HTPC Input devices.....what do you use?

MrGuvernment

Fully [H]
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Aug 3, 2004
Messages
19,363
Now that i am doing an HTPC i am digging through the forums to see what devices people use for their HTPC and they seem to vary, if it isnt in the main post, add what you use and why and include pics if you can.....

Some seems to prefer remote controls like the logitech harmony line, others smaller compact keyboards with built in track pads of balls....

Help me, and others decide what should we be looking at?

  • How does it work?
  • What is the distance on it?
  • How does it integrate with your software, XMBC, MC or other software?
  • Did it work in windows, linux or other systems?


items from other threads suggested or used:

IOGEAR 2.4G Hz Multimedia Mini Keyboard with Trackball, Scroll Wheel and Backlight LED, GKM571R (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Multimedia-Ke...B4KQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336631880&sr=8-1


Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard N5901
http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Multimedia-Remote-Keyboard-N5901/dp/B0036VO67I?tag=hardfocom-20


Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
http://www.logitech.com/en-sg/keyboards/keyboard/devices/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400


Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000
http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Nat...UZBM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336632176&sr=8-1


Azend Group MediaGate GP-IR01BK 1-Channel IR Windows Vista Media Center Remote Control and Receiver (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Azend-MediaGa...2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1336631791&sr=1-2-catcorr


IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel, 2.4GHz Wireless GKM561R (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Multimedia-Ke...e=UTF8&qid=1328029720&sr=1-1&tag=hardfocom-20


Premium Wireless HTPC Media Center Keyboard with Laser Trackball
http://www.vidabox.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=10


Logitech Harmony® 650 Remote
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/remotes/universal-remotes/devices/6621


Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360 (Dark Silver) (920-003366)

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Keyboard-Silver-920-003366/dp/B004ZKXXAU?tag=hardfocom-20


CE Compass Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse PC Remote Control
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VPXLDI/ref=oh_o04_s00_i00_details?tag=hardfocom-20


Cideko Wireless Air Keyboard and Gyro Mouse Combo for PC, Mac, and PS3 (AVK02)
http://www.amazon.com/Cideko-Wirele...e=UTF8&qid=1332228266&sr=1-1&tag=hardfocom-20


HP Wireless Mini Keyboard
http://www.amazon.com/HP-XB387AA-ABA-Wireless-Keyboard/dp/B0044DPB4O?tag=hardfocom-20


Wireless USB PC Remote Control Mouse for PC
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001M56DI0/?tag=hardfocom-20


Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SVSJ1K/?tag=hardfocom-20



Software remotes for devices

http://www.unifiedremote.com/

http://www.mobilemouse.com/
 

Valaire

Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
846
You're gonna want a remote control of some kind as a primary, not a keyboard/mouse. You can use one as a secondary option if you want to browse the web.

Harmony One here.
 

morgwon

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
7,906
Another Harmony One user here. I also have the Lenovo multimedia keyboard. Might upgrade to the new one for the backlighting. Before that I had a Dinovo Mini. As dumb as this sounds I stopped using it cause the dongle protruded too much from the front on the my Antec Fusion case. Otherwise it was rock solid.
 

Dexter007

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
136
I have the CE Compass device posted by OP. Works perfectly for me in Win7 x64. I use it as a secondary controller with my main controller being a cheapo Rosewill MCE remote I got from Newegg on sale for $15. The Rosewill also works perfectly in Win7 x64 in WMC and using Mediabrowser.

The Compass I mainly use when working with Media Center Master when I don't feel like going downstairs and remoting into the HTPC from my desktop. Pretty slick little device.
 

Jeffman

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
906
I actually just use a wireless desktop set. I keep them under the table in my living room when I'm not using them.
 

