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4.5 out of 5 stars96
4.5 out of 5 stars
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
Although I use another wireless keyboard to operate my system outside of my media centre (XBMC), this little beauty is perfect for the day to day running of any media centre and has not been publicised widely enough.

I have rarely seen this mentioned on forums for XBMC/Boxee or any of the others but it should be!

I run a win7 system with XBMC as a front media centre connected to my TV for watching TV Series/Films and listening to music through a dedicated AV receiver.

For the past year or so I have used a few different wireless keyboards, a tablet (running Yatse/XBMC controller over HTPC and unified remote to control windows), however I now use my AV remote (Onkyo) for controlling my TV, Receiver and my XBMC. It works perfectly with no problems as yet (will update if needed).

The programming could not be easier. The software is downloaded from the official website and has built in configurations for standard keyboard, XBMC, Boxee, Basic navigation and others. I believe custom ones can be made but have not explored this. However using the keyboard option I was able to programme every single function I need for XBMC simply by pressing the representative 'button' on the software and then pressing the desired button on the remote controller. I was up and running within 3 minutes.

I wish I had of known of this little gem when I first began running my media centre as it would have saved me buying a tablet and previous wireless keyboards.

I now only need one remote by my side for normal watching (I would guess, and have seen it mentioned on forums that this works with Harmony One and pretty much any other standard remote) and I only need to get out anything else if I want to browse windows (for adding things to the libraries mainly). I use this in conjunction with this woreless keyboard: for general windows use. Paired together they are everything I need and save a lot of space.

All indications say this works with Raspberry Pi, which I would love to move over to next for space saving (and geeky fun) purposes. I currently use an Acer Revo 3600 connected to my AV receiver through HDMI.

Unless the FLIRC develops a fault and stops working this item receives a very strong recommendation if you wish to control your media centre using your normal TV/DVD/Uni/AV remote.

This underrated item needs more publicity; I didn't even know it existed until one person mentioned it on a forum somewhere and I happen to Google it and couldn't believe how simple the idea was and how I had not yet been aware it existed.

Five stars for product, delivery and packaging.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 September 2014
Used on a dedicated NUC running Windows 7 and XBMC and bought on recommendation/reviews from Amazon.

Downloaded the software and spent a few minutes working out how to get it working, but was actually simple enough although the software isn't the best (I've still not figured out how to bind the windows key to another in a combo).

I have the media centre hidden away and just put the FLIRC on the end of a usb extension cable and had no trouble - it has quite a wide range to pick up signals from the remote.

I use a Harmony on it now, but tried a couple when I was setting up and it worked fine with each one I tried.

Once up and running, it's just does it's stuff in the background. I've had the odd occasion to add in a new function and quick fire up of the software and job done in a few minutes.

Easy to actually forget it's there - which is ideal for a media centre.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 November 2014
I found this completely by accident while looking for an IR receiver for my old MCE remote.

I read about this device and that it could learn any other remote so I decided to grab one and test out with my WDTV SMP remote seeing as WD are seemingly trying to kill that media player off with bad firmware after bad firmware.

So I built a new HTPC which I'm wanting to use with Plex and Kodi (XBMC) and gave this a go.

It arrived and within five mins I'd downloaded the software from the FLIRC website (no software comes with the packaging as it's just a tiny plastic container) and was up and running programming the FLIRC with my remote.

The GUI is really basic and anyone could work it out - basically it starts off in the minimal view and then you change the view and program all of the buttons you wish to use.

The FLIRC from Amazon was running firmware 2.5 and at the time of writing 3.1 is available. When I launched the FLIRC software it prompted me straight away to say there was an upgrade and it literally takes seconds (if that) before it's complete.

It then took about five minutes to program all the WDTV keys onto the XBMC profile and that was it - I unplugged the FLIRC from my Mac, plugged it into my HTPC and it just worked - no messing around with drivers or anything.

I now have remote control of Kodi and Plex HT via my WDTV remote control - bear in mind some of the keys don't map exactly between the two - for example what brings up CPU stats in Kodi does not do the same in Plex HT, but other than that one key it works fantastically and with no latency whatsoever.

