2012 07 15 19 54 15

I have been playing around with XBMC on the Raspberry Pi a lot recently and using a wireless keyboard works well but if your going to use a Raspberry Pi as Media Center system a remote control would make for a better experience. I remembered I had a couple of Windows Media Center remotes at the back of the cupboard so I thought I would see if I could get one working with the Raspberry Pi.

With the Windows Media Center remote there is a USB IR receiver which I plugged in to the Raspberry Pi and I booted the Pi into XBMC using Raspbmc (you could also use the OpenELEC build). I didn’t install any drivers or special code just plugged it in and loaded up XBMC.

From XBMC I tried all the buttons and found that the arrow keys worked for navigating the UI but the OK button didn’t do anything and I had to use the Enter button to select a menu option.  During video playback the stop button worked fine, but none of the transport controls worked. So Play, Pause, Skip, Fast Forward etc didn’t do anything, however the arrow keys worked as skip and rewind commands so all is not lost. The volume control also seemed to work.

So far I found the follow keys worked:


Up, Down, Left, Righ



Media Playerback:


Left: Rewind 30 seconds

Right: Forward 30 seconds

Up: Next Chapter

Down: Previous Chapter

Enter: Pause/Play


The biggest drawback seems to be there is no way to select Back, the Back button on the remote doesn’t do anything and no other control seems to do it and this is a bit of a show stopper. I am going to see if there is a way of remapping the buttons and get the Back button working.

So overall it’s a promising start and the Remote with the IR USB controller costs £13 from Amazon so if the mapping can be done it would be a cheap way of controlling XBMC from a remote. If anybody has a tip on how to map the buttons please let me know.

2012 07 15 19 55 03



3 thoughts on “Using a Remote Control with the Raspberry Pi and XBMC”
  1. I have been using a standard RC6 Media Center Remote with my Raspberry Pi for a few months now. But instead of the USB receiver, I use this HoneyPi brand GPIO IR Receiver. It’s a daughter board that mounts directly on the Raspberry Pi motherboards GPIO pins. No soldering – which sold me on it.

    Works great and doesn’t use up a USB port. RaspBMC and OpenELEC are both supported out of the box.

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