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Krister's Blog
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Remote Controls & HTPC - RECAP

A Home Theater PC can be so much more than just getting media on your PC - slideshows, family videos and DVD:s - onto a big TV screen. HTPC can also do media streaming from the Web - Internet TV - actually better than the streaming boxes or Smart TV:s, because the PC has so much more computer power.

View Video 5 min

Our HTPC setup:

Our 40" TV is 8 years old. Its screen is a clone of the PC:s monitor, both with resolution 1920x1080 (PAL HD), transmitted from the PC:s video card to the TV, through a 7 m long HDMI cable. The video cable can be 20 m long, probably 30 m, usually limited by the range of the RF Remote. The resolution of the TV and the PC Monitor do not have to be the same, but it makes things easier.

Our RF Remote Control only transmits 3 m through the wall to an RF receiver on the PC. The range of RF Remotes is usually up to 10 m, but this can be increased by 5 m by using a USB extender for the RF receiver (or by 25 m by using 5 self powered USB hubs or 5 active (repeater) USB extension cables in series!) I have a 1.5 m USB extension - to change the angle so that my body sitting in the TV couch does not interfere by being in line between the remote and the receiver.

An alternative to RF could be to use WiFi Remotes, such as using an app on your smartphone or tablet - usually as touchpad - such as Instant Remote.

Our HTPC setup

Our RF Remotes:

One group of RF remotes have touchpad. Must confess that I am not very good at handling touchpads, not having owned a Laptop. But I did like Measy RC12. On Windows and Linux I had to increase the cursor sensitivity, and change back each time, which was a bit of a drag.

I do prefer a gyro air mouse - gesture control of the cursor - like a magic wand or a Nitendo Wii remote. I liked the MiniX NEO A2, but like most air mouse remotes, a bit difficult to control the cursor movements, especially on Windows and Linux - even after adjusting the sensitivity. I also had some audio issues with it.

But then I found this Tronsmart TSM-G62C Remote with excellent gesture cursor control. You can also do voice search. The keyboard is very basic, but in the TV couch I don't mind. I do miss not having MultiMedia keys though.

Although this one is good, I am still looking for the perfect remote for the TV couch!

Tronsmart TSM-G62C