so.. you want software to turn your pda into a htpc remote?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by rOAdeh, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    In the quest to use my htpc as both the source and the processor in my next home cinema upgrade, i've been looking into controlling everything remotely.. and the best thing about using my iPAQ 2210 for this is that i can even control it through walls using the inbuilt bluetooth / wifi compact flash card.

    The software i've found is here:

    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~pebbles/index.html

    Specifically the Remote Commander software. This comes in a pack with shortcutter and switcher.

    Remote Commander is a remote desktop program (similar to pocket vnc viewer) but i found it connected without any problems, whereas pocket vnc was much pickier about the type of connection it used. It's still early in development - the network connection method is quite insecure (to connect via bluetooth or wifi) as it doesn't have a password function yet. I'm sure this will be corrected in the next release.

    Switcher allows you to see whats running in your systray and controls whats on top etc. A handy program i guess but i haven't found much use for it.

    Shortcutter on the other hand is an incredible program i feel, well at least it has the potential to be. It basically is a completely open remote mapping program (i know we have nevo for this for IR related duties and admittedly that looks a lot prettier too) but this also allows complete control of your htpc. It sets up 'panels' which can all be interlinked.

    For example, i run shoutcast streaming across my network (which i can listen to on my pda using gsplayer). Shortcutter allows me to control winamp remotely and thus i can skip track etc anywhere in range of the shoutcast server :D It also allows remote mouse control, individual key mapping, app specific controls and macros etc to be programmed in - this will all be developed more in the future i hope. I also have a general pc control panel with the remote mouse feature and volume control along with linking into a winamp panel, a dvd player control panel and a general application panel (for opening different programs etc)

    At the moment, and perhaps it only happens to me but, Shortcutter does have the annoying property of randomly deleting bits of your configuration and panels, which admittedly is very frustrating but again i have emailed the developers to hopefully correct this in future.

    So yes in short i hope i haven't put you off, this program would work equally well with music distribution centres (allowing full remote control from anywhere in the house without the need for expensive control units) and also with successful development i believe it could out-do the £700 pronto-pro with a pda costing 1/3 of the amount and yet having much more functionality!

    If anyone else tries/has used this before please share your experiences

    Regards,

    rOAdeh

    **UPDATE**

    Just got an email back from the developers who say they will email me a newer more stable version of Shortcutter soon which I'm looking forward to trying out. ...If this is the case then we just need some pretty skinning functions and this could be a winner i think :)
     

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