MCE Remote

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Media Center Remotes

MCEremote.jpg

Windows Media Center Remotes (USB)

Vendors Website: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=065

Support Status: IR Receiver Supported. IR Transmitter not supported.

There are two version of the MCE remote, typically referred to as the 'older' and 'newer' models. Both of these are now supported in the latest lirc, currently 0.8.0. The newer remotes come in different shapes and are manufactured by Philips and half a dozen other manufacturers.

Description

USB Remote intended for Media Center PCs

Issues and Problems

As of lirc-0.8, both the older and newer remotes are supported, although the IR blaster is not supported.

Associated Software

Lirc: http://www.lirc.org/

Installation guides

Older remote

I would think it's the same as the newer remote instructions below, but I can't verify. Only difference is the module name - it will be lirc_mceusb instead of lirc_mceusb2.

Newer remote

Be sure your kernel has support for USB. Most default kernels will. You will only need the USB 1.1 driver (OHCI or UHCI) and USB 2.0 (EHCI) is not required. There is no kernel module specific for this device. Before continuing, be sure your device is recognized by your USB host controller:

NOTE: The lirc_mceusb2 module must load before any USB ehci modules!

# lsusb
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0471:0815 Philips
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Download and extract at least lirc-0.8.0 from lirc.org.

cd /usr/src
wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/lirc/lirc-0.8.0.tar.bz2
bunzip lirc-0.8.0.tar.bz2
tar -xvf lirc-0.8.0.tar
cd lirc-0.8.0

You now have two choices, you can either run the Lirc Setup script and accept it installing itself where it wants to, or you can carry out a manual configure. Using the setup script is easier, but it means that the various binararies and configuration files aren't placed in the normal Gentoo locations.

To use the automated setup process:

./setup.sh
Menu Option # (1) - Driver Configuration (enter)
Menu Option # (8) - USB Devices (enter)
Menu Option # (h) - Windows Media Center Remotes (new version, Philips et al.) (enter)
Menu Option # (3) - Save your configuration and run configure (enter)
make
make install
This will also create a /etc/lircd.conf file which should work.


To perform the manual configuration:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc/conf.d --with-x --with-driver=all
make
make install
cp remotes/mceusb/lircd.conf.mceusb /etc/conf.d/lircd.conf

Load the module

# modprobe lirc_mceusb2

Start lircd

# lircd

Test it with irw. irw will output the commands received by the IR receiver that match your lircd.conf file. So start irw, point your remote and start pressing buttons.

# irw
000000037ff07bfe 00 One mceusb
000000037ff07bfd 00 Two mceusb
000000037ff07bfd 01 Two mceusb
000000037ff07bf2 00 Home mceusb
000000037ff07bf2 01 Home mceusb

If everything works, then autoload lirc_mceusb2 when your computer loads (how to depends on your distro) and start lircd as well (also depends on your distro).

One note, I'm running a late-model Gentoo and I have to load lircd with this option:

# lircd -d /dev/lirc/0

Otherwise it fails, as it defaults to /dev/lircd.

FAQs

Phillips eHome: These are now supported in latest lirc. For those that must run a pre 0.8 version, follow the INSTALL guide at http://www.blatter.com/mceusb/old/INSTALL. Be sure that the source you are compiling against is the recomended 0.7.0 branch. Note that this patch is no longer updated or supported since it is now part of the lirc distribution. The IR Transmitter is NOT supported by this project.

For my Gentoo (2.6.10) installation I had to do a few extra things. Before following any install documentation, remove all lirc_mceusb.ko and lirc_dev.ko modules. Mine were in /lib/modules/2.6.10/misc/ . I also had to remove /lib/dev-state/lirc* because devfs was apparently trying to restore some older (non working) lirc states.

Now follow the instructions in the INSTALL to verify proper installation (it may be helpful to load the module with "modprobe -v lirc_mceusb" to ensure you are loading the proper modules from the proper places).

I will add more to this as I understand it better, but for right now I finally have this working. Any help on Wiki Formatting would also be appreciated.