In my first post I covered how to get your Logitech Harmony remote to work via a standard Mac IR port and map the buttons accordingly. In this post I show how to take those steps and use them to seamlessly let you control 2 programs from the couch.
If you’re setting up something similar you might be interested in the follow steps as it took me weeks of reading and joining the dots across many forum and blog posts.
Retiring my XBOX1 and XBMC setup was inevitable. It had long since shown its 733mhz CPU was able to output HD but just didn’t have the muscle to actually decode anything over SD resolution.
So when Apple announced the new Unibody Mac Mini just days before my birthday I saw it as a perfect own-gift.
The Core2Duo CPU was more than adequate to decode all codecs and resolutions and its new super thin and sexy casing was just the sugar on top. As far as I can tell its the best HTPC chassis out there – if only it had BluRay (stay tuned).
The Mini could finally give me a media centre, Freeview PVR and a rock solid *nix based NAS with the ability to run various background servers (UPnP, AirVideo, iTunes etc).
Unfortunately controlling all this from the couch was always going to require some work. OS-X’s default HTPC app, Frontrow, is extremely basic to say the least.
Thankfully there are two great applications that do almost everything, the XBMC fork, Plex and Elgatos EyeTV. Both have support for the standard Apple remote, but with only 6 buttons a lot of things were inaccessible or required weird combos to get to.
As I already owned the fantastic Logitech Harmony 725 remote I was pretty keen to get it working on my new HTPC but unfortunately Apples infrared remote implementation is very limited and only supports Apple remote controls few commands via 6 buttons.
The following steps are from my fair share of reading blogs, wikis and forums on this subject and what I’ve finally managed to figure out to get this working as I want.
I thought I might do a post on my current media playback setup, but more than anything, highlight how far a modded XBOX1 can and can’t go using one and XBOX Media Center (XBMC). Via modding the XBOX has turned into the ugly little console that can. I’ve had more fun on it in the years since it was discontinued than I ever did when I got it.