Location wise it's really good too - I have the HTPC behind the sofa behind me feeding a projector and there are no issues with the signal from the WDTV remote being bounced off the wall in front and back to the HTPC which sometimes caused issues on the WDTV itself - this is much better!

So now I've gotten rid of the WDTV SMP and have a much superior experience with Kodi and Plex HT and I need to just look into how to get this working with Netflix in Chrome etc but I'm really happy.

It's a shame this isn't more widely known as it's a fantastic little device and really gives any HTPC the wife acceptance factor - i.e. she could use it to watch Coronation St via Kodi and the VU+ plugin - she's not allowed though as that would be a waste of my HTPC and Enigma 2 box :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2013
I've been using XBMC since the days when it was an app for a modified Xbox and I've come to rely on it for watching video and even playing music. I now run XBMC on a mini-PC (an Acer Revo & Zotac Zbox ID41) and the one thing which I dread when coming to either upgrade XBMC or install it on another box is getting the remote control to work.

For the last few years, I've been using the old Xbox DVD remote, coupled with the old Xbox IR receiver (converted to USB using an adapter I sourced from eBay) and I've recently spent hours trying to get this working with the latest incarnation of XBMC ("Frodo"). Despite posting in the XBMC forums, asking friends who are more knowledgable than I am and trying all the suggestions which were given, I had to admit defeat and give up. That's when I purchsed an FLIRC dongle. Taking this out of the box the other day, my new XBMC install was working with my old Xbox DVD remote within 15 minutes!

Basically, this is a USB IR receiver which you plug into any HTPC; this isn't only for use with XBMC, you can plug it into any PC you want to use a remote control with (the GUI used to program the IR receiver includes an XBMC 'template' to make it easier but it'll work with just about anything). You plug the dongle into your PC (there's a Windows and OSX installer) and run the GUI software; then, you pick what key press you want the specific button on the remote control to issue to the PC, then the IR receiver stores it for that specific remote control. Once plugged into your HTPC, this clever little thing advertises itself as a keyboard (or 'Human Interface Device') which is how it gets to work with so many systems. Pressing the button on the remote gets converted to a key press by the FLIRC dongle and hey presto...your remote just works.

The GUI is functional but leaves a little to be desired from a user friendlyness perspective (and it's very low on help, although not that much coaching is needed and there's lots of help on the FLIRC forums), which is why I haven't given it five stars. The beauty of this, apart from being able to use it on almost anything, is that you can program pretty much ANY remote. If my Xbox DVD remote fails, I could just as easily program my Blu-Ray player remote to control XBMC; the only caveat to this is (of course) you wouldn't be able to necessarily use a remote for a device which is on and required, at the time you're using it to control the HTPC (for example, I couldn't program my amp remote because the amp provides the video/audio passthrough for my HTPC, so the FLIRC dongle would pickup buttons and translate to XBMC but as the amp is physically next to the HTPC, the amp would also be picking up the IR signals).

All in all, this has been money well spent and if you use any iteration of XBMC, you simply HAVE to get one of these as it'll make your life so much easier.

*** UPDATE ***
It may be the remote I'm using but the FLIRC dongle doesn't appear to have the widest receiving angle for the IR signal. I often have to point the remote at a significantly downward angle in order for the commands to be 'seen' and sometimes even have to lower my arm so the remote is further to the ground. Regardless, all I said above still stands and I'd definitely purchase this again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2014
I don't normally bother with product feedback but this is so specialist I thought I should.

To set this product up I used a windows 8 machine. I downloaded the software from the Flirc website and then sat baffled for 5 mins as to why it kept saying in the setup software that its disconnected even when I could clearly see in the windows hardware summary screen that it was detected. Basically you need to run the software as administrator. Right click the .exe file and 'Run as administrator'.

The setup is easy, select a keyboard button that you want to map and then point your remote (any remote at all) and press the corresponding button and it will learn the IR code and map it to that keyboard press. This is the really clever part, once its set up you can plug it into anything and it will be seen as a keyboard and act in the same way. All of the config is stored in the dongle itself with nothing running on the device/pc its plugged into after its set up.

