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xbox controller you'll be the death of me
November 2, 2012 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Is there anything better than an xbox controller to control xbox media center running on a windows 7 HTPC?

I'm currently getting pretty unsatisfied with my setup for xbmc, namely: wireless 360 controller, joy2key. Mostly it's frustrating because the controller turns off automatically / runs out of batteries often. Are there any decent windows-compatible wireless remotes or even tiny wireless keyboard type devices that have programmable buttons that are "always on" and aren't running out of batteries every month or so? I've already got a wireless keyboard + mouse but it just feels really clunky + takes up tons of space when I attempt to use it as the primary remote for the HTPC setup.
posted by tehloki to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I switched to rechargeable controllers for my Xbox360. I'm the only one who plays, so as soon as the batteries are done in the controller I swap it out for the other that's been sitting in the cradle. I think I picked up the recharge kit thingie (2 replacement battery packs and the cradle) at Walmart.
posted by jquinby at 12:40 PM on November 2, 2012


I use a Logitech Harmony remote plus some cheap IR receiver I bought on ebay and it works like a charm.
posted by Jairus at 12:41 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you looking for something like this, maybe? I can't recommend that device specifically, but there's a lot of them.
posted by griphus at 12:42 PM on November 2, 2012


Jairus, which version of the harmony remote? Which receiver?
posted by tehloki at 12:42 PM on November 2, 2012


Do you have an Android phone? I use this to control XBMC (on Linux, but it's the same thing) and I couldn't be happier. As a bonus, it lets me "share to XBMC" from the Youtube app, etc.
posted by jozxyqk at 12:58 PM on November 2, 2012


For my HTPC I currently use an old IR Tivo remote with Intelliremote handling the software side and a USB-UIRT receiver/transmitter handling the actual IR input. With that setup you can use pretty much any normal IR universal remote, and if you get into the nitty gritty details of using USB-UIRT as an IR blaster you can have it do things like turn off multiple devices when you press a single button.

I also have a diNovo mini keyboard/mouse combo which I don't use very often because I can do most stuff with the remote and prefer a full-sized keyboard and mouse when I need to do something more complicated, but if you really want a full keyboard and mouse with a smaller form factor it works pretty well.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:01 PM on November 2, 2012


jozxyqk: I've got an iphone, and all the remote apps for XBMC I've used are just incredibly terrible. You can't really fit dedicated controls for everything onto a phone screen without sacrificing a lot of usability and I've decided to abandon that route entirely.
posted by tehloki at 1:07 PM on November 2, 2012


Microsoft sells (maybe not anymore?) a USB IR receiver and remote or keyboard that works great. Was designed for XP MCE but have been using it work W7 MCE and XBMC.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:12 PM on November 2, 2012


Microsoft sells (maybe not anymore?) a USB IR receiver and remote or keyboard that works great. Was designed for XP MCE but have been using it work W7 MCE and XBMC.

I used to use one of those and just had all kinds of annoying problems with it until I finally switched to what I'm using now. For example some of the keys could not be customized at all even using something like Intelliremote unless you used a hacked version of the drivers or used some registry hacks. Also the remote itself sends weird codes that do not work with standard IR receivers so I couldn't even re-use the remote itself with a new receiver.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:20 PM on November 2, 2012


I have one of these and it works pretty well.

I also have a program called "Synergy" that lets me use the keyboard and touchpad from my laptop to control the HTPC. It comes in handy when I want to do some maintenence or pull up a youtube video or something.

Lastly, there are apps for iPad, iPhone, or Android. I've used the iPad version and it's pretty slick.

We might have too many computers in the house.
posted by VTX at 3:44 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you have an iphone, don't forget that XBMC11 supports Airplay, at least for things like Youtube.
posted by jozxyqk at 8:17 AM on November 4, 2012


It's the Logitech Harmony 885 and the "Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver". It's a generic thing, no serial number on the receiver.
posted by Jairus at 8:04 AM on November 10, 2012


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