Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Help and support for HDHomeRun DVR and HDHomeRun software for Windows 10, Mac, Android, XBox, etc.
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gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

mike808 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:08 am [...]Microsoft won't be fixing any WMC issues that extend to the XBox. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if all of it was completely gone from the new Series S and Series X XBoxes.
It's easier to move on to a programmable remote than to try to keep supporting a dead-end WMC remote or hoping Microsoft will fix it.
I don't know that the PDP Talon remote was necessarily designed with WMC in mind. I have always assumed, without any evidence, that it was designed for the Microsoft native Xbox One TV DVR solution that was announced in 2015 put then on hold in 2016.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2015/08/04/ ... he-air-tv/

Garyr
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by Garyr »

Whoever is in charge of the SiliconDust app development team should ensure that the full app functionality can be utilized using the STANDARD WINDOWS keys. They are well defined, and any good universal remote can be programmed to mimic keyboard presses. If there is some unique app functionality that does not have a standard keyboard press functionality the app can utilize the standard f13 to f24 keys that although are not on any current keyboard have unique ir codes that can be programmed and utilized by programmable remotes. This should not be a difficult job for an app developer. It just seems like SD has possibly outsourced the app development or does not have an inhouse developer that knows how to assign functionality to a keystroke and then program IR codes, allowing for a 10 foot interface. At least that is the way it looks to me.

nickk
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by nickk »

Garyr wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:22 pm Whoever is in charge of the SiliconDust app development team should ensure that the full app functionality can be utilized using the STANDARD WINDOWS keys. They are well defined, and any good universal remote can be programmed to mimic keyboard presses. If there is some unique app functionality that does not have a standard keyboard press functionality the app can utilize the standard f13 to f24 keys that although are not on any current keyboard have unique ir codes that can be programmed and utilized by programmable remotes. This should not be a difficult job for an app developer. It just seems like SD has possibly outsourced the app development or does not have an inhouse developer that knows how to assign functionality to a keystroke and then program IR codes, allowing for a 10 foot interface. At least that is the way it looks to me.
We develop everything in house. All standard remote functions are mapped.

The two problems:
1) Remote number keys do not work on XBox One. This is a known XBox One bug. If you have a programmable remote you need to map theses to keyboard number keys to work.
2) Some standard remote buttons are handled by the OS and are not available to apps to use (the guide button for example).

Nick

gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

nickk wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:10 pm All standard remote functions are mapped.
[...]
two problems
[...]
I guess I need to retest all the buttons on my remotes to double-check the current state of the mapping, but at the beginning of this year the mapping was pretty bad.

I am linking here the observations I reported at the time for reference:

Windows 10 using Windows Media Center Remote
viewtopic.php?p=355418#p355418

Xbox One with a Logitech Harmony 650
viewtopic.php?p=355420#p355420

kyl416
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by kyl416 »

The Info, Guide, LiveTV, RecordedTV and Green/Windows buttons you're complaining about doing nothing on the WMC remote are the ones not available to any 3rd party apps, even Kodi can't use them. If you have a model with the teletext keys, those buttons also don't function with 3rd party apps. They're hardcoded by the OS to only launch functions within Windows Media Center and doesn't send commands that can be interpreted by other apps like the other keys on the remote.

If you don't have WMC installed the buttons don't do anything since the ehShell and/or ehTray process that the OS sends the commands to isn't available. But if you do one of those community hacks to get WMC on Windows 10, they would lauch those functions on Windows Media Center and bring it to the foreground no matter what application you're currently using.

The on/off or "PC Power" button is hardcoded, depening on how the OS is setup, it might put it in "away mode" where it stops all multimedia playback and disables the sound and video output, but leaves the OS and hard drive running so background functions like recording still work. Similar to what happens when you "turn off" a cable box or satellite receiver. On non WMC OS's I think its behavior varies depending on what you setup the power key to do in the settings.

The volume keys are also hardcoded to control the system volume.


The "clear" button thing they might be able to address, the thing is its behavior varies by app. It sends a "clr" command, which most apps interpret as the "Backspace" key which deletes the character behind the cursor, but when it's not in a text box the key doubles as the "back" shortcut in many apps, others interpret it as the "Delete" key which usually deletes the character in front of the cursor.

The "*" button is more complicated, it sends an asterisk command which is mainly used for wild cards when doing searches. After subchannel numbering support came with the Vista TV pack, Windows Media Center changed it to interpret "*" as "." when manually entering channel numbers while you watch live TV or browse the guide and kept it as an asterisk in most other places, but the remote still sends the command as if it's an asterisk.