I use it with an Intel NUC running Openelec for XBMC. Its works absolutely flawlessly, the sensor is very sensitive picking up IR commands even with the sensor obscured behind a soundbar. Its also neat looking, most of the windows remotes and IR sensors have large ugly receivers trailing USB cables.

Part of the reason I had been putting off shifting from my WDTV to XBMC was the hassle configuring decent controls. This does away with all of that, I can even carry on using my WDTV remote that I am familiar with and really like.

In short, it works really well, solves an annoying problem with XBMC and remote controls and looks nice.
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on 21 October 2015
So, a USB IR dongle. How hard can it be? Well, according to FLIRC it must be close to impossible, apparently.

I have a standard PC running Windows 7 x64. I have a totally standard Microsoft MCE remote. Stupidly, I thought upgrading to the FLIRC to replace a intermittently faulty MS receiver would be simple.

So, the FLIRC arrive in a plastic bubble in the standard Amazon card envelope. Plugged in the little device, downloaded the software. Drivers installed OK. I though "OK, this'll work", tried remote. Nothing. Hmm...OK.

Ran the FLIRC program. Right, I have a MCE remote, so select the MCE preset. Great. So far so good. Tried the various buttons, looked OK initially, except the up/down buttons seemed to be picked up the same as the Play/Pause buttons. Tried to remap, and turns out to be impossible, as the FLIRC reads these buttons as the same. Which they plainly aren't, because the MS IR receiver can tell the difference, as can the IR receiver in my Intel NUC.

The FLIRC only seems to work in the FLIRC program - Media Center and Plex could never see the remote.

So, hours later, I finally gave up and ordered a cheap Lenovo MCE kit off eBay for a tenth of the price of this FLIRC junk, a few days later it arrived, plugged it in, and it worked.

FLIRC obviously have some work to do, as they took a really, really simple device, added lots of features, and broke it. Avoid, unless you have a spare day and endless patience.
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on 13 April 2015
I received this device promptly and went about setting it up for my Fire TV. Initially I had lots of problems with FLIRC not learning commands properly and worse, having sporadic control when plugged into my Fire TV to the point where it barely worked and I would have awarded it one star, returned it and looked elsewhere.

In fact it turned out that my wireless IR repeater by Marmitek conflicted with the FLIRC device and blocked it from working for reasons I can't explain (media centre rigs are often subject to things like this). I removed this, used a wired one and suddenly it worked amazingly well.

The default template for Fire TV control was learnt into my remote, a One For All URC7960, so it controls just as well as the Amazon Bluetooth one does. I also taught it some media keys which work for controlling other apps such as YouTube. Best of all, the Kodi port for Android, SPMC, now has the same level of control as my old HTPC did, with the red/green/yellow/blue buttons jumping to movies and TV shows in the library or adjusting audio/subtitle sync as shortcuts among other controls I've assigned. As FLIRC works by mimicking a keyboard, I created a custom keymap for SPMC so, for example, Alt-1 toggles in and out of full screen video. You then get FLIRC to mimic Alt-1 to a remote control button and it works beautifully. I can now navigate my media properly with all the buttons I'm used to, which is great. Only thing I can't do is trigger a reboot as the Bluetooth remote does but there's an option in the recent firmware settings that allows this anyway.

Great product, and I got mine for £18 which is less than the price now I'm reviewing it!
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on 4 April 2015
I really like this little thing. The driver set up is a little clumsy (i.e. install drivers, restart and then plug in) and the Windows setup was a challenge but it works well now that it's all setup. They have a handful of pre-set remote control profiles which I imagine are cool for a straight forward set-up like maybe windows media centre edition. The minute you want it to set up anything out of the ordinary, it becomes an exercise in... well, google.

