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Boulevardier 11-27-13 08:39 AM

Turn your laptop into a super IR/X10 remote controller
 

I will briefly describe how I turned my Windows laptop/PC into a fully featured remote control that can control any device (TV, DVD, Home Theatre receiver etc.) in my home via Infrared signals.

This same Windows laptop/PC solution will also control Home Automation devices that conform to the X10 standard. With X10 equipment there is the opportunity to control switches, controllers and devices throughout the house from the laptop. :D

This is what I used:

Software
The software is called: IRCommand2 (around~$25)
Universal Remote Control Software for the PC.
http://www.wdpsoftware.com/wdpsIRC2/index.html

(Please note I am not affiliated in any way with any of the companies I mention in this thread)

Hardware:
Controlling your Home Theatre and Automation components will require some hardware in addition to the IRCommand2 software. Fortunately, there's a good choice of inexpensive supported IR and X10 hardware.

I chose an IR dongle called Tira 2.1 from Home-Electro (around~$50) for 3 reasons:
Tira 2.1
http://www.home-electro.com/tira2.php

It's small and good looking
It connects to the PC via USB
It has excellent range, I am using it from 4 meters (~12 feet) away.


This solution has worked extremely well. I haven't tried all the features such as starting up or shutting down components according to a timed schedule. This equipment is also able to receive remote control signals in order to control iTunes, VLC Player etc. on the same laptop.

Please PM me for more details if need clarification for any of this.

dougc 11-27-13 12:37 PM

Re: Turn your laptop into a super IR/X10 remote controller
 

This would work also with an RF keyboard and HTPC too, right? Put the details right here so we can all follow along and learn - this is good stuff! I'm beginning to start my own HTPC too and there is so much to learn and choose from when setting it up.

Boulevardier 11-27-13 08:51 PM

Re: Turn your laptop into a super IR/X10 remote controller
 

Quote:

dougc wrote: (Post 657113)
This would work also with an RF keyboard and HTPC too, right? Put the details right here so we can all follow along and learn - this is good stuff! I'm beginning to start my own HTPC too and there is so much to learn and choose from when setting it up.

This solution works with IR and X10 transmitters for sure but I'm not certain if it will do RF or Bluetooth.
As far as HTPC the answer is an emphatic Yes.
My HTPC is a Windows 7 PC with Media Center. My solution controls the HTPC with ease.
BTW: The HTPC needs an IR receiver to pick up the IR commands from my laptop remote control system. The HTPC also needs an IR Blaster to control channel changing on my cable provider's STB (we don't have cable cards in the great white north). Thankfully the Hauppauge Colossus TV tuner card has everything you need in a box.


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