Being cheap is hard work

WARNING: extreme technical gibberish. Avert your eyes, luddites. I’ve cobbled together a Tivo-like setup using Windows XP Home, GBPVR, the Microsoft EPG, and a Harmony 880 remote. #1 consideration was to keep the cost low and avoid subscription fees. The old programmer saying, “Good, fast, or cheap; pick two”, applies here. I paid in time. If you’re trying to get an MCE (Media Center Edition) remote working in Windows XP Home, you’re swimming upstream. It is tough! I fought for hours to get Windows to recognize the IR remote receiver that came with a Hauppauge HVR-1800 MCE card. Somehow, Microsoft came up with a way to target a simple piece of hardware (IR receiver) to a specific version of Windows. I finally gave up (which I don’t like to do). Then I tried switching to another old MCE IR receiver that I bought a while back and installed the drivers on this page. It worked! I finally got the Harmony remote controlling GBPVR last night. If you set up Harmony remote to control a Media PC and the buttons do nothing, remember to go into the activity for the PC in the Logitech software and customize the buttons to do the logical things. (The Harmony software should do that automatically if you ask me. It does it for TV and DVD…why not media PC? Also, why do you have to press the Media button to show favorite channels in TV mode? Why doesn’t the Media screen show up by default? Why can’t you change activity icons on the remote?) By the way, you can change settings on your Harmony remote over the web from here…handy for helping a relative with their remote if they give you their login. Now to try the Netflix GBPVR plugin and install HIP to allow remote control start of applications.

One thought on “Being cheap is hard work”

  1. While I am very against Microsoft, I put the Seven on my gaming laptop which has HDMI out. Sending audio around from headphones or passing it to HDMI is painless. It also remembers most of my settings for the big tv in our room or laptop monitor. The channel information system seems significantly improved. Too bad I have no TV source to test recording and playback.

    Until IPtv improves, VLC is my friend.

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