NedS
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by NedS »

I would recommend picking up a Flirc IR receiver. It's a programmable receiver that allows any IR command to be seen as any keyboard button, and then is saved on the Flirc hardware so that it doesn't require any special drivers on the final device. Once programmed on a Mac or PC, you can use it on anything that understands a USB keyboard. That will allow you to use the entire remote, because you will be bypassing the MCE IR drivers.

gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

NedS wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:11 pm I would recommend picking up a Flirc IR receiver. It's a programmable receiver that allows any IR command to be seen as any keyboard button, and then is saved on the Flirc hardware so that it doesn't require any special drivers on the final device. Once programmed on a Mac or PC, you can use it on anything that understands a USB keyboard. That will allow you to use the entire remote, because you will be bypassing the MCE IR drivers.
@NedS Thank you for this suggestion. I had never heard of the Flirc IR receiver. I will look into it further.

ppilot
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by ppilot »

nickk wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:10 pm
Garyr wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:22 pm Whoever is in charge of the SiliconDust app development team should ensure that the full app functionality can be utilized using the STANDARD WINDOWS keys. They are well defined, and any good universal remote can be programmed to mimic keyboard presses. If there is some unique app functionality that does not have a standard keyboard press functionality the app can utilize the standard f13 to f24 keys that although are not on any current keyboard have unique ir codes that can be programmed and utilized by programmable remotes. This should not be a difficult job for an app developer. It just seems like SD has possibly outsourced the app development or does not have an inhouse developer that knows how to assign functionality to a keystroke and then program IR codes, allowing for a 10 foot interface. At least that is the way it looks to me.
We develop everything in house. All standard remote functions are mapped.

The two problems:
1) Remote number keys do not work on XBox One. This is a known XBox One bug. If you have a programmable remote you need to map theses to keyboard number keys to work.
2) Some standard remote buttons are handled by the OS and are not available to apps to use (the guide button for example).

Nick
What's the outlook for the Xbox Series X?

NedS
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by NedS »

ppilot wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:29 pm What's the outlook for the Xbox Series X?
As far as how our app works, it's generally going to be the same for Xbox One and Xbox Series (these names are getting really confusing).

gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

kyl416 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:28 pm The Info, Guide, LiveTV, RecordedTV and Green/Windows buttons you're complaining about doing nothing on the WMC remote are the ones not available to any 3rd party apps, even Kodi can't use them. If you have a model with the teletext keys, those buttons also don't function with 3rd party apps. They're hardcoded by the OS to only launch functions within Windows Media Center and doesn't send commands that can be interpreted by other apps like the other keys on the remote.

If you don't have WMC installed the buttons don't do anything since the ehShell and/or ehTray process that the OS sends the commands to isn't available. But if you do one of those community hacks to get WMC on Windows 10, they would lauch those functions on Windows Media Center and bring it to the foreground no matter what application you're currently using.

The on/off or "PC Power" button is hardcoded, depening on how the OS is setup, it might put it in "away mode" where it stops all multimedia playback and disables the sound and video output, but leaves the OS and hard drive running so background functions like recording still work. Similar to what happens when you "turn off" a cable box or satellite receiver. On non WMC OS's I think its behavior varies depending on what you setup the power key to do in the settings.

The volume keys are also hardcoded to control the system volume.


The "clear" button thing they might be able to address, the thing is its behavior varies by app. It sends a "clr" command, which most apps interpret as the "Backspace" key which deletes the character behind the cursor, but when it's not in a text box the key doubles as the "back" shortcut in many apps, others interpret it as the "Delete" key which usually deletes the character in front of the cursor.

The "*" button is more complicated, it sends an asterisk command which is mainly used for wild cards when doing searches. After subchannel numbering support came with the Vista TV pack, Windows Media Center changed it to interpret "*" as "." when manually entering channel numbers while you watch live TV or browse the guide and kept it as an asterisk in most other places, but the remote still sends the command as if it's an asterisk.
@kyl416. Thank you for your very informative input. I had not realized that Windows does not post messages to apps for all the buttons on a WMC remote. I confirm that both my Dell and HP remotes do not trigger any messages for Info, Guide, LiveTV, RecordedTV. So, I will stop complaining about those buttons not working, although I do not see why Windows could not be configured to pass messages for those buttons. Maybe there is a registry setting somewhere that one could tweak to make it happen?

