MediaBox and Remotes

We have been having lots of discussions with a wide range of people regarding remotes for the MediaBox. It seems that everyone has an opinion on this. Out of the box we do not supply a remote. This is because there are so many options for people to choose from that it seems redundant to force yet another remote control on you that will probably be put away in a draw.

To control the MediaBox you can use a tablet or smartphone, a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse, an airmouse, a mediacenter or xbmc IR or RF remote, or a CEC enables TV remote.

Dave and I have been discussing all of these options. Trying to explain some of these to a layman can be challenging so I will tell you a story that happened a couple of days ago. We cut the latest build of the MediaBox and I gave it to Dave to try out. He connected it to his TV and had an unexpected result. This led to a late night phone call to me that went like this:

Dave: Jonty, something strange is happening.

Jonty: What?

Dave: I started up the MediaBox and my TV remote seem to be controlling it!

Jonty: Ah, you have a CEC enabled television.

Dave: What is that???

So here is what is happening. Many modern TV’s and other devices now support CEC. This allows one device to control another device based on input from the remote control. In this case the TV was receiving instructions from the remote and decided to send some of them down the HDMI cable to the MediaBox. Hence the┬ábehaviour┬áDave was seeing. This just reinforces the view that shipping a remote with the MediaBox is redundant.

For more information on CEC take a look here:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=CEC

http://elinux.org/CEC_(Consumer_Electronics_Control)_over_HDMI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#CEC

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