Looking for a guide or help with MCE Controller and The Home Remote

Hi, I apologize for a delayed response, I had an emergency and wont be able to get home until tomorrow, when I return, I will be replying to your message.

So I made a mistake, I was cutting a watermelon and it slipped. Well I tried catching the watermelon and my wrist caught the (very sharp) knife and sliced open my wrist, very widely (no tendons or veins were cut, thankfully but needless to say, I won’t be using my computer for a bit…until then, I can tell y’all my TV and AVR model numbers and respond to your message.

I really appreciate your incredibly noob friendly response. I won’t be using the mouse file as I really have zero use for mouse control though, my htpc is shelled with Kodi (eventually a very simple yet beautiful GUI that I am making in AutoHotKey that offers a few simple quick actions such as selecting Kodi, LaunchBox (gaming frontend), changing the audio device between headphones and my AVR, switching/activating the gaming monitor and my TV (for gaming on one and movies on the other (hence the 2 audio devices and displays), restarting/powering off the HTPC, setting the pc main volume to a few pre defined values along with a few other settings that I am undecided with. It will all be navigated via Up, Down, Left, Right, OK/Enter and Back (as in backspace or the go back button) on my remote and phone when I get it set up completely…honestly, I am thinking of getting an old “Phablet”, like the old Note Edge since it is large but not too large PLUS, it has an IR blaster built into it, which makes me wonder, does THR offer IR control? Lastly, my TV is Vizio m557-g0 and my AVR is Sony STR-DN1080, I also have a ps4 and Xbox One X (not sure if either of those have the ability to be controlled over IP)

So you tried to kill yourself and you made up a story about a watermelon? Haha sorry I couldn’t resist. That sucks and I’m sorry to hear. Hope it heals quickly.

I recommend Global Cache IP2IR. It’s a device that plugs into your network with an ethernet cable. It then has a place for 3 IR emitters that you hot glue (or tape) on the front of your devices over the IR eye. HR has Global Cache integration. There’s a good deal on a used IP2IR on eBay right now for $50 plus shipping. If you’re interested, I would grab it ASAP. global cache ip2ir for sale: Search Result | eBay

I’ve had a lot of fun with AHK but it can be tricky sometimes. I tried the HTPC route when I first started but eventually abandoned because PC didn’t always play nicely with the receiver regarding audio codecs and the TV regarding resolution and refresh rate. It just seemed like something was always off. I decided to go with more out of the box things catered specifically to what I was doing. I’ve tried every possible Kodi implementation - RPi, Chinese Android box, Firestick, HTPC. I got a Vero 4K for Kodi and it is the best gosh dang Kodi device that exists. It’s made by the developer of OSMC (software that turns an RPi into a Kodi box). Vero 4k’s are absolute monsters. They will stream 50mbps 4K HDR movies across my network without even breaking a sweat. Then I got a Roku for streaming services. Roku, FireTV, whatever your flavor, I’m a believer in the best hardware possible, so NOT using apps built into the TV. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. But everytime I’ve used the hardware built-in to TV’s, it’s garbage. Laggy GUI, video stutter, jitter, etc. The PC is great for unique things like LaunchBox. I’m in the process of using a mini PC to bring up network IP cams. I don’t know how much of an AHK expert you are, but I might be asking for your help achieving my goals using AHK. I know you didn’t ask for my advice on all this so take it or leave it.

Make sure the device isn’t too old/slow. Older devices that have subpar specs and/or older versions of Android don’t always play nicely. I feel like it was approximately around the time of the Galaxy 8 and Android 8 when things took a big leap and devices/software were able to last through the years. I can’t remember what version of Android HR is compatible with but you will definitely want to learn that when you’re shopping for a device. Also, they make apps that will boot straight into a certain app and will lock the device to that app, so it could be locked to HR and really be a solid dedicated remote.

A 10 second google search seems that IP control doesn’t exist but you might want to confirm. (CORRECTION: IP control does exist.)

It appears IP control does exist. Parameters are here:

A 10 second google search shows that both of these do have IP control. In my experience, the gap between “it does have ip control” and actually controlling it from HR has been from 10 minutes super easy all the way to 10 hours banging my head against the wall.

Thanks, yet again for such a detailed response. You’re a very personable… Ummm… person. Lol I dropped the ball on that one. Lol yeah… Just like the watermelon. SMH. What a mistake. I lost to a watermelon. Oof

Ok so I am mediocre at AHK, I can toy around and get things working, I’ve a lot of documentation I’ve accumulated over the years that I reference, it’s not the same as what’s on their documentation site, it is in terms that I understand, using real examples instead of msgbox and notepad like their site uses. Recently I’ve been working on creating my own functions(until the watermelon punked me). I can see what I can do to help you out though. I love passing on my knowledge and helping people out.