Tactical_Strike

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
129
+1 for harmony one, only if you cant shell out the money for the RF unit. If you do go for the Harmony one check out the Pulse-Eight CEC adapter
+1 for the K400, but just know that Logitech is bound to come out with one that has a back-light, but that is the only qualm I have with the K400. If you have an i-device you should look at that as another input device. XBMC has a web interface that works well, but there are others on the i-devices that use the same, but with a different skin.
Distance I have on my k400 is 20 feet reliable, but I have the receiver dongle behind my case inside an entertainment center nook.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
572
Harmony 650 (no need for One unless you want touchscreen). Once you get over the lag it's OK.
IOGEAR keyboard/mouse combo for those times when you need a keyboard (web browse, fix bios, etc.).
 

AQ_OC

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
2,131
Harmony One and IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel.

I tried the Lenovo Remote with keyboard but it doesn't not feel good in my hand.


The Laser trackball works suprisingly well for me...I just wish it were a bit small and had a backlit keyboard.

 
Last edited:

SirMaster

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 8, 2010
Messages
2,122
I think this is a great cheap solution:
http://flirc.tv/

It's a USB IR receiver.

It lets you use absolutely ANY IR remote control you already have.

Using the included software you can map any buttons on the IR remote to any keyboard key presses. Then in your media software like XBMC, just map those keyboard keys to the various functions you want.
 

JohnDC

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
384
Harmony One for Remote.
Rii for mini keyboard/trackpad combo.
Very happy with both.
 

motolube

Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
954
I use a Logitech K700 but my uses are geared towards the internet and streaming video from it... that's about it so I don't need a remote.
 

Kelvarr

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2001
Messages
4,226
Now that i am doing an HTPC i am digging through the forums to see what devices people use for their HTPC and they seem to vary, if it isnt in the main post, add what you use and why and include pics if you can.....

Some seems to prefer remote controls like the logitech harmony line, others smaller compact keyboards with built in track pads of balls....

Help me, and others decide what should we be looking at?

  • How does it work?
  • What is the distance on it?
  • How does it integrate with your software, XMBC, MC or other software?
  • Did it work in windows, linux or other systems?


Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
http://www.logitech.com/en-sg/keyboards/keyboard/devices/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400


Azend Group MediaGate GP-IR01BK 1-Channel IR Windows Vista Media Center Remote Control and Receiver (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Azend-MediaGa...2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1336631791&sr=1-2-catcorr
Those two and a Harmony 670. I don't use the remote of the mediagate above, but just the IR module.

  • How does it work? - Perfectly fine. In fact, other than for web browsing, I never use the keyboard. It is a failsafe.
  • What is the distance on it? - I get ~8-10 feet with the K400 (receiver is in the back of the HTPC) before it starts flaking out. With the Harmony and IR receiver, I haven't yet reached a limit. It will work at the very back of my room, and even down the hall some, so at least 15-20 feet away.
  • How does it integrate with your software, XMBC, MC or other software? - Seamlessly. I plugged it into my Windows7 MC box, and it was instantly used (once I set up the MediaPC in the Harmony Software). For XBMC, it works perfectly fine if you install XBMC on Windows. For XBMClive or the Linux/Standalone version of XBMC (version 10...not sure about the new Eden v.11), I had to add the LIRC drivers, but once I did that, it worked fine.
  • Did it work in windows, linux or other systems? - See above. Windows 7 and Ubuntu XBMC.
 

staknhalo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
1,356
Logitech Harmony 300i


Wireless Xbox 360 controller for Windows




With my WMC setup I don't need a keyboard or mouse. All text input on my plugins can be done via the old school tap to text method with the remote. Any backend work on the HTPC I do from my work rig via remote desktop.

The 360 controller is used for the games I launch from within WMC.
 

Occidio

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Messages
1,497
Gyration Air remote is what I use. Perfect for WMC and for using using netflix or any other site through a browser. It works like a Wii remote, either hold the middle button and move the mouse around the screen or double click it and move it freely. It also has an added bonus of controlling your music without even touching the computer.
The IR is awesome also. You can be practically anywhere in even another room and it still works. It has multiple sections like CABTV/AUX/PC/DVD sections with learning functions. I set up my wife's receiver power and volume through it.

 

Xeth

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
1,624
Logitech DiNovo Edge



Looks sexy (acrylic + brushed aluminum), uses standard bluetooth, works with Linux, works for months on a single charge, range is fantastic if you use the included bluetooth dongle.
 