For on/off I am happy with the behavior except for the fact that it triggers an error message upon resuming if watching Live TV before going to sleep. I just want the error message to not show up since everything is fine.

Volume keys do control the system volume, but they also pass VK_VOLUME_UP / DOWN / MUTE and I assume this is how pressing Mute is used by SD to turn the captions on or off. No issue there.

Regarding Clear, somehow it posts VK_ESCAPE. I did not expect that but it indeed means that VK_ESCAPE should be handled specially in context where one might want to use it as backspace rather than escape. This might not be very logical from a programming point of view but that is how it works in WMC. One should note that Back posts VK_BROWSER_BACK, so certainly it is possible to handle Clear and Back differently.

"*" as you explained posts as "*". So special handling so be done when "*" is used while typing the number of a channel.

Now Channel Up and Channel Down both post as WM_APPCOMMAND with a command that needs to be extracted with GET_APPCOMMAND_LPARAM() to get APPCOMMAND_MEDIA_CHANNEL_UP/DOWN. I now understand why pressing those buttons pops up the annoying mini control bar. Somehow pressing any button that posts WM_APPCOMMAND in the app seems to pop up the annoying mini control bar. I don't know if this due to a control that is being used within the app but I really do not like it. Channel Up/Down should just go a channel up or down and not behave the way it does.

Record is also a mess because it posts as WM_APPCOMMAND / APPCOMMAND_MEDIA_RECORD so it can pop up the annoying mini control bar. Somehow the app seems to handle the message to a certain extent because it the controls at the bottom of the app are displayed at the time when the button is pressed a red circle briefly shows up around the record button. But it does not seem to do anything. Weird. And if the controls at the bottom of the app are not displayed at the time when the button is pressed then there is no clear visual feedback that record was pressed.

So, to summarize I agree to stop complaining about Info, Guide, LiveTV, RecordedTV not doing anything, but I do not see a reason for on/off, Clear, *, Channel Up, Channel Down and Record not to work properly (i.e. as they do in WMC) and I still expect a fix one day...

By the way, for Info, Guide, LiveTV, RecordedTV it would be nice to follow the great suggestion from @Garyr and agree on some codes between VK_F13 and VK_F24 so that users with a Harmony remote or with a Flirc IR receiver (assuming it can post such message) could configure their environment to mimic what was possible with WMC.

gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

gab wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:06 pm Maybe there is a registry setting somewhere that one could tweak to make it happen?
Answering my own question although I suppose that a lot of people reading this forum knew the answer: Yes, it turns out that there is a registry key that one can tweak.

See https://kodi.wiki/view/Using_a_Microsof ... in_Windows

A very good implementation imho of a tool that can leverage this registry key can be found at:

https://github.com/baijuxavior/Advanced ... Mapper.exe

I tried it with a Win32 app and mapping remote buttons like LiveTV to VF_F13 works as advertised.

So, SD could:

1. Add handlers for keys such as the ones in the VK_F13 to VK_F24 range that would provide useful shortcuts to things like Live TV, Recorded TV, Discover, Tasks, and document those keys. Pick keys commonly used by other video apps or non-MCE remotes if a de facto standard already exists.
2. Ideally offer a small utility program that maps the corresponding MCE remote buttons to those keys automatically.


Users of Xbox One that use a Logitech Harmony remote could map (soft) buttons to those keys too in order to benefit from that improvement.

Sadly, it will probably not help the users of the PDP Talon. I wonder if one could petition MS to enable remapping of the special buttons since it looks like they will never release their once-promised DVR solution to the XBox One...

nickk
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by nickk »

The HP WMC remote + receiver I ordered arrives tomorrow.

Nick

gab
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by gab »

nickk wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:09 pm The HP WMC remote + receiver I ordered arrives tomorrow.

Nick
Great. I am looking forward to seeing improvements in that area.

ppilot
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by ppilot »

NedS wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:02 pm
ppilot wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:29 pm What's the outlook for the Xbox Series X?
As far as how our app works, it's generally going to be the same for Xbox One and Xbox Series (these names are getting really confusing).
So expect the same issues with regards to the remote control integration for now?

NedS
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Re: Having a hard time convincing family (wife) that HDHR DVR can replace WMC

Post by NedS »

ppilot wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:35 pm
NedS wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:02 pm
ppilot wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:29 pm What's the outlook for the Xbox Series X?
As far as how our app works, it's generally going to be the same for Xbox One and Xbox Series (these names are getting really confusing).
So expect the same issues with regards to the remote control integration for now?
Very possible.

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