HTPC: I know exactly what you’re saying about things not playing well, you’d think anything would be doable on such a robust platform but everything has it’s limitations. Though I am happy with what I’ve accomplished with my HTPC, I am not through with it, in fact, I am going to be making huge changes when I get HR figured out and configured to my liking. I have a Dell Workstation Server with dual Xenon procs, I need to get some RAM (Max is 128gb), I need to pull my HDD out if my HTPC (4x 12tb), I’m also going to drop in 2 different gfx cards: GTX 1080ti and GTX 1060 6gb, it will be my media server, the OS will be unRAID since it has the “plugin” system, so I can use Plex server and utilize both of my gfx cards to their fullest potential…plus there is incredible library management plugins that renames videos, organizes, downloads media metadata, artwork, etc. My workstation is powerful and great for a media server plus, it will alleviate the load my HTPC is under as it my current media server for my Android TVs and Xbox one (running Kodi with the Plex plugin for the Plex backend). I am considering hosting all my retro games on the server as well… I’m undecided on that currently though. I’m not sure how much it would affect load times from my HTPC. Only way to find out is trying it out but until I get the RAM for the server and replace my GTX 1080 with an RTX 3090, everything will stay as it is. Sorry, I am extremely passionate about my HTPC, it’s an eternally ongoing project, I’m always changing things, never fully completing my to-do list, installing new games etc. I do want to eventually get to a point of just using and enjoying it. I know, I got way off topic. I’m just super passionate about this and love talking about it too anybody that shows the slightest interest and understanding of the world of HTPCs.

Sony Avr: not gonna lie, reading that documentation intimidated me, I may request someone to make a plugin for HR. I’d happily pay for it.

Vizio TV: that’s odd that there’s no documentation because since around 2016, Vizio has had an app that controls the TV via IP. They went as far as including an Android tablet(that is severely underpowered by today’s standards) as the “remote” in the first years of implementing Chromecast and controlling via the app on the tablet. I have the app on my phone currently and it works but I love consolidating. Since it’s on an open source platform, perhaps I can contact Vizio about releasing it’s source code. Also, I believe there are other Vizio TV ip remote apps on the play store, so perhaps there is pubic documentation that’s just very well hidden.

Are you capable of creating plugins from scratch? If so, are you hirable?

Yes to creating plugins and yes to being hirable. I’ll message you so we can discuss details. Just to finish the conversation for anyone reading in the future, I based my Vizio comment on something not substantiated so I’ll get down the bottom of it and respond back on this thread. And regarding the HTPC, I have a lot to learn from you! Your HTPC sounds wicked. I never considered putting in professional graphics cards for this implementation but that sounds legit. I love the idea of having a Plex server and streaming my movie collection to friends and family but I’ve never been able to have a machine hang with the needs of Plex. I imagine yours runs circles around it. So do you use Kodi to watch and Plex for friends and family?

IP Control does exist for Vizio TV’s with SmartCast which includes your model referenced above.

I apologize for delayed responses, I don’t typically have a lot of me time due to being a full-time single father to 2 younins as well as a caregiver to my father. So I try to make it count when I get it… (lest I am cutting a watermelon :joy:).

Anyhow…I really appreciate your enthusiastic response to my HTPC. So as for your last question, I use Kodi as my media player without any kind of backend on my HTPC, it just plays my files locally, I don’t use the plex plugin as that is too many “layers” to do something Kodi does natively. On the other devices , they run Kodi as well and this is where I do use the plex plugin, it is a sweet and convenient setup. When I setup my server/workstation, I will be using the 1080 solely for h.265/HEVC/4k transcoding and the 1060 will handle the rest. I just can’t afford to go out and buy 128gb of RAM along with a 3090 currently. I am looking at $900-1400+ that I cannot afford, it will come soon though. I don’t want to keep my HTPC under intensive load 24/7 for much longer. Once I setup my server, I will be giving my friends/family logins, that is one of the main reasons for getting the server. Giving my HTPC a break is THE main reason.

In case you are wondering about MOBO, CPU and RAM on my HTPC, it is a bit older and modest by todays standards. i7 6700k (stock clock speeds, I have zero OC exp. and it intimidates me TBH), ASUS ROG Maximus Hero VIII, 32gb ram (can’t remember the RAM speed RN and I can’t bother myself to find out unless you ask, I will look though. LOL).