Drawmonster

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
3,301
My android phone. By far the best remote for XBMC. I have a Harmony One and one of these as well.



The Harmony One has a bug that causes a delay between button push and actual action. So it's to annoying to use. The cheap little remote works well. I use it when I need a mouse to mess with Windows or something. But the Android XBMC app is by far the best. Full featured and pretty.

Nice post OP. Very good list of HTPC remotes.
 

kemist1117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
504
Gyration Air remote is what I use. Perfect for WMC and for using using netflix or any other site through a browser. It works like a Wii remote, either hold the middle button and move the mouse around the screen or double click it and move it freely. It also has an added bonus of controlling your music without even touching the computer.
The IR is awesome also. You can be practically anywhere in even another room and it still works. It has multiple sections like CABTV/AUX/PC/DVD sections with learning functions. I set up my wife's receiver power and volume through it.

This remote is awesome but is becoming increasingly hard to find since it has been discontinued. I actually ordered a new old stock spare of the dell remote for if mine ever dies.

As an alternative these chinese keyboards feature similar airmouse functionality, unfortunately probably not quite as useful as the gyration:

http://www.amazon.com/Koolertron-2-...T4/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1336765340&sr=8-14

http://www.amazon.com/iPazzPort-2-4GHz-Wireless-Keyboard-Remote/dp/B006OW1J1M/ref=pd_sim_pc_2
 

dustNbone

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Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
1,032
I just use a generic(ish) MediaGate WMC Remote under XBMC/Linux. It's alot smoother and less clunky than a mouse/keyboard, unless you're using your HTPC for web browsing and other non HT tasks you really don't need a mouse or keyboard.
 

tejpis

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
28
Are there no apps for iPhone/Android that are comparable to a remote like the Harmony One?
 

Drawmonster

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Are there no apps for iPhone/Android that are comparable to a remote like the Harmony One?
Yes there are apps. I use the Android and find it to be the best remote for XBMC, bar none. I also have a Harmony One, but it pales in comparison.
 

staknhalo

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Joined
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Messages
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Are there no apps for iPhone/Android that are comparable to a remote like the Harmony One?
There are ones that can control multiple devices, with an IR receiver. I can't recall the name of the 2 I had seen, but one of them almost has a spherical IR receiver iirc.
 

MrGuvernment

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Messages
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great input, was hoping this thread could be useful to find out what people use and such.
 

matteos

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Jan 5, 2011
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Xbox 360 controller with joy2key running at startup in background to use it as a mouse, works great in XBMC
 

MrGuvernment

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Well hopefully next week i will get my item ordered but still not sure, waiting on the case as well and then i can get this baby built!
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
19,125
use laptop, plug into hdmi cable connected to receiver, make selection and close lid. If I am watchine more than 1 movie, plug wireless keyboard and mouse in.
 

gman76

n00b
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
62
I've been looking at the Logitech wireless KB, anyone have experience with it?
 

agent8

Weaksauce
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May 17, 2012
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I just bought a cheap hp windows remote for $15 bucks shipped. The harmonys are nice but I'd rather save the money at this point and worry about it last.
 

MrGuvernment

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Aug 3, 2004
Messages
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messing now with my kindle fire and xbmc remote for it, having some issues, i can play video's fine but none of the other remote optins seem to work so far...

considering a logitech as i can make it control my tv as well.
 

beyonddc

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
406
In my living room, I use Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400.

I setup a HTPC using Media Portal at my parents' house, and they are using Streamzap PC remote.

In my bedroom, I am using SnapStream Firefly PC remote.
 

nobody_here

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Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
8,878
You're gonna want a remote control of some kind as a primary, not a keyboard/mouse. You can use one as a secondary option if you want to browse the web.

Harmony One here.
nope

cheap mini wireless keyboard and mouse from Wallyworld for the occasional maintenance although I use a remote connection on my laptop to do most of that anyways

XBMC official Android remote app (works over your data/wifi connection)....no BS, no WMC, no transcoding to an extender, no dedicated remote
 
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