PC-TV All in One Wireless 2.4G Keyboard Mouse Universal Learning Remote Control (1 Viewer)

mpadam

MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • March 9, 2009
    15
    4
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Hi All,

    News on a cheap Remote Control with the follwing features:

    - Mouse / Trackball
    - QWERTY keyboard
    - Hybrid Infra-red (IR learning) / RF solution
    - Transport controls
    - Volume controls
    - Program up/down controls
    - TGB (if you want it!)
    - Dual power buttons (one for TV, one for PC)

    (Configuration: Windows 7 / MP 1.2.3)

    I was using the NyxBoard as Remote Control. To be honest, it worked for me personally (with various hacks to some key controls). However, WAF was not there. It was not usable by other family members. In particular the way the mouse worked and the concept of two modes (IR / RF) was just not cutting it with non-nerd users, babysitters etc.

    So.... the quest for RC solution continued. I looked and researched loads of options. It's amazing that so many products are so-nearly the answer but fail on some vital point. Eventually I bought this one direct from China as I could not find a supplier for this product in the EU:

    http://www.tomtop.com/pc-tv-all-in-...-mouse-universal-learning-remote-control.html

    Total cost, INCLUDING shipping from China: EUR 24.26 (!!)

    Batteries (2 x AAA) are NOT included.

    Got it yesterday (took about 2 weeks to arrive with standard postage) and, for the price, I am impressed. Again with some hacking (which I expected) it was possible to achieve the desired result and it solves all the problems that I had with the NyxBoard.

    Build quality is reasonable. The trackball thing is El Cheapo but works (so far!). No backlight (but there are no RC solutions at this price point with that).

    The main point is that it supports IR on/off (for the monitor - or in my case a video projector) and a few other controls, with RF HTPC control without changing "mode". Or, let's say, when you are in HTPC mode (which you never change in our case), you can still do enough IR functions to live with it (assuming your volume control is the HTPC volume control).

    Main problems are with various keys...

    First of all, the core of MediaPortal RC is that you need up/down/left/right with "Enter" key in the middle. This RC does not do that out of the box. Instead in the middle is the mouse trackball. This is a clickable trackball, so it does have a switch in the middle. So, what we need to do is that when MediaPortal is running, we need to map "left click" to "Enter" and also disable mouse movement. For this, we need AutoHotKey.

    I solved this by creating two AutoHotKey scripts. One is used to launch MediaPortal. It has the function to prevent mouse movement in MP:

    BlockInput MouseMove
    RunWait, MediaPortal.exe, C:\Program Files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal
    BlockInput MouseMoveOff
    ExitApp

    I then created a shortcut to launch this script when I want to run MP:

    Shortcut target: "C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\AutoHotkey.exe" RunMediaPortal.ahk
    Start in (directory where the ahk script is).

    Then you need another AutoHotKey script to run permanently, in order to prevent the RC from doing annoying stuff and also to map the mouse button to Enter when running MP:

    This looks like this:

    Browser_Favorites::Home
    LWin::
    #IfWinActive MediaPortal
    LButton::Enter
    #IfWinActive

    This script does the following:

    1) Maps the "Fav" Button on the RC to "Home". Handy for MP.
    2) Disables the Left Windows key. This prevents the RC's "Guide" and "Menu" buttons from doing annoying stuff.
    3) Maps the mouse button to Enter, only when running MediaPortal

    Note also that I have disabled Windows MediaCenter in Windows Control Panel (Windows components). Otherwise the "round" transport key will act as TGB and launch this application - something you probably don't want.

    By the way, most things work on this RC as you might expect.

    The EXIT key is an ESCAPE key
    The INFO key is F1

    In general, looks like quite a good solution so far, I will let you all know if I experience problems.

    Cheers,
    mpadam
     
    Last edited:

    mpadam

    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • March 9, 2009
    15
    4
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Interesting that there are other models. I didn't notice this one when I bought mine and a backlight would be nice bonus.

    The one with the backlight is not _exactly_ the same in other respects, strangely enough. If haas zoom in/out in place of "Fav" "Back" and also has different function keys. Nevertheless, with a bit of key mapping I would expect it to work.
     

    mpadam

    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • March 9, 2009
    15
    4
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Hi All,
    Hmmm... One big negative point about this RC on my system. Seems not to wake the HTPC from sleep. Yes, I've got all the right checkboxes checked in Control Panel and also tried all possible BIOS settings and BIOS update. Got two other keyboards (one is the Nyxboard, also RF and "unusual") - both work, but this one does not. Of course, could be that with other BIOSes that you don't get the same problem, but for my system anyway this is a pretty big problem. Shame, but still no perfect RC solution :-(
    Cheers
    MPA
     

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