I will be checking my messages right after posting this comment.

I ditched my HTPC for a Nvidia Shield with USB ssd external,drive and never looked back. It has really low power consumption hence it stays on 24/7 but powers down the HDMI port when not being used. It is also connected to my Synology NAS via wireless Lan but that’s optional… The 2015 version had IR control so it interfaced with Home Remote via a global cache itach. The newer ones don’t have IR and a IP solution was not available. I am not sure it that has changed.

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I have wanted a '15 shield for years but I haven’t deemed it a necessary purchase so it stays on the back burner. Back in '16, I lost my job, then home and had to put everything in storage (HTPC included) and all my funds went towards hotels until I got that hand up I needed (rent-free stay to save up). Well before I got that “golden ticket”, I lost my storage unit. So I have been working on getting everything back since '18. I am finally caught up and beyond, I believe once I get HR figured out and my server up-n-running, I will then deem the Shield a necessary purchase. I do have android enabled TVs but don’t use the android part much due to how under powered the hardware actually is. I would def set up the shield to stream all my PC games library to the Shield and use LaunchBox for Android for my classic games.

:bulb: Yeah, so right when I finished that last sentence about LB on Android, I had an epiphonal moment (is that even a word???) making me rethik everything about my HTPC…I was considering hosting my ROMs on my server but not fully convinced on it, however thinking about the combination of my server + the Shield, I realized that is my missing link and I can setup my HTPC as just a gaming pc. Ok, so I got waaaay off topic there but…ADHD…thats my issue, lol.

Would you mind explaining [quote=“Tarkus, post:12, topic:3608”]
global cache itach
[/quote] for me? How does it work? Does it take IP commands from HR and turn them into IR commands? Can you use it on more than one device? I see the benefits of this if a device doesn’t support control over IP but would rather pay @gregkinney to write the plugin for me for my devices. Does the '15 Shield have the AI upscaling the newer models have? Does it offer 4K support? Atmos? Can it handle HEVC/x.265? sorry for all my questions, I know I can have my answers with a quick Google search, but honestly that kills the human bonding element amd that is far more important to me than having my answers immediately

@Tarkus will answer all your questions regarding Shield, but I would like to throw the Vero 4K into the conversation Vero - OSMC. I have my Synology NAS like John does, hosting all my media, and then Vero 4K’s on all my devices to stream the media. I tried the Shield and it’s a powerful box and great that it can have all the streaming apps plus Kodi on one device. I had what others would consider minor, but what I considered dealbreaker, issues in that natively, the Android OS can’t perfectly handle all audio codecs and stutter-free video. The way it passes-through certain audio formats (it’s been 5 years so I don’t remember details) is very different with limitations compared to Linux. Also I watch everything at 24p and Android couldn’t do that perfectly either. All I remember is that when I switched from Shield to Vero, my audio came alive. Video is total perfection - stutter free. Vero 4K will handle HEVC, HDR, 4K, it really is the perfect Kodi box because it was made by a guy who basically wrote Kodi’s Linux implementation. Then I separated out the streaming apps with Roku because their boxes are very powerful and have the best IP control.

Yes you are correct regarding GC IP2IR. It has 3 ports but you can also use splitters so it will handle as many devices as you have, likely. The benefit to this is simplicity. IP control is nice but you don’t have to build plugins with IR. You just stick on the emitters and go. I have converted most everything over to IP through the years but I do still have a couple of devices that are IR only and the GC really does a great job.

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The Global Cache itach is for legacy devices that only support IR. Since tablets and phones can’t send IR the itach resides on your wireless network and connects to your mobile device and your Home Remote Project and sends the IR commands via emitters hard wired to the itach. The itach has 3 emitters with one being a blaster which will send the IR signal from a distance therefore the single blaster can support multiple iR devices as long as they don’t share IR Codes. The shield does 4k. It is true that depending on your needs the Shield may not offer the horsepower of a high end PC. I am not really fussy about resolution and such so 1080p via Plex and or Kodi works for me.

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Ok, you guys have me sold on this device, I will be buying it when I get the hang of setting up HR.

Yeah, you’ve sold me on this as well, I am retentive about playback and stutters kill it for me. I use android tv mainly FOR Kodi and it is a but of a letdown and the price is sweet, £107.10. I will be buying GC IP2IR first and then after my server is up and running, all of my other TVs will be using the Vero 4k.

As for shield tv, I will be buying one for gaming away from my pc but that is much later and will not be replacing my HTPC but instead act as a better Steam Link with that sweet sweet retro gaming.

