(original thread) MCE Replacement Plugin v1.0.0

Discussion in 'IR Server Suite (IRSS)' started by and-81, September 20, 2006.

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  1. and-81
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    and-81 Retired Team Member

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    MCE Replacement Plugin V1.0.0
    --------------------------------------------------
    by and-81

    Please note, this post has been heavily edited to bring it up to date with all the developments that have occured over the last few weeks...

    Note: The plugin can now be downloaded from the main site, not this thread.
    https://www.team-mediaportal.com/files/Download/Plugins/Input/MCEReplacementPlugin/

    This plugin serves as a replacement for MediaPortal's built in support for the MCE remote. The reason for developing this plugin was to support a replacement driver for the MCE remote and to add complex IR blasting capabilities to MediaPortal. From those humble beginings the plugin has grown to do a lot more than that.

    So what exactly can this plugin do?



    * Set complex IR blasting commands to any button on the MCE remote, and the mapping can be context sensitive, this means you can control your surround sound while watching a DVD with the same remote buttons that control your TV set when watching TV.
    * You can re-map buttons that until now have had a fixed function, like the arrows, the PC Power and others. (requires replacement driver)
    * Control your set top box to tune external channels. And if your set top box is on the list you can set it up automatically without teaching the plugin any of your set top box's IR codes.
    * Minimize MediaPortal and still control it, handy for listening to music.
    * "Different Remote" lets you configure a different (compatible) remote to function as an MCE remote. This means you can configure a programmable universal remote (or even just some spare buttons on another compatible remote) to act as if it was the MCE remote.
    * Map a button on your remote to launch an external program.
    * Use external programs to change channels on your set top box. Like the MPExTuneCmd plugin, but with more flexibility.
    * "Message Mode" lets you use HIP or Girder to send commands to MediaPortal, the plugin will make MediaPortal think it was receiving the actual remote button presses itself. This means you can get the same level of control over MediaPortal as you would if you were using the native MCE remote support while still being able to use HIP or Girder for all your other remote control needs.
    * "Multi-Mapping" lets you cycle through multiple sets of button mappings, effectively giving you an unlimitted number of buttons.
    * "Event Mapper" can assign an IR code or macro to a MediaPortal event. For example, you could have have it turn on your tv when it starts or resumes from standby and turn it off again when it shuts down or goes into standby.

    There are two versions of the plugin included, one is for 0.2.1.0 the other is for SVNs. I've tested with SVN 10-24-2006.

    Please read the included documentation for more details.

    I also want to take this opportunity to thank the MediaPortal Developers for all the hard work they have put in. It really shows when someone like me can jump in and turn out a plugin so easily. I've seen the code, I've asked for changes and the response of the dev's (mPod in this case) has been great. Keep up the good work guys. I know you hear it a lot, but seriously, you're doing good work.

    Cheers,
     
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  3. Marcusb
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    Marcusb Retired Team Member

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    hey excellent work, it seems like only a couple of days ago you decided to make your own since there wasn't anyhting like this already.

    I can't wait until I can get back home to try this, but will still be a week away.

    One other thing that would be good, but not sure if you can do this, is to send the commands to MP even when it doesn't have focus.

    Your ides so far sound great. Keep up the good work :)
     
  4. Spragleknas
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    Spragleknas Administrator

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    Sounds great... Gonna need blasters in a couple of month (getting a STB), and now that I know that the MCE-remote is able to do this, I'm looking forward to it!

    Btw.: MCE-remote is the only way to get blasters, right?
     
  5. opusnut

    opusnut Portal Pro

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    This is a fantastic, long needed plugin! Thanx for putting it together. Now it might be beyond your scope or the scope of your plugin, but it would be great to get the MCE keyboard to work with the replacement driver, I would install it and never look back!

    opusnut
     
  6. and-81
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    and-81 Retired Team Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated.

    To answer a few questions:

    With this plugin MediaPortal will receive MCE Remote commands even when it is not in focus. Even when it's minimized in fact.

    I don't have an MCE keyboard so I can't test or work with that at this point in time. I don't think the driver supports the keyboard and I'm not sure BZR is still working on it. I was considering re-writing the driver code into C# or just working on it myself in C++, but that's a longer term consideration.

    And lastly, the MCE remote is not the only one to have blasters. I know the USBUIRT has blasters as well, there may be others, but I wouldn't know. I've got a USBUIRT laying around here somewhere, might have to try it out one day. I got it a few days before I realised I could get an MCE remote cheaper. Got the MCE and never looked back.

    I'm about to update the file on the original post, I made a boo-boo in the blasting code, so I'll fix it and update shortly.

    Cheers,
     
  7. and-81
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    and-81 Retired Team Member

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    Plugin Update

    Plugin updated to 0.0.2

    Fixes a learning and blasting bug.

    See first post for files. I've attached the MceIrApi.rar file of BZR's that is required.

    Just on a side note. While the plugin is being tested (and it's very early days at the moment) I'd like to keep it off the MediaPortal downloads section. Once some of the bugs are ironed out I will post it there.

    Cheers,
     
  8. idioteque
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    idioteque Retired Team Member

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    Could u explain in a few sentences what the advantages are of using your plugin instead of the build in one ?
     
  9. and-81
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    and-81 Retired Team Member

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    No worries,

    It's more flexible. The standard MCE remote driver wont allow certain buttons to be remapped, this one does.

    It works without MediaPortal being in focus, even if MediaPortal is minimized.

    It can blast IR commands to control other equipment you have. EG. TV, Surround Sound, Set top box.

    For people already using HIP, the advantage you get with this plugin is that you can set multiple functions to the one button depending on where you are in MediaPortal.

    Cheers,
     
  10. mPod

    mPod Portal Pro

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    Errrrmmm... that is one advantage of the Input Mapper for remotes since quite a long time already, incl. MCE remotes. Just a note. :D
     
  11. Smirnuff

    Smirnuff Portal Pro

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    Also BZR's code actually decodes the raw packets into their respective protocol codes (RC5, RC6 etc). Blasting should be far more reliable, especially for those with some of the more awkward STBs like the Pace Dx400 series.
     
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