternative to using LIRC is to use a wireless keyboard. You can
either use the keyboard as a remote or program a programmable or
"learning" remote to emulate the keyboard. Either sub-approach bypasses
LIRC entirely, which simplifies configuration on the MythTV system.
The cost is greater complexity of remote configuration and, in all
probability, increased cost. (IR keyboards typically cost ~US$50-$80
new, although they can be had for less on eBay; and you'll need a
programmable remote if you don't want to use the keyboard as a remote,
which will cost you still more.)
Personally, I use an IR keyboard, mainly because having a keyboard at my side
is extremely useful when using MythTV, even if I don't use it for 90% of what
I do. This means that the cost wasn't much of an issue for me. Going into my
MythTV-building process, I already had a programmable remote, so I used it.
It's a JP1 remote, which means it wasn't as easy to configure as it might
have been, but I already knew the process. Probably it would be easier with
something like a Logitech Harmony, although you'd need to find an appropriate
configuration file for whatever keyboard you use.
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