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Tell me what you want in a remote and I'll make it happen!
Hello everyone!

My name is Ron and I am co-founder of a new company called AVCgeeks (audio-video-computer). AVCgeeks focuses on offering low cost high quality hardware to the HTPC community. AVCgeeks isn't another 2 man garage operation, but rather is a fully funded company that has secured distribution for many hardware lines. Being a geek myself, my goal was to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to get these kinds of systems into your homes. We will be offering inexpensive components for the DYI geeks including, htpc and server chassis, motherboards, remote solution,NAS devices, and more. We also plan on having pre-configured solutions that will be ready to use out of the box. These will include things like full HTPC's pre-installed with XBMC and openelec, and pre-configured storage servers pre-configured with sickbeard, sabnzb, headphone, couchpotatoe, and more. Another core belief at AVCgeeks, is the importance of giving back to the opensource community. We have all greatly benefited from the various open source projects that are the backbone for a lot of the things we use day to day. AVCgeeks has a commitment to give back to all of the open source projects that we will be supporting whether financially or through sharing our knowledge and implementation expertise with the community. Although only in it early stages, we have begun writing helpfull how-to, reviews, and general feedback on what we experience using open source software.

The main reason for me writing is that, one thing we feel is currently lacking, is a simple remote for XBMC. I understand that there are many options available ( i started with a MCE remote, and currently use a Harmony 1) but I feel that the community as a whole would greatly benefit from a simple remote to recommend to new users. Something clearly labeled to help first time XBMC users find the functions they need. We are reaching out to the community for feedback on what you all would think make the perfect XBMC remote. I understand that in some ways, this is something that will vary from user to user, but I think it would be very help to hear what you all think. So, Tell me what you want in a remote and I'll make it happen!

Please let us know what you think about the following.

1. Functionality- What function do you feel are a "Must Have" to get the most out of a remote. Keep in mind our goal is to keep it simple ( think the roku remote). Although we could have 60 buttons with every keyboard shortcut, it seems like the best approach is to only have what is really needed.

2. Form factore- Slim, chunky , small.... what do you prefer?

3. Cost- Idealy what would you want to pay for a simple XBMC remote? ( our goal is under $20)

Thank you all in advance for your feedback. In the future I'll make another post in regards to what kind of product and components that you would like to see AVCgeeks offer. We really want to get you all involved as much as possible!
I am new to XBMC I even didn't finish my build hardware search.
But I really love the idea of asus remote with the keyboard on back.

But some say that this remote is usable but sucks
But I don't now why
The things is if you want t go and search on net you need a keyboard.

So make one that doesn't suck ;-)

I would say u need a remote on one side and a keyboard on the other.

also glow keys would be nice

compatible with atv2 (so need to be bluetooth I believe)

have dedicated buttons for home, context menu, music, addons, tv shows.

ATV1 with crystalbuntu (12.2 frodo) as main theater. Theater remote URC MX-810, droidx with xbmc remote, or transformer tf101 with YATSE. 3 x ATV2 (V12.2 frodo).

The Tivo Slide remote is a perfect remote - it just isn't perfect for XBMC Sad
More specifically the XBMC skins and the Tivo UI have differences, and these are reflected in difficulties using a Tivo designed remote on an XBMC skin. If we designed a XBMC skin to follow the Tivo design, then these remotes would be perfect. They do IR and Bluetooth, are re-programmable, backlit keys, great battery life, and have a qwerty keyboard.
My suggestion is to not waste time building a remote control that fits Confluence. Instead, pick a great remote and build a XBMC skin to fit it.
Hi there and good luck!

Personally I use a Harmony 890 (great form factor and functionality) and do not care much about a perfect remote for a single device. What I am looking for is a remote sensor / receiver for a htpc, that can cold-boot a htpc (power-on function). Actually I have a silverstone case with the iMon remote sensor and it works great, I would love to have this for my other htpc's (e.g for my Zotac ZBox). I would love to have something, that just switches the power button on a signal. anything else can be done in software, so a good customizeable UI to map the keys to keyboard or media buttons application wise would be great. The remote itself needs to have the direction keys, numeric keys, color keys and the usual media playback stuff + a menu / guide / info button - so very generic if we talk about 20$. I would love to have it as an IR solution instead of RF, so I can use a programmable (e.G. Harmony) to substitute it easily.

For a more fancier remote I would even spend 200$+ , but then it has to be a android smart-device in a form factor of a smartphone or even a tablet with WLAN, BT, IR, and FS20 (886MHz) / ZWave / intertechno (443MHz) receiver / transmitter to be able to control almost all home automation and entertainment devices - but this is a different beast.

For Plug-in USB Extension to a smartphone or tablet, that can receive / transmit IR and the mentioned RF protocols + App I would spend 50-100$, but there is nothing comparable around. However there are interesting trancceivers there to make FS20 / Intertechno signals from IR (e.g. jbmedia light manager , but I would love to have it built-in in the remote.

btw. have you seen this: (Perfect HTPC (Ubuntu 11.10 + XBMC PVR EDEN RC + HD+/Sky + Selfmade-Ambilight 78Ch @ Medium) - this could be a gadget I would buy too (The 78Ch ambilight solution)... (just in case you look for more ideas)
It should be able to turn on/off my TV and AVR and control the volume on my AVR, not just the HTPC.
Great feedback so far! Thanks for the responses, and please keep it coming!
i use 3 device to control my HTPC...
i always thought about having them all under the same roof...

a RF backlit keyboard (like ipazzport mini RF)
a RF backlit remote (that comes with an easy mapping software)
Air mouse (just like Gyration air mouse go plus works)

if you need more infos, u can contact me via PM

Thank you eskro!

Btw, if anyone wants to check it out, our site is live . We are still working on it, but i figured that I would share.
A "mute" button that works on my spouse.... Big Grin
My HTPC is a linux xbmc appliance and I have a classic remote imon pad that works pretty well. Occasionally I'm using the
mac xbmc version and what really impressed me was the use of the apple remote.

There are just only three buttons plus a four directional buttons
and you can do almost everything that you can do with the 60 imon pad buttons!! The magic trick I think is the hold down button support and its contextual meaning. I think this is an exclusive of xbmc mac version because of the lack of the hold down feature on other OS. I would love to have a remote with seven buttons with a similar behavior in Linux.
(2012-04-19, 20:18)Sdpbc Wrote: A "mute" button that works on my spouse.... Big Grin

there's many ways to mute your spouse
I think what we need is a ir receiver and remote built with XBMC in mind. The use of the MCE IR receiver isn't the greatest. It works, but lacks a lot. Being Dependent on hardware you have to buy off eBay is a bit ridiculous. I posted a thread a long time ago about development in this direction and it pretty much went no where.

Right now Flirc is a great improvement in this area and we could have used a long time ago.

With that said... I think what XBMC also needs is hardware specifically tailored to it so devs can work on making one device operate perfectly.

Adding to BORIStheBLADE's post, you could possibly work off FLIRC for the IR receiver component.

If adding keyboard functionality, keep in mind users could flip the remote horizontally to use a keyboard, which might affect IR transmission to the receiver. So IR transmitter placement would need to be a consideration depending on how you can/would orient the remote for use.

Good luck with the remote.
HTPC: G840 + GT430 + 2GB RAM + 30GB SSD
Remote: iPad/iPhone + iRule + USB-UIRT // FireFly RF Remote
Software: XBMC Eden + Eventghost + Win7
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Tell me what you want in a remote and I'll make it happen!51