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[WINDOWS] HOW-TO get MCE remote to work in XBMC without other programs
#1
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Hey all,

I've found a way to get the MCE remote working under windows without any additional software like ghostevent, HID helper or IRRS. I'll give an introduction and then I'll explain how it works. It's not a clear cut solution (yet), but it should be enough for anyone with some brains to alter and use how you want it.

I first started with XBMC (win) a few days ago. Eventually, I'll set up a htpc/linux/xbmc/mythtv combo. But for now I'm getting the parts working. One of those parts was a replacement for my keyboard to control XBMC. It's simply too bothersome to sit on the couch and have a full size keyboard around (albeit wireless). So I 'stole' my dad's MCE remote (which he wasn't using anyway, and ofc with permission) and hooked it up. Then I found out it had only basic functionality. And whenever I hit the on/off button, windows would go to sleep, severing my internetconnection as well. I didn't like that at all, so I went on, finding the already existing guides how to use the MCE remote through third party tools. After having a few crashing and burning during or right after install, I quit and tried to find another solution.

I knew the MCE remote communicated with windows through some sort of virtual key exchanges. I simply didn't know what keys, where configured and how to edit it. Another guy found out (and I googled him after a few hours of searching). This is the OP post:
http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=43135
Basically he found out the MCE remote (the microsoft one or a similar clone using the same driver) was remappable through the registry. And he found the key and the way to edit it. All hail to him. And now you can share his solution Smile
Together with the links in the OP, this link is very valuable: http://mediacenterguides.com/book/export/html/31

Disclaimer: This works for the original MCE remote. Other remotes probably work very differently.

How does it work? In the register key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\HidIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da there's a few values that take care of it all! Actually, it's only the 'reportmappingtable' value. And I'll explain how it's coded. By exporting just this key, you can make an editable version from it: The resulting .reg file is easily edited in notepad and a simple doubleclick will add your updated key to the register again. All changes do need a reboot (or reinit of the HID driver). Any mess-ups can be corrected by reinstalling the driver completely.

My key (with ample comments):
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\HidIr\Remotes\745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da]
"CodeSetNum0"=dword:00000000 ;
"CodeSetNum1"=dword:00000000 ;These four values put the standard global windows keys out of function. These are
"CodeSetNum2"=dword:00000000 ;volume +, -, mute and .... windows sleep mode. I so hated that button
"CodeSetNum3"=dword:00000000 ;
"ReportMappingTable"=hex:\
  01,00,00,00,04,00,1e,\ ;1
  02,00,00,00,04,00,1f,\ ;2
  03,00,00,00,04,00,20,\ ;3
  04,00,00,00,04,00,21,\ ;4
  05,00,00,00,04,00,22,\ ;5
  06,00,00,00,04,00,23,\ ;6
  07,00,00,00,04,00,24,\ ;7
  08,00,00,00,04,00,25,\ ;8
  09,00,00,00,04,00,26,\ ;9
  00,00,00,00,04,00,27,\ ;0
  0a,00,00,00,04,00,29,\ ;escape
  0b,00,00,00,04,00,2b,\ ;return (remap: tab (to switch to fullscreen))
  0c,00,00,00,04,04,3d,\ ;power key (remapped:alt-F4)
  0e,00,00,00,01,e2,00,\ ;mute
  0f,00,00,00,04,00,10,\ ;info? (remapped:OSD key = m)
  10,00,00,00,01,e9,00,\ ;vol up
  11,00,00,00,01,ea,00,\ ;vol down
  12,00,00,00,04,00,4b,\ ;chan up (remapped: page up)
  13,00,00,00,04,00,4e,\ ;chan down (page down)
  14,00,00,00,01,b3,00,\ ;ff
  15,00,00,00,01,b4,00,\ ;rew
  16,00,00,00,01,b0,00,\ ;play
  17,00,00,00,01,b2,00,\ ;record
  18,00,00,00,01,b1,00,\ ;pause
  19,00,00,00,01,b7,00,\ ;stop
  1a,00,00,00,01,b5,00,\ ;next
  1b,00,00,00,01,b6,00,\ ;prev
  1c,00,00,00,04,02,20,\ ;# (shift-3)
  1d,00,00,00,04,02,25,\ ;* (shift-8)
  1e,00,00,00,04,00,52,\ ;up
  1f,00,00,00,04,00,51,\ ;down
  20,00,00,00,04,00,50,\ ;left
  21,00,00,00,04,00,4f,\ ;right
  22,00,00,00,04,00,28,\ ;return (ok)
  23,00,00,00,04,00,2a,\ ;back
  4e,00,00,00,01,08,02,\ ;?? (not on my remote anyway)
  26,00,00,00,04,02,11,\ ;tvguide? (not (yet) remapped functionally, it capital N now)
  5a,00,00,00,04,00,4a,\ ;text (remapped to 'home')
  5b,00,00,00,04,02,04,\ ;red (cap A)
  5c,00,00,00,04,02,05,\ ;green (Cap b)
  5d,00,00,00,04,02,06,\ ;yellow (cap c)
  5e,00,00,00,04,02,07,\ ;blue (cap d)
  0d,00,00,00,04,00,65,\ ;logo (remapped app key (context menu, c doesn't work in my install)
  24,00,00,00,04,02,08,\ ;dvd menu (cap e)
  25,00,00,00,04,02,09,\ ;live tv (cap f)
  48,00,00,00,04,02,10,\ ;recorded tv (cap m)
By putting above code in a new notepad file and renaming it to remoteremap.reg, adn then doubleclicking it you'll add it to your register. But of course you'll be wanting to edit it! I've not used the four tv buttons, nor the four colour buttons. The remaps I did right now are btw from my testing.
Basically you see 7 columns with two hex numbers each. The first column is simply a list of all the buttons on the remote, numbered. Every number is a button (second provided link gives insight in number-button connection). Then three columns of zeroes follow. Then there's three columns that count. Either it's 01 and then some non-keyboard codes (look 'em up yourself) or it's 04, then 00-0c (ctrl/shift/alt states) and then the keyboard equivalent. Microsoft hasn't used the standard USB HID list, but hey, it's Microsoft, and they'll never adhere to standards anyway Smile