Some context to this: I have set up a windows base HTPC using this little device as the remote control receiver. I have a logitech harmony and once the logitech was set up for the FLIRC they communicated well with each other. I used the windows media profile (which I suppose is fine with windows media centre edition but I only have 8.1 so it's not really the same thing) but the minute I wanted to get it to open apps like PLEX, SPOTIFY, etc. it becomes a pain - google is your friend! This was not as simple as I expected.

I suppose, what I am saying, is that as a simple operating system setuo then it's probably really cool and simple. For something like WIndows 8.1 where you want an HTPC setup with the flexibility of you tube on the side, then you have to start digging and playing with setup and, and, and. I expected them to have an easy interface where you could simply assign macros to buttons on the Harmony remote - e.g. (aided by a picture of the harmony) RED BUTTON = WINDOWS BUTTON+4 (for fourth taskbar plex icon), etc. It was not this easy and I implore FLIRC to add this level of ease to the device setup.

HOWEVER, now that it's set up it's works great and it has not faltered as yet. Great device with a bit of work still required on the software.
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on 16 September 2014
I had my eye on this product for a long time but could not justify buying it when I had perfectly fine Logitech IR remote working. So when the battery leaked and destroyed my remote I was in market for new remote. Love the idea that you could use any remote control with FLIRC .
Device arrived in plastic packaging and this sure is "frustration free" packaging taken to the extreme. It was not sealed and dongle fell out of it when I picked it up. So since was not sealed I have no way of knowing if this really was new product or refurbished/second hand. There is no instructions or manuals
FLIRC dongle itself is solid build. See-through plastic on the FLIRC is not my cup of tea but it doesn't take away from functionality.
First thing you need to do is go to FLIRC web site and download software for configuring FLIRC with remote control. While you at it do firmware update on FLIRC
Another thing I would like to mention is if like me you have your minipc media station/server/XBMC attached to back of the TV you will need to purchase USB extension cable to be able to place FLIRC in front of the TV for remote control to work.
Software is very simple and easy to use. First I went to configure FLIRC with my old Sony DVD remote and this resulted in FLIRC transmitting same command twice every time. No troubleshooting could fix it.
Ok, next I moved to old spare Sky box remote I had. After configuring each button I had left , right up and down, play was working. OK, BACK , PAUSE not working. Nothing. Tried number of times to reconfigured it and same results every time.
Next I moved on Hauppauge remote , here FLIRC recognised every press when configuring it but once connected to media PC not a single key press worked.
Now I took my LG DVD remote control and configured it with FLIRC. This one WORKED! All key presses worked as they are supposed to except SHUTDOWN did translate into left move. I can live with this..

So the bottom line is great concept in theory. In practice its hit and miss and would not recommend this product unless you have lots of unused remote controls around the house.
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on 3 March 2014
I have owned the Flirc dongle now forabout a month and it simply does exactly what it claims.

I use the dongle on an openelec raspberry pi installation and have the Flirc accessed via a harmony one remote. So working through the setup, openelec had no problem in handling the dongle when inserted into the pi and no additional setup was needed. All I needed was a reboot and then I was up and running. The harmony remote is sometimes a pain to get going but connected remote to laptop and used the preprogrammed Flirc mapping for the xbmc, a quick reorder of the touch screen and the remote was updated. The final part was mapping the Flirc to the remote. I initially went for the basic setup but quickly wanted to add the additional buttons so reconnected the Flirc to my PC and it was struggling to find the dongle.

I was quite gutted at first to see my little investment had died, so got on the forum and tried a few things out to no avail so I tried the support link and my was I glad I did.

I got through to Jason whose gadget this is, and within two quick emails the remote was up and runming and configured spot on. Seriously I can't praise this gadget and Jason enough, this is his spare time thing but his standards are HUGE the guy makes a quality product and supports it second to none.

If you are wondering if this is worth a punt then don't hesitate, if you want an all in one solution to a media center, then get it. It works. This gadget let's my wife simply watch TV, DVDs, or listen or watch the content on the media centre with one remote. She was never keen on using her phone or tablet to control openelec but with the remote the media centre is always on playing music or movies. This is down to the Flirc, if you want the same setup and with the price and support its a no brained. Do it and enjoy!
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