One remote to stream them all

We’d bet that most readers stream video as the lion’s share of their entertainment consumption. It’s getting easier and easier thanks to great platforms like XBMC, but not everything is available in one place, which can be a bit off-putting. [Tony Hoang] is trying to simplify his viewing experience by creating one remote to rule all of his streaming software. He’s got an HTPC connected to his entertainment center, and used a bit of scripting to add some functionality to this Lenovo N9502 remote control.

The hack is entirely software-side. The remote already works quite well, but he remapped the home, end, and page up buttons, as well as the mouse controller. The three buttons will launch XBMC, Hulu, and Netflix respectively. They are also set to kill the other applications before launch so that one button will do everything needed to switch between one another. The mouse remapping takes care of up, down, left, and right keys for navigation in the UI and control of the playing videos. See a demo of the setup after the break.

Everything was done with autohotkey scripts for Windows. But this should be easy to code with other OSes as well. If you’re prone to have a slip of the finger you might want to work out a double-click to launch the applications so you don’t accidentally hit a key in the middle of your favorite show.

Comments

  1. DosX says:

    Really nice build and quite simple as well, autohotkey, not bad might have to give this one a try myself

  2. notdave says:

    one device to rule all the software…. but what about the hardware used (tv/pc/avr/bluray) to consume said content?

    ….. i mean is this really a hack? i usually dont post these types of comments but… really?

    • Panq says:

      Most of that can be controlled by software – TV via HDMI, or you could use an IR blaster. Sadly, none of that was part of this article, but getting one HID to do everything you need to control a PC *does* mean you can use it to control anything that PC is connected to.

  3. JJ says:

    If anyone is looking for this remote, Its a N590 not N9502

  4. pRoFlT says:

    what i’ve always wanted to build/buy is one to control them all. Harmonay style IR remote with flip open keyboard (or slideout if that is nicer) with built in gyro mouse.

    I HATE MINI TRACKBALLS!!!! they dont work! Well they encoder wheel style ones dont. Maybe a mini laser trackball? i’ve not tried. but cheap mini trackballs suck!

  5. gleen close says:

    LIRC/WinLIRC and Girder. Done.

  6. TheGapBetweenTheGaps says:

    I use Hulu in XBMC myself! I have a full size wireless keyboard, mini wireless mouse and a normal windows media center remote. I’ve used the remote tweaker you can get for XBMC, and 99.99% of the time I never need to use the keyboard or mouse. I really only needed them when I was first setting stuff up. As for Netflix, I still haven’t found a need for it, since there is hardly anything on there anyways!

  7. This is really cool. I would like a remote like this, but it seems way too hard to do for my taste. My method is much simpler…

    1) Install your favorite remote software (like TightVNC)
    2) Install a vnc viewer on your portable electronic device (like android, iphone, ipad etc)
    3) Connect to your wireless network, and VNC into your computer
    4) Instant Netflix/Hulu/TV remote? SCORE!

    Less than 5 mins to setup. This is the poor mans TV remote.

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