list of ctrl/alt/shift states:
CTRL 1 (0x01)
SHIFT 2 (0x02)
CTRL+SHIFT 3 (0x03)
ALT 4 (0x04)
CTRL+ALT 5 (0x05)
SHIFT+ALT 6 (0x06)
WIN 8 (0x08)
CTRL+WIN 9 (0x09)
SHIFT+WIN 10 (0x0A)
ALT+WIN 12 (0x0C)

Don't forget, it's all hex codes. Have fun using your remote how it's meant to be used. But then without extra services, performance hogs and other botherings. And if you improve on this, post it here and give credits to the OP (which is *not* me).
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#2
Good Work! I am expecially interested in remapping the function of the 'mute' key without disabling all of the HID services.
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#3
I've had a play with this and it does indeed work. If anyone is interested I have a .reg file that configures the Windows MCE to send XBMC keystrokes e.g. P for play, X for stop etc. Note this will stop it working with Windows media center though.

JR
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#4
jhsrennie, I used the .reg file you listed on your Alpha 2 thread. If that's the one you're talking about here, it still seems to control the Win7 Media Center perfectly fine. If the one you are talking about here is a bit more serious version, then never mind.
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#5
natethomas Wrote:jhsrennie, I used the .reg file you listed on your Alpha 2 thread. If that's the one you're talking about here, it still seems to control the Win7 Media Center perfectly fine. If the one you are talking about here is a bit more serious version, then never mind.

Hi Nate,

The config you've used makes the remote send the standard MCE keystrokes, like ctrl-shift-P for "play", so it should continue to work with Media Center. Actually I'm relieved that you confirm I haven't broken anything :-) The downside of this config is that you still need EventGhost or my modified XBMC to use the remote with XBMC.

I've since come up with another config that sends the XBMC keystrokes so it works with the unmodified XBMC, though it won't work with Media Center.

Why does life have to be so complicated :-)

JR
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#6
JR,

Could you please send me a copy of the .reg file that works with the unmodified XBMC as, I would like to use a remote with XBMC?
I never use Media Center so that is not a problem.

Thanks,

Kevin
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#7
hi jhsrennie, would you please send me a copy of the reg file too. many thanks in advance.
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#8
@kevcompton and rapid_pete: see http://www.ratsauce.plus.com/xbmc.htm

Download the "MCE stuff" link.

JR
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#9
Anyone else had any joy with this? I'm using Windows 7 x64 with an officlal MS Receiver and MCE remote.. import the registry key fine, reboot.. use showkey.. nothing is registered and the remote stops working.

Can't use remote again until I import the backup made at the beginning. Colour me baffled.. it must be the correct regkey or it wouldn't stop working! This would be an awesome solution if it worked tho, I've had so many weird quirks trying to use IR Server Suite and Event Ghost Sad - had it all working perfectly on Ubuntu but have had to move back to Windows. Pah!
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#10
have not yet bought a mce remote but hope to soon

is there a picture of a mce remote control where you can draw on it and point to the buttons and write what each button does for xbmc after changing the registry?

will this work with babylon and aeon stark skin?
i love xbmc
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#11
sarahandkevin Wrote:is there a picture of a mce remote control where you can draw on it and point to the buttons and write what each button does for xbmc after changing the registry?

will this work with babylon and aeon stark skin?

nope.. this is purely a registry fix, there's no interface for it at all - but the best thing about this (if it works for you) is that you literally run the registry fix and that's it.

essentially it's just remapping the keys already built into the microsoft driver to use xbmc keys instead - and the skin doesn't effect anything.
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#12
sarahandkevin Wrote:is there a picture of a mce remote control where you can draw on it and point to the buttons and write what each button does for xbmc after changing the registry?

Hi Sarah/Kevin,

If you open my .reg files with Notepad (they are just text files) I have extensively commented them to describe what the keys do. I've only added mappings for the standard MCE keys, not the myriad of extra ones added by third party remotes, and they're all pretty obvious.

JR
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#13
vexation Wrote:Anyone else had any joy with this? I'm using Windows 7 x64 with an officlal MS Receiver and MCE remote.. import the registry key fine, reboot.. use showkey.. nothing is registered and the remote stops working.

I haven't tried the reg hack on x64 Windows. Have you tried using regedit to look at the registry key and check the changes are there? I'll see if I can get a copy of W7 x64 to try.

JR
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#14
i have windows 7 64 bit so this would be good to know before i buy a remote
i love xbmc
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#15
I have Win7 x64. The registry hack that makes the original MCE act more like copies works. I can't say about the hack that makes them work specifically for XBMC, but I assume it should work as well.
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