Using a smartphone as a Remote

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mercalia

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Using a smartphone as a Remote

#1

Post by mercalia » Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:51 pm

How to control you media center. There used to be various methods. I use an infrared Antec Veris box that sticks in one of the PC bays plugs into the hardware using IMON software

Other people use wireless keyboards.

I came across a very cheap soln, if you have a Windows 10 or Android phone or even Apple. A company at vectir supply a server/app pair that runs on the PC/Mobile.

http://www.vectir.com/

The app is free and still available in the Windows 10 store. The server has a free try option but only costs a small $3.99 per PC and provides a very comprehensive soln to controling a PC not just Media Center or other software. It comes with various profiles but not for Media Center. You can edit or produce from scratch your own remote. There is a bit of a learning curve, The best idea is to modify one of the templates. There are full intructions how to do this and I was able to get a crude simple remote up and running in a couple of hours


http://www.vectir.com/support/tutorials/add-remote/

( an example, not mine.....)
Image


You need to know the keyboard shortcuts to connect to the remote buttons

eg

https://tweaks.com/windows/39108/window ... shortcuts/

You can access the PC either thru infrared, blue tooth or wifi - my MC PC is connected to a wifi router and the app on the mobile found the PC with no problem

The software can do more than this. You can control the power, you can conrol the mouse on the desk top. I am only starting to appreciate what you can do with this cheap option. Windows 10 phones these days are 2 a pemnny so if you have one gathering dust you could try this.

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StinkyImp

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#2

Post by StinkyImp » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:01 pm

mercalia wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:51 pm
The server has a free try option but only costs a small $3.99 per PC and provides a very comprehensive soln to controling a PC not just Media Center or other software. It comes with various profiles but not for Media Center.
There's another option that's 100% FREE and includes a remote for WMC.

I use their remote for Android -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ech.Remote

WMC specific remote -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/remotes/w ... dia-center

Their website includes other remotes, servers, etc. for iPhones and Windows phones (and other OS's) -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/

I've used this for over four years to completely control my HTPC from my phone. Did I mention it's FREE? :D

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Jacoats

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#3

Post by Jacoats » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:12 pm

Thanks for posting this information. I will definitely try them out.

mercalia

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#4

Post by mercalia » Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:01 pm

StinkyImp wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:01 pm
mercalia wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:51 pm
The server has a free try option but only costs a small $3.99 per PC and provides a very comprehensive soln to controling a PC not just Media Center or other software. It comes with various profiles but not for Media Center.
There's another option that's 100% FREE and includes a remote for WMC.

I use their remote for Android -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ech.Remote

WMC specific remote -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/remotes/w ... dia-center

Their website includes other remotes, servers, etc. for iPhones and Windows phones (and other OS's) -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/

I've used this for over four years to completely control my HTPC from my phone. Did I mention it's FREE? :D

well for windows phone the unified remote is not free - £3.29 but server seems to be. so comparable with the one I found. Nice to have alternatives and the price is not too high

mercalia

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#5

Post by mercalia » Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:33 pm

StinkyImp wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:01 pm
mercalia wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:51 pm
The server has a free try option but only costs a small $3.99 per PC and provides a very comprehensive soln to controling a PC not just Media Center or other software. It comes with various profiles but not for Media Center.
There's another option that's 100% FREE and includes a remote for WMC.

I use their remote for Android -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ech.Remote

WMC specific remote -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/remotes/w ... dia-center

Their website includes other remotes, servers, etc. for iPhones and Windows phones (and other OS's) -> https://www.unifiedremote.com/

I've used this for over four years to completely control my HTPC from my phone. Did I mention it's FREE? :D

On balance this is the better of the two. WIth mine you have to pay each time for the server whereas for yours just one payment for the remote app.( for windows phone) Also you do not have to slug away in making the apps as there are lots supplied. The Vectir one has spent a great deal of effort in providing you with the means to make your own remotes. On the other hand the Unified one dont seem able to pin servers or remotes to the start menu. so a bit clumsy The Vectir one also detects the server no need to know ip addresses on you network. I think there are issues in general controling the desk top in the Vectir one. SO thanks for this alternative. Nice to have other options

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StinkyImp

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#6

Post by StinkyImp » Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:34 pm

mercalia wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:33 pm
WIth mine you have to pay each time for the server whereas for yours just one payment for the remote app.( for windows phone)
As I mentioned, I use the Android version and it's totally free for the server, the app, and the WMC remote overlay.

There's a caveat though... If you search for "Unified Remote" or use the store links from their website, you will always be pointed to their paid versions.

I just happened to stumble upon the free version for my phone. I'm not sure if other phones have a "hidden" free version available but it wouldn't hurt to research it. ;)

Note -> I use an old Android phone for mine.

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#7

Post by mercalia » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:36 pm

StinkyImp wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 4:34 pm
mercalia wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:33 pm
WIth mine you have to pay each time for the server whereas for yours just one payment for the remote app.( for windows phone)
As I mentioned, I use the Android version and it's totally free for the server, the app, and the WMC remote overlay.

There's a caveat though... If you search for "Unified Remote" or use the store links from their website, you will always be pointed to their paid versions.

I just happened to stumble upon the free version for my phone. I'm not sure if other phones have a "hidden" free version available but it wouldn't hurt to research it. ;)

Note -> I use an old Android phone for mine.
well there is a trial version of the Unified remote in the Windows store that is free. Maybe it has ads, ANy way I dont mind paying the small amount of money, I would want to be paid were it my software. One thing against the Vectir is that the server has to be activated it can be transfered to a new PC thereby ending use on the original, so should the company cease trading you are stuffed. With the Unified version in Windows Phone it is possible with a bit of Geek software called WUT to backup any app to a package that can be reinstalled, so this scenario cannot happen. I have a number of old Windows 10 phones Lumia 640s that cost me typically £7.50 incl postage from Ebay, you can still buy the replacable batterys ( just ) I would NEVER use a (modern) phone with a captive battery

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Jacoats

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#8

Post by Jacoats » Fri Jan 06, 2023 4:13 pm

This unified remote for WMC looks great. Do you know if I can use it off the lan by setting up port forwarding ? I currently use the Ceton mmc app which works super well but at some point will stop. I am wondering if they have a version that would work well with Next PVR ?

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StinkyImp

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#9

Post by StinkyImp » Fri Jan 06, 2023 6:33 pm

I don't know about port forwarding because I only use it on my local network.

As far as Next PVR... I've used some of their generic overlays to control Plex and Kodi (and a ton of other unrelated programs) with no problem.

mercalia

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#10

Post by mercalia » Sat Jan 07, 2023 12:37 pm

Jacoats wrote:
Fri Jan 06, 2023 4:13 pm
This unified remote for WMC looks great. Do you know if I can use it off the lan by setting up port forwarding ? I currently use the Ceton mmc app which works super well but at some point will stop. I am wondering if they have a version that would work well with Next PVR ?
try it and see. I presume you mean you want to connect from out side a lan ie the wan, the public domain. i do remember when installing the Unified you had to agree windows firewall exceptions that could include the wan. Port forwarding is handled by the router? so you need to add entries for the ports that Unified uses?

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