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Saturday, 27 August 2011

OpenElec & Remote Control Setup

Updated 20/05/2013: Openelec keymaps have moved from /Userdata/keymaps.xml to /Userdata/keymap/keyboard.xml

Ok, so thought it would be worth noting this down for others as well. I use a One For All Smart Control to control my TV, Xbox 360, Surround System and SkyHD box. I figured that it would be a natural extension to include the new ER1401 system into this mix.

Note: For those coming straight to this article, this is my system running OpenElec i.e. XBMC, i've written articles before on how you can build one of these systems if you can get the hardware.

So, thankfully after a rummage through my "man cupboard" I found a old Microsoft Media Center remote and IR receiver which by luck works out of the box with OpenElec. So I configured my One For All remote control to send Media Center remote control signals and bush bash bosh, I had control of my OpenElec system.

However, a lot of the key functions I was used to on XBMC Constellation just didn't work. For instance, I couldn't access the Now Playing screen (also called Fullscreen mode). I also wanted to be able to refresh the video library when I needed and also adjust the audio latency on videos without having to go through lots of menus.

Thankfully though since the remote is already working all that is required is some tweaking of the mapping of the remote signals to XBMC commands. This is done via the keymap.xml file. I found a fantastic version of a customised one here so credit goes to this author. First you need to download a copy of what is found at the link above and then save it to the Userdata/keymaps directory.






This is easily done because OpenElec shares the Userdata folder over SMB (Windows File Sharing). Once done just restart OpenElec and this will work. Don't worry about the article being for Harmony remote, the keycap.xml file doesn't map the keys directly to IR signals, it maps keys to functions. The mapping of signals to keys is done here:


There is more information on how this works also in the post above.

Now I can use my One For All Smart Control remote with my Media Center IR Receiver to control XBMC running on OpenElec :-)