[mythtv-users] low-cost low-grief remote

Angus sylvania at istop.com
Wed Mar 28 01:41:43 UTC 2007

Rod Smith wrote:
> 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
>    separately.
> 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.

    That's why I asked for "low-grief". I wanted something that people 
have already gotten to work the first time.

> 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.)

    Which is definitely not the way to do it on the cheap. Also, I've 
already tried running MythTV with a keyboard, and I found that some 
menus just wouldn't work. I assumed that this was because these menus 
wouldn't work with a keyboard, but they would once I got a decent remote.

    Assuming everything you put is accurate, I wish I had found this 
information when going through FAQs and the Wiki. Maybe it should be put 

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