Ok guys, it is getting late and I am ridiculously sleepy. Thank you both for your time and for being so noob friendly. You both are really great people! :relaxed:

See if your IR devices are in the Global Cache database at the following site. Most popular brands are but codes can be learned if they are not found in the database although tne process using the itach IP2IR can be a bit buggy.

BtW I never had and stuttering issues with the shield. I do have it hard wired to the router and there is not any transcoding going on so that probably helps.



@Legz_R_wheelz I want to show off @Tarkus setup, I think you’ll really appreciate it, it’s insane! It’s a perfect example of what this very powerful software can do. Check it out here:

Home Remote Project Demo


I checked this out a created a user account, it feels limited, should I create an installer account? In all fairness, I am still getting my head wrapped around the “how” of control over IP and smart homes period. The way I learn, I absorb until I am oversaturated with information, step back, think about it all, let it marinade then jump in and apply what I have learned…so what seems limited to me, may in fact be my limited scope of the power of control over IP.

My word, such an exquisite setup. If you were a fly on the wall, you would’ve seen the lust in my eyes for his setup. To say I am inspired is an understatement. The pay off is so high to learning this software and I am absolutely driven to learn it, you can read my comment on his post, I like a good challenge, just like AutoHotKey, was super challenging to me but once I understood what I was learning and how to apply it, the reward** was very high

I can always use relative paths and Thank you so much for sharing the link and thank you both for being so kind and welcoming.

EDIT: adding a bit of info about my use of AHK

** I have all but eliminated the need for KB/M with the use of AHK as well as solving nearly all Windows based woes that HTPC owners deal with by creating a centralized “assets” folder that is loaded with executables and media for borderless gaming, Automatic HDR switching, locking controller USB Device ID so XYZ controller will ALWAYS be controller 4 and ABC controller will always be controller 1, no matter which order they are powered on, windows mouse cursors that’re appropriate to whichever game I am loading like a mickey mouse hand for playing Switch or 3ds games (touch screen…I just had a lightbulb moment that I am going to look into, locking the cursor to a dedicated section of the screen so it is never outside the touch screen zone in the mentioned emulators, lol it never ends), game related wallpaper as a splash screen while a game loads, OSD media for changing the audio device and other settings etc. I could go on and on, I am just saying that with the correct tool/asset and AHK, an HTPC can be made nearly console-like and that is what I have done with mine.

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I am not familiar with Global Cache’s installer account. You should be able to access the database were you enter your manufacturer and type of device. Also you can access the database directly from Home Remote when it comes time to install the codes into your project. I just suggested you check out the database on their site as a preliminary measure before you invest in purchasing a itach IP2IR.

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If you’re going to invest in an iTach or IP2IR, find yourselves a GC-IRL IR Learner. Well worth the investment IMhO.

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OOOH now we are getting into the meat and potatoes. IR learning has forever enamored me, when I first got into home theater back in 2000, I found an RCA backlit remote with an LCD screen and IR learning. I couldn’t believe how such an amazing and robust of a feature could take so long to come around, from that point forward, I would never settle for a remote without learning abilities. Thank you for this information @LJR !

Edit: So I looked it up and found THIS it appears to plug into the serial port, how does it store and transfer to IP2IR? does it transfer to HR? also, do you know if this plays well with EventGhost? I am going to be getting into EG for its ability to interface different technologies seamlessly. ie: ir to IFTTT (if this then that) or AHK to IFTTT and many other awesome abilities like using an Elgato stream deck to send google assistant commands to turn on a smart light or other home automation events…EG is VERY robust in it’s abilities. I am not doing the software justice trying to explain the benefits of using it. I will say it all started with me educating myself on the Stream Deck as a quick launch pad on my end table for the most played games and programs on my HTPC, basically as a wired LCD remote control and the rabbit hole brought me here. I am still getting the Stream Deck in the near future, as an X-as gift to myself. lol
Again, sorry for getting off topic. I love having near limitless power over my HTPC and I love my HTPC and the never-ending project of customizing and tweaking it. and most of all, I love talking about my home theater connected HTPC.

PS, I gotta say, I have never felt so welcome by a community as this one, I feel at home here. Thank you all for such kindness and patience with my noobishness

That’s the one, although I don’t recall paying that much (though that’s always the case these days).

The dongle doesn’t store the codes; you connect it to the PC and run Global Cache’s iLearn software.which will produce the hex codes codes and even the GC sendir string.

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LOL! It is always the case, (thanks inflation) :roll_eyes: I appreciate the explanation for the dongle btw. I will definitely be investing in this at the same time as I get the GC IR2IP.